Out, Out Damn Spot!

July 31st, 2014

imagesAcne is not just the bane of teenagers. It can persist into adulthood and, generally, affect women more often than men due to their hormonal fluctuations. Acne is not just awkward, it can leave both visible and psychological scars. To put it mildly, it can be pretty pesky. Historically, moderate to severe acne has been approached with fairly heavy hitting remedies. These can range from antibiotics for internal consumption(as severe as acutane) to topical medications and soaps that are extremely drying and over alkalizing to the skin leaving it vulnerable to bacteria.

As I’ve mentioned before, skin is an inside/outside job. Acne ultimately results in a clogged pore that prevents oil from reaching the surface, mixing with bacteria and erupting on the surface. Hormones play a part with imbalances in testosterone (teenage boys experience more acne than most), estrogen dominance, fluctuating levels of estrogen and progesterone all contribute to an ideal scenario for acne.  In Chinese Medicine acne is considered a yin phenomenon. When the clear and the turbid are not properly separated, congestion or toxicity result. This can manifest in many ways, but one example would be called a stagnation and resulting thickening. Addressing the diet is vital in clearing up the skin. A balance of leafy green vegetables, lean protein, complex carbohydrates and essential fatty acids help assist the body in separating the clear and turbid appropriately. Gentle exfoliation, not over cleansing and drying the skin, using toxin free skin care that helps protect and build collagen, repair the dermis and hold moisture without clogging will start to heal and create healthy skin. To learn more about how Chinese Medicine can help with acne, consult an acupuncturist who specializes in skin and TCM nutrition. Working with a naturopath and esthetician in conjunction with the TCM practitioner should help you reduce or avoid future acne issues.

Choose your skin care with care

September 5th, 2013

IMG_0851Guidelines to Choosing Skin Care Products


Opened one month after receiving, revealing mold. Manufactured in non-GMP facility

Sorting through skin care products can be a daunting task. There are more skincare lines on the market than Carter had little liver pills. It is impossible to try or research even a fraction of what is available. Setting guidelines such as safety, efficacy, cost, and ease of use can give you a starting point for choosing what product line and products to use for your skin care regime. As mentioned in a previous post, skin is an inside/outside job. Today, I’m addressing shelf life and safety of a product.

1.  Is the product made in a GMP (Good Manufacturing Procedures) facility?

2.  Is there a money back guarantee if the product is defective?

3.  Is the product insured?

4.  How long has the product been manufactured?

According to EWG’s site, Skin Deep, the average woman uses twelve products, containing more than 168 ingredients on a daily basis. Many of these products are designed to penetrate the skin, and they do. After about eighteen weeks, they can become systemic, which means these components turn up in our bodies. Among them are industrial plasticizers called phthalates; parabens, which are preservatives; and persistent fragrance components like musk xylene. Some of these ingredients have been found to be carcinogens and hormone disrupters.  A good place to start your research is: www.ewg.org/skindeep.

May is Melanoma Awareness Month

May 12th, 2013

Did youmelanoma-photo1 know that May is melanoma awareness month? Survival rates have improved over the past 30 years. Early detection is the key.
What to look for? (from the Mayo Clinic)
Melanomas can develop anywhere on your body. They most often develop in areas that have had exposure to the sun, such as your back, legs, arms and face. Melanomas can also occur in areas that don’t receive much sun exposure, such as the soles of your feet, palms of your hands and fingernail beds. These hidden melanomas are more common in people with darker skin.
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Skin an Inside/Outside Job

March 7th, 2013

In this busy, rush-rush, high stress society we live in, our ability to take time to nourish ourselves often gets put on the back shelf and subsequently ignored. Your skin is the largest organ you have.  It is also the only organ that you must tend to from both the inside and the outside.  Some main causes for aging of skin are:




  • Sun exposure
  • Poor nutrition
  • Stress
  • Poor sleep
  • Cigarette Smoke
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine

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Food is Good

June 29th, 2012

In Traditional Chinese Nutrition therapy, green beans support digestion and Kidney energy. Their nature is warm and their flavor is sweet. The sweet flavor has a replenishing effect on energy and is best derived from vegetables and a moderate amount of fruit. Salt is cold, salty, slightly sweet and promotes digestion in small amounts. Olive oil clears heat from the body and detoxifies. Cheese is used very sparingly as it can make digestion sluggish. Burping, chest fullness and low back pain are symptoms that may benefit from eating green beans.
Adapted from Budget Saavy Diva, this recipe is slightly adjusted to be more supportive to digestion.

Parmesan Roasted Green Beans.
Preheat oven to 400 (toaster oven can be used.
1. In medium size mixing bowl place green beans ( trim off ends), small amount of oil (enough to coat beans), pinch of salt and pepper. Mix till everything is covered.
2. Lay green beans onto a cookie sheet.
3. Bake for about 15 – 20 minutes – green beans should be crisp on the outside and tender on the inside.
4. Remove from oven and “lightly” sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

This is paired nicely with roasted chicken and rice. Enjoy!
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Cosmetic Acupuncture

September 7th, 2011

Wabi Sabi describes beauty as the expression that lies between the transition between the coming and going of life. It is based in Zen Buddhism and seeks beauty in the imperfection of flaws and irregularities of daily life.  Beauty is humble, subtle, profound and is rooted in the flow of nature.  It is the quintessential Japanese aesthetic.  Wabi Sabi deals with the concept that nothing is permanent, nothing is complete, nothing is perfect.  Originally the words were used separately; wabi pertaining to the perfection of simplicity and sabi referring to carrying one’s life with dignity and grace.
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Skin Sense

November 22nd, 2010

The many wonders of vitamin C

Did you know that most mammals can make their own vitamin C?  There are a few exceptions and, you guessed it, humans are one of them.  Long touted for preventing colds, Vitamin C has many other important functions.  It bolsters the immune system, helps improve skin tone, helps with cognitive function, supports the cardiovascular system, healthy vision and has been reported to reduce cancer risk.
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