Between the winter winds, the dry indoor heat, and a daily dose of makeup, you may not be feeling as if you are putting your best face forward. Read on to find 7 all-natural secrets for soft, smooth, beautiful skin.
1. Is your lifestyle sabotaging your skin?
Imbalances in your life show up on your face and skin. For example, a poor diet of fast food lacking fresh fruits and vegetables is a recipe for bad, unhealthy skin. Depression, anxiety, and stress create tension in your skin, especially on your face, sometimes causing unsightly blotches and wrinkles. Sun damage and dry, cold, or windy weather strip the skin of vital moisture and circulation, leading to prematurely older-looking skin. Smoking, excessive alcohol use and lack of sleep all show up on your skin as well. Take a hard look at what your lifestyle is doing to your skin, and make some healthy changes to protect and rejuvenate it.
2. Eat skin superfoods
In China, it was traditional in the imperial courts for the Empress to pass down her skin-beautifying recipes and preparations to the young princesses. While many of these ingredients were exotic, expensive foods, these beauty recipes also include more readily available foods for skin health, such as cherries, peanuts, black soybeans, walnuts, and jujube dates. Citrus, a confirmed healing food packed with antioxidants, can also benefit your skin health.
For dry skin, eat more flaxseed oil, sesame oil, olive oil, and virgin coconut oil. Every day, eat avocado and handfuls of nuts and seeds, particularly pine nuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, and sunflower seeds.
3. Exfoliate like the Chinese courtesans
The outer layer of your skin regularly renews itself by shedding old cells and replacing them with new ones. An effective way to diminish the appearance of lines and wrinkles is to speed up the shedding process. Instead of using expensive procedures like dermabrasion, chemical peels or laser therapies, gently renew your skin with products from nature. For centuries, Chinese imperial courtesans used natural exfoliation and polishing agents to loosen and strip off skin cells -- seaweed, kelp, pearl powder, dried plum, winter melon seed, persimmon leaf, and cane sugar. Most are available in health food stores and Chinese groceries.
Make a mask with any combination of these natural ingredients. Moisten with water and mix in a blender with aloe vera gel or egg white to make a paste. Use a wet sponge to gently scrub your face with the paste, using small circular motions, until your face and neck are fully exfoliated. Leave the mask on for 10 minutes before washing it off. Avoid getting any of the paste in your eyes. Finish with my Pearl Essence Regenerating Night Cream, fortified with Chinese herbs and luxurious pure pearl powder to refresh and nourish your skin in a natural and healthy way.
4. Natural beauty with natural products
Many of today's personal care and cosmetic products contain carcinogenic chemicals that can be absorbed into your skin. There are often harmful chemicals contained in beauty products because there are very few regulating laws in the cosmetics industry. For instance, your lash-enhancing mascara may have formaldehyde as an ingredient, and there might be plastic resins in your lipstick. You may find asbestos-contaminated talc in eye shadow and blush, and foundation makeup often includes chemical solvents. These are all suspected carcinogens. Choose natural makeup alternatives found in health food stores that use colored clays, vegetable oils, and other natural ingredients.
5. Use yogurt for superb skin texture
Yogurt is considered a traditional tonic for healthy skin because it contains lactic acid, a naturally occurring alpha-hydroxy acid that promotes a smooth skin texture by gently peeling off dead skin. Yogurt is especially beneficial for sensitive skin that cannot withstand commercial alpha-hydroxy acid preparations. Used over time, it can also lighten spots and even out a patchy skin tone. Here's how to get these results for yourself: Apply plain organic yogurt like a cream to your freshly washed face. Leave on for 15 minutes, wash off with cold water, and finish with a moisturizer. Afterwards, to reduce any redness, apply a cold pack for 10 minutes.
May you Live Long, Live Strong, and Live Happy!
—Dr. Mao Shing Ni, best known as Dr. Mao is a bestselling author, doctor of Oriental Medicine and board certified anti-aging expert. He has appeared regularly on Dr. Oz, the Doctors and EXTRA. Dr. Mao practices acupuncture, nutrition and Chinese medicine with his associates at the Tao of Wellness in Santa Monica and Newport Beach. Dr. Mao and his brother, Dr. Daoshing Ni founded Tao of Wellness over 25 years ago in addition to also founding Yo San University in Marina del Rey. To subscribe to his tip-filled newsletter please visit www.taoofwellness.com. To make an appointment for evaluation and treatment please call 310-917-2200 or you can email Dr. Mao at firstname.lastname@example.org.