Winter is upon us and in Denver, that is a beautiful thing. From crisp Colorado hikes to sunny ski days, the winter season offers us so much to enjoy in this neck of the woods; yet this wintry beauty often comes at a cost to our skin.
Thankfully, at Wellnest Denver we have a few secrets up our sleeve for healthy, natural, winter skin. These simple tips (inspired by the wisdom of Chinese medicine) will help you nurture your skin through the season and start the new year with a gorgeous glow, inside and out!
6 Winter Skincare Secrets of Chinese Medicine
Winter sun can be harsh. Cold temperatures and wind quickly dry out and damage the skin’s protective layers. The stress (and indulgences) of the holidays can wreak havoc on even the most balanced skin types. The remedy? A solid winter skincare plan based on the natural beauty secrets of Chinese Medicine.
1. Fuel up on Skin Food
In both biomedicine and Chinese medicine, the old adage “you are what you eat” holds true – and our skin is no different. Nutrition plays a major role in the quality of our skin both now and in the future.
To feed your skin and your belly this holiday season, you’ll first want to avoid those classic foods that sabotage your skin. This includes greasy, heavy, overly spicy, or rich foods, as well as refined sugar, dairy, or any foods you have an intolerance to or trouble digesting. These foods overwhelm the digestive system, leading to poor gut health and inflammation that later affect the skin. The result? Dullness, irritation, and breakouts.
Dodging these foods at the holidays may feel impossible, but the key is to first fill your plate with fresh and healthy foods, then treat yourself with a smaller portion of a holiday favorite. Thankfully, there are tons of delicious seasonal winter foods that are known to offer the skin extra care and nourishment. Fill your plate with plenty of these this season:
- Dark leafy greens: It’s no secret that dark leafy greens are great for your health, but they are also skin superfoods. They detoxify the liver and help to clarify and calm inflamed clogged pores. They are also packed with antioxidants that protect the skin against the signs of aging. Try: Healthy Kale Salad with Warm Cranberry Vinaigrette.
- Berries and cherries: In Chinese medicine, foods that are deep red and purple tend to nourish and circulate the blood. Science agrees – these dark fruits have been shown to increase circulation and reduce inflammation for calm, clear skin. Dark berries, cherries, and pomegranates make a nutritious snack that help your skin glow from the inside out. Try: Pomegranate relish.
- Sweet potatoes: Sweet potatoes are a classic energy-boosting food in Chinese medicine, but they also help improve gut health and are packed with vitamin A – an essential nutrient for skin repair and anti-aging. Try: Honey Grilled Sweet Potatoes.
- Goji berries and Chinese red dates: These two foods are actually considered Chinese herbs and are known to enrich the blood and brighten the skin. Add them to oatmeal, soups, or even steep them in hot water as a daily beauty tea. Try: Vanilla Goji Berry Balls.
- Nuts and seeds: Pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, and walnuts all offer many nutrients that the skin needs to stay healthy, such as healthy fats, copper, zinc, vitamin A, C, E, and B vitamins. These maintain a strong protective barrier while also encouraging collagen production. Try: Red Pepper Walnut Muhammara Dip.
2. Make your own DIY winter face mask.
After you’ve fed your skin from within, pamper yourself by feeding your skin from the outside too. A nourishing facial mask can offer your skin the calming support it needs to stay healthy through the season. Plus, it offers you a moment of downtime and holiday self-care!
Chinese Medicine-Approved DIY Winter Skin Mask
This skin mask combines ingredients that exfoliate, moisturize, protect, and cool inflammation to help soothe stressed-out, dry winter skin.
- 1 tablespoon raw local honey
- 2 tablespoons oats (ground to a coarse powder)
- 2 teaspoons – 1 tablespoon warm almond milk
- A few drops of almond oil
Mix all ingredients together, adding the milk slowly until a smooth paste is formed. Massage gently into clean skin and rest for 10-15 minutes. Wash clean and apply your favorite natural moisturizer or a few more drops of almond oil.
3. Stay hydrated and enhance your skin with Chinese herbal teas.
Staying hydrated is one of the easiest ways you can care for your skin (and body) all year long. But with Chinese medicine, you can go even further with your healthy hydration by taking a personalized herbal formula or making your own natural elixir to sip throughout the day.
Here are a few easy teas you can make at home to improve your winter skin:
- Goji and red date: Steep 5-10 dried goji berries and 2 Chinese red dates in hot water and drink as tea. These two herbs nourish the skin and prevent dryness.
- Peppermint and licorice tea: This combination is a simple remedy for hectic holiday stress and the breakouts, dark circles, and frown lines that follow. Make teatime a moment of beauty rest and relaxation.
- Cinnamon, fennel, and fresh ginger: This blend of herbs works to stimulate healthy digestion and boost gut health to improve skin clarity and circulation from the inside out.
For a more targeted herbal formula, contact us to learn more about our customized herbal formulas.
4. Enjoy the benefits of facial rejuvenation acupuncture.
The secret to youthful skin in any season? An anti-aging, stress-reducing acupuncture facial! Cosmetic acupuncture is a natural way to enhance the quality of your skin while also giving your entire body a healthy boost. During winter, facial acupuncture can soothe even the more stubborn skin conditions. Here are a few of the benefits of starting a facial acupuncture program:
- Improves circulation for glowing skin
- Boosts collagen to fill in fine lines and wrinkles
- Reduces signs of fatigue, such as dark circles
- Tightens pores and tones the skin
- Lifts areas of skin sagging
- Balances oily/dry skin
- Reduces stress
5. Try face yoga.
To get even better results from your facial acupuncture treatments, try adding face yoga to your daily routine. Face yoga is a well-kept secret that is becoming more and more popular in the natural beauty circuit.
The idea is simple: just as we can tone and tighten our body with targeted exercises, we can do the same for the muscles of our face to improve our overall look. Face yoga exercises activate and tone areas like the forehead and neck while plumping and strengthening other areas, like the cheeks and jaw.
6. Make meditation a habit.
Meditation is known for relieving stress and anxiety, but what does it have to do with skincare? While it may seem unrelated, meditation is one of the easiest ways you can care for your skin on a daily basis. Here’s why:
- Meditation reduces stress and worry, which leads to less frowning and furrowed brows.
- Meditation lowers cortisol levels, which in turn reduces oxidative stress on the body (and the skin).
- Meditation encourages deep breathing, which promotes healthy blood circulation and oxygenation to the skin.
- Meditation may reduce cellular aging and improve longevity.
Winter Skincare Made Easy
Each season comes with its own challenges for maintaining healthy, youthful skin. But, with the guiding support of Chinese medicine and smart skincare habits, we are well-prepared to handle anything the season throws our way!
Wellnest Denver is Denver’s most trusted source for cosmetic acupuncture, facial gua sha, and holistic beauty treatment plans. Book your visit today and start on the path to healthier and younger-looking skin!