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AUDIO: Dr. Mao's Tips For Radiant, Healthy Skin

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Hi, this is Todd Hartley, and thank you for joining us right here at EmpowHer–the home of women’s health online. Joining us now to talk about your face and keeping your skin looking young and healthy is a member of EmpowHer’s Medical Advisory Board; he is Dr. Maoshing Ni, a 38th generation doctor of Chinese Medicine. Hi, Dr. Mao.

Dr. Maoshing Ni:
Hi, Todd.

Dr. Mao, lots of women talking about this on our website about their skin, so let’s give a couple of tips. Do you have any tips on how a woman can achieve radiant, healthy skin?

Dr. Maoshing Ni:
Well, Todd, that’s a personal interest of mine, so this is not exclusive domain of women. So I want to make sure to start with that.

I think that’s well said. Sure, we are all kind of concerned about it.

Dr. Maoshing Ni:
Yes, well, our skin is so important because it expresses who you are. It’s the exterior wrapping of our soul, and so if you don’t have good skin, then you should really think about what’s causing this, and it most likely is coming from within. There’s some issues with your internal health and wellness that we need to look at.

So, what happens as you get older? The skin will begin to age prematurely. Our skin is highly regenerative organ, so what that means is it constantly sloughs off and new skin are produced, and so this process when kept in shape, when it’s maintained properly, will give you renewal of your skin year after year, well into your old age. You, I am sure, have come across let’s say an older lady who you can’t help and admire how wonderful her skin is, and so oftentimes people will approach that person and just enquire, “Wow, your skin is so wonderful; what do you do for it?”

And yes, some of it is genetic and some of it is obviously nurture, what you do to help yourself, but believe it or not, your mind, your thought process, your emotions, your intent also plays a role here because ultimately where we see ourselves and when people perceive you, the first place they perceive you is your face. So the skin on your face is just the first place that people notice, and that determines, that gives people the first impression of who you are.

And, so the face is also where we express ourselves--our moods, our inner spirit and emotion–so all shows up on the face. So if you are having a bad day; if you are unhappy; if you have been crying or you are angry, well, it doesn’t matter if the skin, it completely wrecks your skin anyway. Your face just gets bent out of shape.

And so first and foremost you must work on stress; you must help yourself discover what turns you on, what makes you happy, and do more of that, all right? So just infuse your being with joy and happiness, and it comes out through your skin. That’s the first thing.

Second thing is that now we look at some physical things that you can do to help yourself. Make sure that you are eating a diet that’s rich in vitamin C, B vitamins, beta carotene. These are all very critical and essential for a healthy skin, and fatty acids. Many patients that I have seen are so concerned about their weight that they eat practically no fat, and that was popular for a long time, especially girls, young girls today that are bordering on anorexia and that they just like the look of that skinny, runway model.

I’ve got news for you; if you don’t eat properly and if you don’t get enough fatty acids that’s rich in nuts and seeds and olive oil and fish and other sources of fat, then you are literally going to wither. Your skin will wither and you do irreversible damage down the road. So I recommend that people really eat plenty of fat, good fat that is, okay?

So the good fat are the kinds that flow. The bad fats are the kind that just sit there like a lump, you know, lard, butter, for example. Those are bad fats, but most vegetable fats, especially those from nuts and seeds like flax seed and walnut oil and so forth, are very, very good; filled with polyunsaturated fats and fatty acids.

So, now let’s talk about skin care. What you should do to help yourself caring for your skin. It is important obviously to give yourself a nice cleansing on a regular basis because we do pick up a lot of debris, smog, pollution along the way on a daily basis. So some of the things you can do is I advise my celebrity patients and my wife to use apple cider vinegar as a gentle, nature’s cleansing and a very, very gentle peel.

So what you do is you just take vinegar and you dilute it. So maybe one tablespoon with 12 ounce of warm water, and so pretty dilute, or if you want a little stronger solution you can take one part vinegar and two parts of water, distilled water. And what you do is you take a cotton ball or a cotton pad and you just soak it and then wipe your skin, just your face or your body with it; keep it on for about ten minutes, and then you can just gently splash some water and just kind of wash it off.

And what this will do is it’s like the malic acid in vinegar is a natural alpha hydroxy acid, which is what they use for chemical peel. You know, they put the peel on you and then, once your skin peels and the new skin comes forth. But this just very gently renews your skin by ridding the epidermis which is the top layer of your skin, of dead skin cells, and what that does is helps reveal the new cells that are underneath–fantastic, simple things you can do to do cleansing of your skin, okay?

And now let’s talk about some beauty foods, if you will. Things that really help. One of my favorite of these food secrets from Chinese medicine is Asian pears, and one of the headings in my book is called ”Pear Away Wrinkles and Dark Circles” because this Asian pear or Fuji pear, it is a wonderful tasty fruit by the way; it is one of my favorite fruits and…

I love it. Yeah, I am crazy about it.

