By Kate Downes, LAc TCM Practitioner
Dewy skin is in. But what if your skin is parched and patchy, no matter how much lotion you lather on?
If you’re struggling to get rid of dry patches, flaking, or irritated skin, there could be more going on beneath the surface. Thankfully, Traditional Chinese Medicine can help us understand why our skin gets dry and how to naturally hydrate it from the inside out.
What Causes Dry Skin from a TCM Point of View?
In Chinese medicine, there is rarely just one root cause for a condition. Instead, we see a variety of potential patterns of imbalances that could all lead to the same main issue. That’s why it's essential to look at the whole body to determine what’s really going on underneath the surface!
The same goes for skin conditions like dry skin, patches, and flakes. Here are three main reasons why you might be experiencing dry skin patches:
💨 Environmental wind and dryness.
Particularly windy times of year (like fall) or dry locations (like the Southwest) tend to make usually healthy skin irritated and itchy. Even your home “environment” can dry up your skin’s natural moisture if you use central heating, space heaters, or fans.
Dry skin due to the environment can happen to anyone, but especially those with sensitive skin. Protect your skin by covering up when you go outside and layering on the hydrating serums!
🔥 Too much heat (yang).
If you’re someone who “runs hot,” all that extra heat could be causing your dry skin. Dry skin conditions caused by excess heat tend to be angry, warm to the touch, itchy, and may even bleed.
In addition to hydrating your skin, you’ll also want to balance that heat with coolness. Eat more cooling foods (like apples, cucumbers, and green tea), stay hydrated, and take time to “chill out” with meditation.
💧 Not enough moisture (yin and blood).
There are two types of heat in Chinese medicine: excess heat (above) and deficiency heat. With deficiency heat, the natural levels of yang are normal, but there isn’t enough cooling yin to balance them out, and dryness results.
Those with a yin-deficient type of dry skin need to pay particular attention to rehydrating the skin from the inside and outside with nourishing ingredients and tonics. Try herbal medicines, tonic teas, healing foods, and supportive topical products.
3 TCM Tips for Naturally Nourished Skin
1. Nourish your skin through food.
Diet plays a major role in TCM therapeutics, especially for skin conditions. When it comes to dry skin, balance and nourishment are key. Eat more fresh foods with high water and fiber content. Try to eat a rainbow of fruit and veggies to get the wide range of vitamins and minerals your skin needs to repair itself.
Lastly, remember this: healthy fats are friends, not foes! The skin needs water and fat to stay nourished, so enjoy foods with omega-3 fatty acids like avocados, salmon, nuts, and seeds.
2. Sip smart.
Staying hydrated is key to healing and preventing dry skin. And what you drink matters. Avoid hot, acrid, or bitter drinks like coffee or alcohol, as these can drain more water from your system and make dry skin patches worse.
Instead, opt for yin-nourishing drinks like fresh juices (pomegranate and carrot are great for skin), herbal teas for beauty, or plain water.
3. Get moving.
Poor circulation can throw a wrench in any health condition - even dry skin. Chinese medicine practitioners recommend daily exercise or therapies like massage and acupuncture to keep your blood moving and skin nourished.
Just don’t get carried away; sweating too much can deplete your fluids and make dry skin issues worse. Aim for moderate-intensity workouts 2-3 times a week, and fill in the other days with low-intensity exercises that encourage healthy circulation (like walking, yoga, or tai chi).
Say Goodbye to Dry Skin: Our Best Products for Dry Skin Patches
At Pink Moon, we carry tons of natural, ethical products that heal your skin from the outside while you work on the inside. Here are just a few of our favorites:
A sumptuous, restorative face cream with a unique rich cream-gel texture. It soothes, boosts radiance, firms, and provides deep hydration, thanks to a skin barrier-nourishing complex of active ingredients. Especially designed for dry, mature, and/or sensitive complexions.
Pink Moon Lunar Rose Mist
Like a tall glass of water for your skin, this mist essence softens skin, brightens complexion, encourages skin regeneration, and leaves skin with a luminous and healthy glow. It’s the perfect traveling companion, whether you’re in the office or on a plane.
Scorpio Hydrating Serum Essence
A hydrating multi-tasking serum essence, this vitamin for the skin deeply nourishes and softens skin while protecting its barrier.
Need help finding the perfect product for you? Contact us to get a personalized recommendation!