Eastern medicine and your skin

The health-care practices in Asia have existed for centuries and are still a guiding principle for many medicinal disciplines, including the care of the skin.  Modern western dermatology has made many advances and is the right solo choice for many cures but understanding how body types vary through the principles of Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine allows practitioners to customize treatment of skin malfunction.

Using a holistic approach to skincare—understanding how an individual body is bio-chemically functioning—is key to remediating conditions such as acne or eczema or aging skin.  Some people are naturally warm bodied, some people are naturally cool, some people perspire a lot, some people never sweat; all of these distinctions are addressed in eastern medicine.  Therefore when prescribing skincare products, it is important to know that key ingredients also carry their own unique properties such as warming or cooling which will enhance or complicate the natural functions of the skin.  This is why one acne treatment may work for one person and not another, and why trendy remedies don’t always work.

Along with understanding the natural tendencies of an individual’s skin, it is important to understand how environment and life style can alter these for the good or for the detriment.  A naturally reddened skin can become chronically infected when exposed to constant adrenaline surges and heat.  Cool, thin skin can become brittle and wrinkle if one eats primarily salads while under moisturizing.  A naturally tight complexion can become angry and red in frigid weather just like an oily red skin type can become calmed down in the same weather.  This is why as a skincare practitioner I constantly am reminding people for the need to update & swap out their skin care routine at the change of the weather.  This is not so much an issue in temperate climates like California, but in areas with a distinct four seasons it is crucial.

As a general guide, here are a few active ingredients and their properties.  But please NOTE: none of these ingredients are a cure applied directly on their own!  With some exception, they MUST be combined into a product suspended within other ingredients that allow the benefits to be absorbed.  And conversely, a synergy may be achieved when a formulator is blending counter intuitive ingredients. Consulting with a skincare professional is always best when attempting to improve your skin.

Good for dry, tight, lack-luster skin Good for dry,  flakey easily reddened skin Good for moist, even skin toned skin Good for moist, reddened acne and/or peeling skin
Acid, AHA glycolic

X

X

Acid, AHA lactic

X

X

Acid, AHA tartaric

X

X

Acid, BHA salicylic

X

Actives, alpha lipoic acid

X

X

Actives, amino acids

X

X

Actives, ceramides

X

X

Actives, glutathione

X

X

X

X

Actives, L-carnitine

X

X

Actives, peptides

X

X

X

X

Actives, resveratol

X

X

Botanical, aloe vera

X

X

X

X

Botanical, kelp/seaweed/algae

X

X

X

Botanical, pumpkin

X

X

Botanical, quince extract

X

X

X

X

Oil-like, fractionated coconut, triglyceride

X

X

X

Oil-like, squalene from olives

X

X

X

X

Oil, Almond

X

X

X

Oil, Argan

X

X

Oil, castor

X

X

Oil, Coconut

X

X

Oil, fruit seed

X

X

X

Oil, Jojoba

X

X

Oil, olive

X

X

Oil, Rosehip

X

X

X

X

Oil, Sesame

X

X

Oil, shea butter

X

X

Oil, shea oil

X

X

Vitamin A, retinol, RetinA™

X

Vitamin B3, Niacinamide

X

X

X

X

Vitamin B5, Panthenol

X

X

X

X

Vitamin C, fat soluble

X

X

X

Vitamin C, water soluble

X

X

X

Vitamin E, all forms

X

X

X

Vitamin, co enzyme Q10

X

X

X

X

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