Q: What’s your hyphenated title?
A: Acupuncturist - Chinese Herbalist - Skin Health Expert
Q: What is a key part of your daily wellness ritual (either morning or night)?
A: My hydration game. In the morning I wake up to a tall glass of water with lime or lemon and a pinch of sea salt. This makes me feel immediately energized and more awake. Throughout the day I will eat a piece of fruit with a cup of water together (that together part is important). In the afternoon I always drink a large chia beverage where I soak chia seeds in a juice, kombucha or or nutmilk. At night I relax with an herbal tea - lately I’ve been making my own with orange peel and mint - for happy digestion.
Q: How much time do you spend in the bathroom getting ready in the morning versus at night?
A: Probably a bit more at night, when I’m not time pressured to get out the door I take my precious time. Here’s my night routine, I’m very specific and the steps are very deliberate:
First I use an oil cleanser on face and neck. Then, I do some gua sha while it’s on. I usually don’t wear make-up, but if I did I would have removed that first. I use a hot wet towel to remove, and follow with a second cleanse.
Then, I get ready for the shower. But before stepping in, I’ll apply a balm cleanser to my body (dry, just like I would on my face).
I’ve been using facial balm cleansers because I get so many to test and try. If I’m not in love with one for my face, then I’ll use it on my body instead of throwing it out and wasting. It’s amazing for my skin in the Winter - really helps me maintain moisture.
1-3x week I apply a gentle acid exfoliator to my face once the balm is on. Finally, I step into the steamy shower - which keeps the mask nice and moist. Then I scrub the body balm around and massage my skin all over - the balms I use tend to emulsify with water so I just keep rubbing and massaging until it transforms into a cream that feels more like a body wash.
Then, my favorite part - stepping out of the shower and observing my face looking bright and clarified. And feeling my skin soft from not using soap. While my body is still damp I work in body oil. Facially, I use a hydrator, then serum, followed by a few drops of oil.
And for dessert - a bit of gua sha to penetrate and circulate my skin and assist hydration from the inside.
Q: What’s your most important beauty secret and who did you learn it from?
A: My most important beauty secrets are definitely not secrets because I share them with everyone. Without question the Chinese tools of Gua Sha, Cupping, and for me since I’m an acupuncturist - needling, are all ways that powerfully invigorate the health and circulation within us. And in my work and life, that is actually the key to beauty.
I will also say that another “secret” is that beauty does not begin or end on your face. It starts much deeper - in your body. So it’s important to keep working tension out of your body - keeping it strong and supple. And, it’s important to address internal issues if you have them: digestion and elimination problems, menstrual irregularities, sleep disturbance. Healthy internal systems in good working order are the deeper roots of beauty that no serum will satisfy.