Fall into Wellness: TCM Tips to Transition Your Self-Care Ritual for Autumn
By Kate Downes, LAc TCM Practitioner
Taking great care of your skin in fall goes beyond switching to a heavier moisturizer.
From changes in weather to changes in mood, autumn is a particularly important seasonal transition for your skin, body, and mind. This is a pivotal time of year, as we move from the hot, active, and vibrant yang energy to cool, quiet, and internal yin energy.
So, is your skin ready for fall? Find out how you can use Chinese medicine and other natural beauty tips to put your best face forward this autumn!
Fall and Traditional Chinese Medicine
According to Chinese medicine practitioners, living in tune with the seasons is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. To do that, we need to understand the subtle shifts of each season so we can adapt our daily habits to stay in balance.
In Chinese medicine, each season is linked with an element that represents the energy, organ systems, and emotions tied to that season. In fall, we are in the metal season.
Like metal itself, the metal season is cool, dry, and orderly. It encourages us to move inward and focus on what we deeply need. If you’re feeling a little more introverted, nostalgic, or melancholic, that’s normal! Those feelings are linked to autumn metal energy.
The organs of fall are the Lungs and Large Intestine. These organs help us take in the outer world (through the breath) and release what no longer serves us (through waste elimination). During fall, the Lungs and Large Intestine need extra care, as they can become more stressed than usual. Look out for issues like...
- Colds and flu
- Sore throat
- Nasal congestion
- Dry skin
- Increases in skin conditions like hives, eczema, psoriasis
- Melancholy and depression
6 Self-Care Habits for Gorgeous Skin in Fall
Use these tips to help you make the transition into fall as smooth as possible (and feel healthier and more vibrant come winter!).
1. Exfoliate, moisturize, repeat.
In most places, autumn is dry. Cooler temperatures, wind, and dry air leave skin feeling rough, dull, and even irritated. To keep your skin happy all autumn long, focus your skincare routine on hydration.
First, exfoliate dead cells away to reveal brighter, glowing skin beneath the surface. We love Malaya Organics Herbal Facial Polish because it cleanses, exfoliates, and nourishes at the same time. Instead of harsh exfoliants, Malaya Organics uses soothing oat and rice powder to polish away grime and dull skin while leaving the skin smooth and soft.
After exfoliating, replenish your skin with a nourishing serum like YINA’s Nourish Botanical Serum with Rhodiola + Bakuchiol. This serum is powered by phytonutrient-rich adaptogens and botanicals that deeply nourish and hydrate the skin and protect it from autumn’s driest weather.
2. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
While we’re talking about hydrating the skin, let’s not forget to stay hydrated within, too! Dehydration will quickly leave you with lackluster skin - not to mention breakouts, inflammation, brain fog, and a host of other health issues.
Stay hydrated all autumn long with plenty of fresh water and nourishing herbal teas. Earthwise Beauty’s Chrysanthemum tea is perfect for those who tend to get seasonal allergies or dry skin. Their Beauty Hibiscus tea is the ideal daily sip if you want to improve your circulation, clear breakouts, or give your skin a healthy glow.
If you’re a coffee-lover, consider this: coffee is fairly dehydrating and acidic, which causes trouble in the dry fall seasons. While a coffee here or there probably won’t wreck your skin, regularly drinking cup after cup will leave you with dry, congested skin (plus increased stress, anxiety, jitters, and digestive issues).
Make the switch to a morning cuppa that’s just as energizing with none of the downsides of coffee. Five Seasons TCM Better Than Coffee Culinary TCM Tonic Bags helps you wake up with natural energy that supports you mentally, emotionally, and physically. Unlike coffee, this blend of Chinese tonic herbs will even help you become more naturally energized and resilient over time.
3. Clean out your beauty cabinet.
No beauty product lasts forever. While you should use most products within a year, some natural products may have a shorter shelf life because they aren’t made with conventional preservatives.
Now is the perfect time to do a thorough clean-out of all your makeup, skincare, and hair care products. Toss (or recycle) anything that is older than one year, looks discolored, has a strange smell, includes ingredients you want to avoid, or that you simply don’t like anymore.
Here comes the fun part: make smart replacements. At Pink Moon, we only carry self-care products that are ethically made, female-founded, and good for you and the environment. Find better-for-you alternatives curated for you with our skincare quiz, or make space in your cabinet with our favorite beauty multitaskers.
4. Practice breathing exercises.
In Chinese medicine, the Lung system is closely connected to the skin. Unfortunately, autumn tends to be hard on the Lungs as they combat dryness, allergens, and seasonal illnesses. And when the Lungs are stressed, the skin gets stressed, too.
For an even more revitalizing experience, use Relato Nativo Grounding Blend during your breathing and meditation practices. This aromatherapeutic body oil instantly promotes peace and relaxation with grounding scents like cypress, ho wood, spruce, and blue tansy.
5. Clear blockages and breakouts with a belly massage.
Gut trouble almost always leads to skin trouble. Use the fall season to address an often forgotten part of a holistic skincare routine: healthy elimination.
If you regularly struggle with breakouts, redness, or dry patches, your gut could be crying out for help. Bloating, constipation or irregular bowel movements are signs that your Large Intestine system is imbalanced. Without regular elimination, toxins and waste build up in your system and try to escape through the skin.
Because the fall season pertains to the Large Intestine, now is a great time to give your gut a reset. Fill up on high-fiber, plant-based foods and consider taking a probiotic. Then, practice a daily belly massage (like this one) to encourage healthy circulation and regular elimination.
6. Release the old, make way for the new.
Fall is the season of letting go. Just as the trees lose their leaves to reserve energy for the winter, we too can let go of anything that’s weighing us down or robbing us of the focus and energy we need to thrive.
That goes for outdated beauty products, the too-small sweater you’ve been holding on to, commitments you no longer enjoy, grudges, self-judgment, and even toxic relationships.
If you’re ready to release but feeling stuck, try a small decluttering session. Sorting through a messy cabinet, old papers, or a forgotten bookshelf and clearing it out is a great way to tap into your metal energy. Decluttering itself has stress-relieving effects, plus it will put you in the right mindset to let go of other more substantial things.
Once finished, pause for a big deep breath and a moment of gratitude. On to better things!
Embrace the Beauty of Fall
There is so much to enjoy about fall - the crisp air, the colors, the coziness. But what makes fall most enjoyable is feeling happy and healthy in your own skin. To do that, you need a self-care routine that fits your lifestyle, balances fall’s dryness, and helps you feel at peace.
Ready to transition your self-care routine to embrace all that fall has to offer? Find your new fall favorites here!