Ancient beauty secrets - 5 TCM beauty tips that will have people asking, ‘what’s your secret?’
- In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), beauty is not skin-deep. Having strong, healthy hair and skin is tied to pillars of traditional Chinese medicine including qi, yin and yang, and the Chinese five elements theory.
- The Chinese medicine five elements theory classifies your body constitution as one of the five elements. Each element is connected to a specific organ and can be used to identify the internal root cause of different skin concerns.
- While hair loss can be caused by many things, in TCM, one of the fundamentals of hair health is a healthy scalp and good blood flow. This can be achieved using specific herbs, as well as taking time to help the blood flow to the scalp through massage.
The best beauty secrets are those that recognise that beauty starts from within (but there’s also plenty you can do externally for an extra beauty boost!). Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) sees the typical hallmarks of beauty - hair, skin and nails - as signifiers of inner health and vitality.
That’s right - healthy hair, skin and strong nails are all symbols of beauty that have always been on trend. If you’re struggling with the health or strength of your hair, skin, or nails , TCM has some of the best beauty tips around.
Keep reading for our top TCM beauty secrets - no expensive serums, creams or procedures required.
TCM and hair loss
Hair is only as healthy as the scalp and the blood flow to the scalp. Healthy hair doesn’t just require good nutrition, but also good blood flow to get the nutrients to the follicles. If your circulation and blood flow to the scalp is poor, then your hair can’t get the nutrients it needs.
On the other hand, TCM takes this process a step further, according to TCM an excess of heat in the blood can lead to imbalances in the body. In relation to hair, excess heat in the blood may contribute to your hair hassles.
Fusion Hair Tonic has been designed with this in mind. Biota is a primary herb in this formula traditionally used in Chinese medicine to reduce hair loss, improve hair growth, and cool blood heat to maintain healthy hair follicles. Dong quai is also traditionally used as a blood tonic to improve the overall health of the hair and relieve an itchy scalp in TCM.
The 5 TCM elements and skin health
In TCM there are five elements - water, wood, fire, earth and metal. They each have an intrinsic connection to our emotional and physical health and although one may become dominant, they can also change many times over a lifetime.
When it comes to skin health, the five elements in TCM all help to explain the skin’s important connection to other organs of the body:
Skin is connected to the element of metal. Metal is also the element connected to the intestines, which when not eliminating waste effectively, can result in toxins remaining in the body. When this happens, the skin (also a major organ of detoxification) becomes the channel for these toxins to move out.
The water element is connected to the kidneys and bladder. These organs also aid in the detoxification process and support hydration. Water is also an essential element for skin health - hydrated skin is healthy skin, not to mention water is also required to “flush out” toxins.
The fire element corresponds with the cardiovascular system (including blood flow) and the nervous system. Heat is one of the main things to consider when it comes to the fire element, too much heat is considered a major trigger for mild eczema in TCM.
Wood rules the liver and gallbladder. Both organs are vital to digestion, nutrient absorption, and detoxification. The liver is both the ‘storehouse’ for blood and is also required for the healthy metabolism of sex hormones like oestrogen and progesterone. When the liver qi is stagnant or sluggish, this can lead to hormonal skin conditions such as congested skin.
The element of earth is connected to the digestive system, which is essential for skin health in a number of ways. For example, skin cell health relies on a healthy diet - but your skin is only as healthy as what you absorb.
The digestive system plays an integral part in making sure that foods are broken down and that the nutrients are taken by the blood to where they need to go, including the skin. Poor digestion can result in dull, tired-looking skin.
Take our quiz to find out which of the Chinese five elements you are and learn more about how they influence your health.
Did you know that the all-important TCM concept of yin and yang energies also applies to the health of your hair, skin and nails? Learn all about the yin and yang of beauty here. Still not sure if you’re more yin or yang? Check out our quiz - Are you more yin or yang?
Chinese medicine beauty secrets
Try adding one (or all!) of these to your beauty routine and enjoy the benefits of healthier hair, skin and nails:
1. Healthy blood flow for strong, shiny hair
As we know, blood flow is essential to growing strong, healthy hair. Increase circulation to the scalp through daily scalp massage. Take some extra time in the shower or at the end of the day for five minutes of stimulating the scalp.
Using the tips of your fingers, start at the hairline and apply as much pressure as you prefer. Make small, circular motions with the hands, moving towards the crown of the head, then down to the nape of the neck. Move in a continuous motion, taking extra time in any sore, tense spots you find.
Try adding a few drops of a stimulating essential oil such as rosemary or peppermint to a carrier oil like jojoba or coconut for extra circulation-boosting benefits.
2. Beauty from within
Specific herbs and nutrients support healthy hair, skin and nails and boost blood flow. Fusion Hair, Skin & Nails contains the herb dong quai, traditionally used in TCM to enhance blood health and in turn, the health of the hair, skin and nails, along with the nutrient biotin to reduce hair loss when dietary intake is inadequate and support hair health. Fusion Hair Skin & Nails also contains the mineral zinc to support healthy hair, skin and nails.
3. Gua sha for glowing skin
This TCM practice has become a popular beauty hack in recent years - and for good reason! Gua sha is a cleverly designed stone tool traditionally using jade stone for its healing and cooling properties.
When used correctly, gua sha helps to reduce stagnation - moving blood and lymphatic fluid. Regular use can even help to relieve muscle tension and reduce puffiness, fine lines and wrinkles, leaving the skin glowing.
Check out this super helpful video on how to use your gua sha correctly.
4. Facial acupuncture and acupressure
The practice of using acupoints on the face is as old as TCM itself, but it’s also the new beauty treatment on the block.
What’s the difference between acupuncture and acupressure? While acupuncture uses very fine needles and punctures the skin, acupressure doesn’t break the skin and relies only on applying pressure either with fingers or a blunt tool (like a gua sha stone!) to work.
Sure, botox gives instant smoothness, but its effects fade quickly. Facial (or ‘cosmetic’) acupuncture or acupressure, on the other hand, works to rejuvenate tired, dehydrated skin by moving lymphatics and circulation. This helps to deliver skin-loving nutrients and oxygen to the surface. As a bonus, it’s relaxing, effective and all-natural.
For a quick, cost-effective (i.e. free) beauty pick-me-up, check out this video on how to give yourself facial acupressure.
5. Snack on red dates and goji berries
Along with other foods like green tea, cacao, blueberries, broccoli and beetroot, red dates and goji berries are extremely high in antioxidants and vitamin C that help to protect the skin from free radical damage and boost collagen production.
Red dates and goji berries are two of the most important fruits in TCM due to their ability to balance yin and yang and support glowing, healthy skin and hair thanks to their high antioxidant levels, including vitamin C.
For more information on preventing hair loss the TCM way, click here.