From the perspective of traditional Chinese medicine, people with damp-heat (濕熱) type of body constitution are more prone to having an oily face as well as acne and pimples.
Here are 10 easy-to-follow tips for improving the condition of your skin:
1. Avoid food items with cool or cold energy such as raw food and cold drinks. Also avoid pan-fried or deep-fried food as well as spicy dishes.
2. Maintain a good balance of oil and moisture in your skin. Keeping it sufficiently hydrated will help control and reduce oil production.
3. Keep the skin fresh and clean by thorough cleansing. However, do not try to remove oil in the face through harsh methods such as by using a strong face wash.
4. Eat more food that can help eliminate dampness and heat from the body, such as celery, cucumber, bitter gourd, wax gourd, loofah, cabbage, tomatoes, water melon, bananas, bean sprouts and mung beans. Prefer light and easy-to-digest meals to ease the workload of the digestive system, thus promoting healthy spleen and stomach.
5. Get plenty of sleep. Going to bed and getting up early can prevent the body from damp-heat attacks from the environment and reduce the growth of acne and pimples.
6. Maintain regular bowel habits. With regular removal of metabolic wastes as well as dampness and heat from the body, skin oil production will decline naturally.
7. Keep the body hydrated by drinking plenty of water. There are some herbal drinks or soup that can reduce heat and promote urination, such as wax gourd with pearl barley soup (冬瓜袪濕茶) and corn silk with red rice bean tea (粟米鬚赤小豆水). See recipe below.
8. Consider the daily use of herbal-based skincare products to eliminate excess dampness and heat from the skin.
9. Choose cleansing masks with ingredients that can absorb dirt and oil from pores, such as kaolin clay (高嶺土), mung beans (綠豆) and rice bran (米糠).
10. Choose nourishing masks with ingredients that can achieve moisture balance such as licorice (甘草), centella asiatica (積雪草), red rice beans (赤小豆), pearl barley (薏米) and hyaluronic acid (透明質酸).
Before using any moisturizing or nourishing masks, apply a deep cleansing facial mask to prepare the skin for effective absorption of nutrients.
Here’s the recipe for corn silk with red rice bean tea, which can be taken once or twice a week.
However, people with chronic conditions or pregnant women should first consult a family doctor before taking the drink.
10g corn silk
37.5g red rice beans
A piece of chenpi, also known as sun-dried tangerine peel
1500 ml water
1. Wash all ingredients. Soak the chenpi till soft and scratch off the white matter on the inner peel.
2. Heat all ingredients until they boil and then switch to a medium fire for another 35 to 45 minutes.
3. Filter the ingredients and prepare the tea.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Aug. 11.
Translation by Darlie Yiu with additional reporting
[Chinese version 中文版]
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