In Chinese Medicine, the organs that are associated to the condition of the skin are most related to the lungs and the large intestine. The skin is the body’s largest organ, and plays a critical role in eliminating toxins and waste in the body through sweating.
While some foods can help treat a skin condition, not all foods act the same way for everyone. Your body is in a different state than the next person. For example, pineapple. Which restores moisture to the body, and hydrates dry rough skin, is too acidic for someone who has a lot of acne.
How does TCM categorize skin types and Chinese Medicine-inspired DIY Masks for your skin type:
1. Normal: signs of wonderful energy balance results in skin that is neither too dry or too oily, neither too sensitive or too rough.
Honey-Apricot mask:This neutral mask will hydrate and soften your skin. Pro-tip: triple this recipe and use this all over your body!
Chamomile Chrysanthemum Mask
3. Dry: the best way to balance your dry skin is with the right foods. Healthy ingredients such as adzuki beans, papaya, black sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and ginger are all great ways to hydrate the skin internally.
Star-Fruit Hydration Mask
4. Combo: That T-zone oil is a great indicator your body is out of balance. Opt to nourish yin and neutral foods to help purify and detox the body. Opt for more spinach, lettuce, honey, celery, and fresh corn.
Raw Honey Mask
*Raw Honey is extremely important because the propolis in honey acts as a free-radical neutralizer. It delivers vitamins of C, B, and E. The honey stricks the skin into minimizing the overproduction of oils and sooths both the oily and dry parts of your skin
5. Acne: overactive glands is usually seen in the high yang (hot-energy) of our bodies, especially during our teen years. Beyond this, living a stress-intense life, hormonal imbalances and clogged pores can also cause acne. Regardless of your age, if you have this skin type, you should avoid spicy and fried foods.
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My earliest memories of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) began in the living room of my childhood home, where my dad, Dr. Sun, held his first Acupuncture space. At a young age, I saw the myriad of herbs he would pull together for his patients. Our basement was an apothecary, our kitchen filled with my pieces from my Operator set, and the living room served patients. After immigrating to New York City from Shanghai in the 1970s, my parents, like many other immigrants of New York, left everything they ever knew, to build a brand new life from scratch.
As a first generation American-born-Chinese kid growing up in NYC, it was hard to understand why my parents didn't pack me Capri-suns and Fig Newtons in my lunchbox. Instead of letting me wear short-shorts and slurp Ralph's Italian ices all Summer long, I was taught to always drinking warm water no matter what, make sure my feet were never freezing cold, and to listen to my body and treat it well.
While having practiced Chinese Medicine for a lifetime with my dad, it wasn't until a few years ago that I truly started to feel like I wanted to step into this world and be a champion of this beautiful, complex, and deeply connected world of ancient healing and wisdom. My friends and family were all beginning to seek holistic and alternative forms of health, and they would come to me and I would send them to my dad.
My turning point came when I saw the wellness industry seem to explode with all sorts of Qi Balancing, Yin Boosting, He Shou Wu touting products for this-that-and the other. Appalled by the lack of direction consumers face today in navigating "what wellness products should I take and why", I felt the need to step up and bring clear and medically supported guidance in navigating the natural way to being well.
I am making a step towards building a lineage of Traditional Healers and continuing the legacy that my dad, Dr. Sun, has created. This is inspired by a life long learning of my own culture and heritage that came thousands of years before me. And together we will learn, appreciate, and share the wisdom of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Welcome to a world of inspiration: here to teach you how to listen to your body, feed it what it needs, and give you the tools to understand how to rebalance the yin to your yang with everyday foods.
Modern Chinese Wellness, from my family to yours.
- Jennifer Sun