Easy beauty resolutions inspired by the traditional Chinese lifestyle
By JOHN LEGASPI
There is a legend about four beautiful Chinese maidens. Xi Shi is said to have a beauty entrancing enough that it would make fishes forget how to swim. Wang Zhaojun has an appearance that would make birds stop and fall from the sky. The third one, Diaochan, has luminous beauty that eclipses the moon’s shine at night time. Last among them is Yang Guifei with a face that would put all flowers to shame. Just like in feng shui, ancient Chinese ways of beauty are grounded with elements – be it earth, water, wood, fire, or metal.
As feng shui expert Patrick Rey Lim Fernandez would say, “Feng shui is holistic. It doesn’t just look at one aspect of your career or your relationships. It looks at everything: your surroundings, your house, your office, and your relationships with your colleagues, your parents, with your children, and with yourself.”
China has a long history of using natural elements in improving people’s beauty and wellbeing, probably as old as the art of geomancy. Long before the Koreans’ pursuit for glass skin with the help from ingredients in Jeju Island, and the Thais producing and using snail mucin-infused products, the Chinese have had holistic and natural ways of skincare, which are worth revisiting these days.
A form of alternative medicine, acupuncture is a component of traditional Chinese medicine dating back to the Ming Dynasty (c. 1368 to 1644). The process involves the use of hair-thin needles puncturing the body’s acupoints, restoring the energy flow of the body. It also helps detoxify the skin, improve its natural production of collagen, and even out scars.
LIFT WITH JADE ROLLERS
An it-tool for facial lifting, jade rollers originated from China due to its massage tradition. Jade is a precious stone commonly used in feng shui. It is said to have healing and protective powers and promotes balance, wisdom, and peace. As a tool for beauty, jade rollers reduce inflammatory and produce a cooling sensation when swiped to the face.
HAVE FUN WITH MUNG BEANS
A staple in Chinese kitchens, mung beans are used for dishes such as noodles, congee, and even cakes. Mung beans are packed with nutrients, and can help neutralize free radicals. It is also rich with antioxidants and phytonutrients, making it a good ingredient to use for face masks and other beauty products.
HAVE A CUP OF TEA
The history of herbal tea in Asia dates back to 59 B.C. in China. Although it started as a medicinal drink, tea slowly became a recreational beverage of the nation and its neighboring countries. Green tea, in particular, helps the skin in many ways. Having a brewed cup of green tea can spare the skin from premature aging, UV damages, redness, and irritation. It also fights off bacteria that could lead to acne breakouts.
SPICE IT WITH TURMERIC
Turmeric, or jiang huang in Chinese, is a yellow root that is rich with curcumin, a potent antioxidant. It is used in Chinese medicine to aid arthritis, chronic pain, and ulcerative colitis. Apart from its medicinal benefits, turmeric also has beautifying effects. The root crop soothes dry skin, protects it from sun damage and aging, fights off acne, and reduces the appearance of stretch marks.
WASH WITH RICE WATER
The perfect side dish of many Asian dishes, rice gives more than just to satisfy hunger. Chinese owe their fair-looking skin and healthy tresses to the milky white rice water. Ditch off those bottles of mineral water – rice water is the perfect facial cleanser because it relieves acne and dermatitis, and minimizes free radicals. It is also a good hair conditioner as it softens the hair and promotes healthy growth.
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