An old Chinese saying:
At the age of 40, the mind shows on the face. Every beautiful line on the face tells a story. This idea gives rise to the ancient art of Chinese facial diagnosis, which gives insight into the health of the entire body. Cultivating calmness, love, and gratitude are sure ways to maintain a fresh and youthful look and a balanced state of mind.
For centuries, the Asian approach to beautiful skin and hair relied on nature's own pharmacopoeia to produce results. Today, the simple and natural use of plant and herbal extracts continues to be the foundation of Asian-inspired beauty products.
The icon of Eastern philosophy, the circle of yin and yang, symbolizes the holistic approach to well-being, encompassing the body, mind, and spirit. When all three are in balance, a person is healthy on the inside and out.
"When the body is healthy, there is a fullness of energy, called qi, (pronounced ‘chee') and blood; as the body ages the fullness declines, leading to dryness, wrinkles, and sagging skin, and dark, puffy, undereye circles," explains Robin Tiberi, DAOM (doctor of acupuncture and oriental medicine).
"The focus of Asian herbal medicine is to revitalize and bank qi and blood as a form of prevention," says Tiberi. "Specific ingredients that not only build qi, but also help improve wrinkles, vitalize the complexion, and lift the qi to the face are Panax ginseng and Radix astragali. Herbs that replenish the blood, such as longan and lycii, can also moisten and refresh the skin. Other ingredients that are usually included in secret herbal formulas are both powdered pearl and mother of pearl."
More Asian-Inspired Ingredients
Look for the following skin-nourishing nutrients in beauty products:
- Soy, which provides natural antioxidant and moisture-loss protection, helps hydrate and replenish amino acids, enhances smoothness, and helps refine skin texture. Scientists have shown soy's ability to help reduce age spots and ultraviolet ray damage, as well as to smooth and moisturize skin.
- Green and white teas are both powerful antioxidants that help neutralize free radicals before they can erode skin's texture, firmness, color, or softness.
- Rice strengthens hair, expanding the diameter of the hair shaft to create fuller, thicker- looking hair.
- Emblica, which is from a medicinal plant used in Ayurvedic medicine, is a natural lightening agent that helps lighten shadows and dark circles, and has been shown to soften age signs, deep wrinkles, and lines.
Peter Lamas includes a variety of Asian ingredients in his Lamas Beauty product line. "Unlike other herbs found in other parts of the world, I find Asian ingredients to be more medicinal than those that are just soothing, balancing, and hydrating, such as shea butter, aloe vera, and lavender," says Lamas. "The Asian ingredients truly act as antioxidants, which aid in elasticity and antiaging, and lend to the cell's protection."
Product Examples (below, left to right):
Nourish and protect your skin with JASON Tea Time Anti-Aging Moisturizing Crème, which is enriched with green tea and ginseng root extract, as well as vitamins A, C, and E and essential oils to provide moisture retention.
Revitalize undernourished skin with Derma-e Ginseng and Ester-C Firming Crème. Ginseng works like a skin tonic to rejuvenate dull, tired skin, while vitamin C adds antioxidant protection and helps repair elastin and collagen fibers.
Refine your complexion with ZIA Skin Basics Bamboo Exfoliant with Rice Bran. Bamboo extract gently removes dead surface cells without overdrying or damaging skin, while rice bran oil stimulates cellular turnover, leaving skin smooth and radiant.
Indulge in the ritual of bathing, or what the Japanese call "mindful soaking," with EO Hinoki & Ginger Bath Salts. Hinoki essential oil is believed to calm tension, relieve stress, soothe skin irritations, and act as a decongestant. Ginger helps combat fatigue, colds and flu, muscle aches, and poor circulation.
Keep your skin youthfully supple with Lamas Beauty Chinese Herb Body Lotion. Its blend of age-old therapeutic Chinese herbs includes soy, which provides moisture-loss protection, and green tea, which neutralizes free radicals, preventing the erosion of skin's texture, firmness, color, and softness. Smooth it on and its silky feeling lasts all day.