Tips for Healthy Glowing Skin
The skin is the largest organ in the body and acts like a mirror for our inner health. What we see on the outside is a reflection of what is happening inside. Chinese medicine considers the skin to be dominated by the lungs and large intestine. So in order to nourish the skin we also need to take care of our lungs and intestines. Emotionally and physically, the lungs, large intestines and skin take in the new and let go of the old including life experiences, emotions and actual metabolic by-products.
Breathing brings energy and moisture into the body via the lungs. The lungs nourish the skin with a mist of fluids that provides moisture, and regulates the pores and perspiration. Long, slow, deep breathing is vital for lung/skin health so it is important spend time outside surrounded by trees or by the sea to enjoy fresh, clean air. When we breath out we release what we no longer need. Relaxing breathing techniques can be extremely helpful to learn to let go.
The lung’s job is also to protect the body from bacteria and viruses so make sure to wrap up warm in windy and cold weather. Covering up takes care of your skin while conserving lung energy. A simple way to stimulate the lungs is to let go of those things you no longer need. Clear out your closets, basement, or garage and give yourself some breathing space!
The large intestine and skin also have a similar function. The skin forms a barrier to the outside world and allows certain things in and releases toxins out. The large intestine forms a barrier to protect the body from what we eat and then moves waste/toxins out. Overeating can cause a build up of toxins in the intestines, which can be reflected in the skin. Many skin problems can be related to digestive issues, constipation, bloating, and gas.
Chronic, skin issues are made worse by eating foods that cause an inflammatory state in the body. It is important to reduce or avoid these kinds of foods including; sugar, refined carbs, table salt, dairy, gluten, wheat, food additives, fried foods, meat, alcohol, and saturated fats.
To reduce levels of inflammation, aim for a healthy, plant based diet paying special attention to anti-inflammatory foods. These include; whole grains, beans, green tea, berries, turmeric, ginger, leafy greens, shiitake mushrooms, miso, sauerkraut, and pickles.
It is also important for skin health to include good quality unsaturated fats such as olive oil and nuts as they are full of antioxidants, which act as a defense against free radicals. Free radicals contribute to ageing and the loss of collagen and elasticity in the skin.
Water is super important for the skin so it is necessary to keep well hydrated. Juices, black tea and coffee don’t count as they are diuretics. Add slices of lemon, cucumber or lime to your water for a light and refreshing flavor.
A good nights sleep is vital as it is the time to nourish, repair, and rejuvenate the skin. Poor sleep is dehydrating and ageing. Often when we are tired, we tend to make poorer food choices which will affect our digestión, skin, and overall health.
One of the best ways to have radiant, silky skin and at the same time stimulate the lungs and intestines is a hot towel body rub. Using a hot, damp, cotton face cloth, briskly rub your whole body, starting at your feet and moving upwards towards the heart. This simple technique helps to clear and clean the skin, promotes regular elimination of fats and toxins, and prevents the build up of cellulite. It also helps to energize the physical and mental body, and increase blood circulation.