Dr. Maoshing Ni:
Yeah, and we have this simple recipe that will just definitely seal the deal for most people, okay? You shave the skin; you take the core out; put a tablespoon of honey in there, and you steam it the double boiler for about 10-15 minutes. Well, Todd, it makes such a great dessert I can’t, you know, stop my kids. I mean, they just ask for it all the time.

But that’s good for your skin?

Dr. Maoshing Ni:
Oh, it’s fantastic for your skin. In fact, the Asian pear is full of nutrients and copper, for example, which by the way is an essential component of this very potent enzyme called superoxide dismutase, otherwise known as SOD, and this SOD attacks the harmful agents, what they call of course the oxidative agents. So it acts as a really potent antioxidant, helps to slow down, reverse the aging of the skin, and so this is something that I would highly suggest that you incorporate into your diet if you are interested in healthy, vibrant skin.

Dr. Mao, what can women do who have developed spider veins on their legs? I know that’s a huge problem; I read about it on the website all the time. Can she get rid of them naturally?

Dr. Maoshing Ni:
Well, spider veins is a very complicated problem. What you’ve got is you’ve got some genetic factors, but ultimately, when the muscle that’s in the vein weakens, the vein will dilate, and this, you know, dilated vein bulges out, creates this appearance of varicose veins, and sometimes can be very painful. So this is obviously a very big concern for all people and especially, I think, women who have it and when they have pain.

So a couple of things that you can do. If you recognize that this is a weakness and that you must help strengthen the vein, the walls of the vein, then you eat accordingly and make sure that you have nutrients that can improve, the, you know, if you will, the elasticity of the vein, that’s one.

Two, you also look for preventing the pressure build-up because many of the varicose veins are in the lower part of your body because, again, gravitational force will cause the blood to flow downward. But if you have some kind of obstruction, let’s say if you are overweight in your belly, so you got this big belly, if you have fibroid tumor as a woman and anything, if you are constipated, these are all very bad for your varicose veins because now the blood can’t flow back up to your heart as rapidly and therefore, the pooled blood in your lower extremity, in your ankle and your legs, behind your knee, the pressure just goes up and then you dilate the vein.

Constipation even affects your spider veins?

Dr. Maoshing Ni:
Absolutely. If you are constipated, you are going to have this mass sitting in your abdomen and you are going to be obstructing the return of blood from your legs up to your heart. Now keep in mind, once constipated, usually people push. Well, when you push you increase the pressure also, and therefore worsening the appearance and the condition of the, you know, veins.

So it’s very important that you make sure you don’t do that, and eat a low-salt diet because salt will retain more fluid in the blood vessels and creating more pressure, and so these things that you need to avoid. Now let’s talk about what things you can eat to increase the elasticity of your veins, and I tell you some of these you might go, “Oooh, what is that?” Well, I am talking about jellyfish.


Dr. Maoshing Ni:
Here we go, yes, jellyfish. Now if you have been to the zoo you have seen these luminous membranes that resemble these parachutes floating along, very beautiful. Very mesmerizing to look at.

Amazing, yeah.

Dr. Maoshing Ni:
And, you know, we Asians, we love to eat jellyfish, and we don’t eat jellyfish because wow, it’s beautiful; we eat jellyfish because it’s good for your veins. Yes. Asian women consider it delicacy and a top nutrient for veins and skin because it’s full of this nutrient, a calcium-binding photoprotein called aequorin, and aequorin helps keep cells healthy and structurally strong.

And studies also show that this particular nutrient slows aging and prolongs the life of cells, and it really helps. And so this calcium-binding protein, as we age, our own protective proteins become depleted and proteins will give the structure, so structure of the skin, structure of the walls of your vein and all of that. So everything starts collapsing if you start to lose and deplete your own protective calcium-binding protein and so, eating jellyfish is one way, and by the way, I happen to love it. What you do is you go to a Japanese restaurant, more likely you are going to find it, and also Chinese restaurants, but it comes like a little salad, like a jellyfish salad, and it has a texture of like rubber bands, but tasty rubber bands.

So you can take this up on the form and you can buy it in our food store. So it’s called aequorin, but think of jellyfish. Now, topically you can also use witch hazel to massage your legs where the veins are, twice a day, and that has an astringent quality that will shrink the vein temporarily.

There’s also an herb called horsetail. I know they all sound kind of so interesting–jellyfish, horsetail. What’s next–sea horses? No, horsetail. Horsetail is actually a plant, okay? And it’s also been found to be very useful to shrink the varicose veins.

Well, he is Dr. Maoshing Ni. He is the author of “Second Spring,” Dr. Mao’s hundreds of natural secrets for women to revitalize and rejuvenate at any age, and he is also a member of EmpowHer’s Medical Advisory Board. Dr. Mao, thank you so much for helping us empower women.

Dr. Maoshing Ni:
Thank you, Todd.

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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