[Part 2] Other than following the basic skincare routine, what else must we do to achieve this look and how does TCM help us achieve Korean Glass Skin?
Not much has been mentioned on what else one must do. But in fact, this is the most important part. If your diet and nutrition is lacking in nutrients and does not support our skin metabolism and regeneration, no amount of skincare will suffice. We must provide our body and skin with the building blocks to rebuild and repair our skin. A well-balanced diet with lots of vitamins and minerals is crucial. To repair and build our skin, we need essential proteins and lipids. Collagen regeneration needs lots of amino acids that are found in our diet and cannot be absorbed optimally through skincare. If we neglect our diet or don’t drink enough water, our skin will be dull, dehydrated and metabolism will be slow. Without enough water, our skin cannot remove the metabolic waste products effectively and these will accumulate and lack of Vitamins A, B and C and proteins in our diet will also lead to formation of dark spots.
In TCM, our skin health is closely related to the function of our organs. If our liver, heart or lungs are not functioning optimally it will reflect on our skin.
Our heart is responsible, along with our Liver, for controlling blood circulation. Blood moistens and nourishes our entire body including our skin. Our heart controls the blood and blood vessels. When our heart is healthy, it pumps blood vigorously through the vessels to all parts of our body, nourishing our organs and maintaining function and vitality. Hence a deficiency in heart function can appear as pale complexion, cold hands and feet. Therefore, heart health is crucial if we want to maintain our beauty according to TCM, when our heart is strong and possesses sufficient blood, our complexion is rosy, and we look robust and healthy. When the heart blood is deficient or lacking, we will look pale and unhealthy. If our heart yang or qi is deficient, our complexion may appear dull & bluish, especially in the lips. A pale complexion can indicate insufficient blood, and an overly red face can signal excessive heat. Having glass skin means having healthy radiant glowing skin which is not possible without a healthy heart and liver.
In TCM, our lungs are connected with our skin and body hair. Our skin and hair get their nourishment through the lungs’ regulation of fluids and Qi. Hence the health of our lungs is reflected in the appearance of the skin. For example, dry skin may imply that Lungs Qi and Yin are inadequate to nourish the skin surface or the appearance of acne may be attributed to heatiness in the lungs. You may have noticed that people with weak lung functions or nose allergies or asthma also tend to have dry, itchy skin or have sensitive and eczema-prone skin. When Lung Qi is deficient, our hair does not get enough nourishment and becomes dry and brittle. In TCM, excessive intake of certain foods such as black sesame, animal organs and coffee may also lead to hyperpigmentation.
The Koreans also take a lot of pride in their food. They do eat a lot of nourishing foods such as TCM herbs such as Ginseng, herbal soups, nourishing drinks and tonics. I’m sure nutrition plays a crucial role in achieving this glass skin look.
Depending on your body constitution and individual needs, ensure your diet and nutrition is balanced and adequate. Once our body is healthy, our skin will be healthy and radiant and glowing from within.
Next up - Lifestyle habits!
Is it possible to achieve glowing skin when I have only slept 4 hours, drank lots of coffee or if I smoked and drank lots of alcohol the day before? I don’t think so!
That’s a bit exaggerating putting all the factors together but its really not that uncommon. Most people don’t get enough sleep nowadays and we are easily distracted with so many devices and not to mention the latest K-dramas! Sleeping before 11pm and getting enough sleep is crucial to allow the body to rest and start regeneration and rebuilding process.
Coffee/Tea are stimulants and diuretics and they interfere with our normal body functions, so its best to avoid them particularly before bedtime. Smoking increases the speed of aging as it increases formation of free-radicals, so it is best to stop smoking to benefit your skin. Alcohol dehydrates our skin and you may notice that your skin is usually very dehydrated the next morning after you have drank alcohol the night before. Replenish your fluids by drinking lots of water to flush out the alcohol and rehydrate our body and skin.
Exercise plays an important role to get our Qi flowing and blood pumping to all our tissues and cells especially to our skin. Qi is the energy that flows within us. The flow of Qi drives all our body functions: blood circulation, metabolism, exchange of energy, absorption of nutrients and basically life itself. Without Qi, there is no movement and hence life ceases. It is commonly said: when Qi is abundant & flowing freely – one will not fall sick. Only with abundant Qi can a woman stay healthy, youthful and beautiful, like a flower in bloom.
Achieving the Glass Skin is possible without makeup and camera filters! We have to approach it from a 3D point of view. With a healthy lifestyle, well balanced diet and following the skincare regime in Part 1, we will be able to achieve the Glass Skin in no time!