Everyone has heard of K-Beauty – Korea’s ritualistic skincare regimens that have become popular worldwide – but what about C-Beauty? With more than 2,500 years of traditional medicine, Chinese culture has plenty of natural beauty secrets. Here are six China-inspired tips to restore your yin and yang balance.
1. Rice Water Ice Cubes
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Rice water is said to have the ability to eliminate dirt and oil on the skin, and some people use it to treat and prevent acne outbreaks. A perfect skin-toning agent, rice water ice cubes can be made easily at home to give your skin a refreshing boost each morning.
Take one cup of dry rice and give it a quick rinse to get rid of any dirt. Put the rice into two cups of room temperature water and let it soak for 15 minutes. Then drain the rice water into a large container. From there, you can siphon this cloudy beauty elixir into an ice cube tray in even portions and then leave it in the freezer. Take out one or two cubes in the morning and gently rub them onto your cleansed face.
2. Warm Water
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Many Chinese women – and their mothers – say drinking warm water is the key to ageless skin. According to TCM doctors, warm beverages promote the smooth circulation of blood within the body and maintain the balance of one’s internal and external body temperature. If you don’t follow this key step, the others won’t even matter.
Swap cold or room temperature drinks for warm ones (at least 37 degrees Celsius – the average core body temperature of a healthy person).
3. Jade Rollers
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Jade has been used for ceremonial purposes in China since the Neolithic period. In Compendium of Materia Medica, Li Shizhen claimed that wearing jade close to the body could improve one’s vitality. Jade rollers are said to brighten the complexion and assist lymphatic drainage.
Place your jade roller in the freezer overnight. After cleaning your face with a waterbased cleanser, apply a small amount of eye cream under your eyes. Then take the smaller end of the jade roller and gently rub in the cream by rolling from the corner of your eye towards your ears. For other areas of your face, take a small amount of aloe vera serum and lightly coat the larger end of the jade roller. With medium pressure, roll from your nose towards your ears, paying special attention to areas of puffiness.
4. Yakult and Mung Bean Facial Mask
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Mung bean facial masks were a favorite of Chinese empresses for centuries thanks to their cooling properties, making them a great natural remedy against acne outbreaks and scars. Modern Chinese beauty specialists have combined Yakult with mung bean powder to create a creamy, restorative combo-mask that they say brightens skin and fades scars.
Mix two tablespoons of mung bean powder with three tablespoons of Yakult. Stir until the powder takes on the texture of toothpaste. After mixing, massage the paste onto the face and leave for 10 minutes.
5. Green Tea Rinse
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Green tea's importance to Chinese culture and history, as well as its health benefits, were documented in Tang dynasty scholar Lu Yu’s book, Tea Classic. With a high level of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, drinking green tea has become an essential wellbeing practice for many. Not a fan of its grassy flavor? Try a quick and simple green tea facial rinse, which allows your skin to absorb the benefits of the drink through your pores, and is said to rid your face of dark under-eye circles.
Steep two tea bags (or 2.5g of loose leaves) in 6 ounces of boiling water for 10-15 minutes, and let the tea sit for a bit. While the liquid cools, enjoy a hot shower or cover your face with a hot towel to open up your pores. Then use the cooled green tea to rinse your face.
6. Goji Berry Mask
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Often added to teas and soups, goji berries have high levels of antioxidants and are said to be able to help the skin absorb nutrients. In TCM, they are also recognized for their ability to improve and protect one’s eyesight. Besides eating them, you can also make masks with these beta-carotene-packed super-fruits to improve your complexion and reduce acne scars.
Take four or five goji berries and soak them in warm water for 15 minutes. Mash them and add 1/4 of a tablespoon of honey. Spread onto your skin and let it sit for 15 minutes before rinsing off with warm water.
[Top image via Pexels]