POST-COVID REVENGE GLAM, TCM STYLE
Reveal Your Best Self With These TCM Hacks
It’s so close, we can almost taste it. After more than a year of quarantining, working from home, social distancing, and masking, a post-COVID world is almost a reality.
And if you’re like us, you want to get your revenge. You know how after a bad breakup, you hit the town with your best friends dressed to the nines with a fresh blowout and mani? Well, we’re almost ready to break up with COVID. Yup, it’s time for post-COVID revenge glam.
We’ve spent the last year in sweatpants and no makeup, so it’s time to put your best foot forward and emerge like a phoenix from the ashes. Here’s our best tips, tricks, and hacks from Eastern medicine to have you looking glam, gorgeous, and ready to get your revenge.
Eastern Hacks For Post-Covid Glam
It seems like social media’s new obsession during COVID was skincare. From Tik-tok to Instagram, influencers were posting their multi-step evening skincare routine, showing off how to use jade rollers and gua sha tools, and extolling the virtues of SPF (seriously, you need to wear it every single day!).
But skincare is nothing new in Eastern medicine traditions like Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Ayurveda. Eastern medicine is all about understanding the body holistically, so keeping every aspect healthy is key to overall good health. And your skin is your largest organ, so it’s no surprise that Eastern medicine has lots to offer when it comes to getting a glowy, even complexion for your post-COVD revenge.
In TCM, staying healthy often starts with paying attention to the food that you put in your body. During the hot summer months, it’s important to eat a lot of foods that are full of cooling yin-energy to keep you hydrated. Try upping your intake of foods like cucumber, melons, green veggies, and seeds with slime (like chia and basil). This will help keep your skin clear and hydrated, which helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
And after you’re done snacking on some watermelon, don’t toss the rind. Instead, rub it in your face. It might sound weird, but watermelon rind is chock-full of malic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid, or AHA (you could also find this in fresh aloe!). This AHA helps boost hydration while offering wound healing benefits (think your mask-ne zits). It’s also less harsh than other AHAs, like citric and lactic acids. So to clear any lingering zits, banish fine lines, and get gorgeous glowy skin, head to your refrigerator.
Soak It Up
Let’s face it, you probably can count the number of times you’ve shaved your legs or exfoliated your body in the last few months on one hand. With nowhere to go, there’s been no need to keep our skin soft, smooth, and smelling good. That’s why, before you hit the town post-COVID, you could probably use a nice long soak in the tub followed by some exfoliation to slough off all the dead skin and put your best foot forward. And both TCM and Ayurveda have traditions of using baths for beauty and health.
Take a cue from TCM and soak in an herbal bath. The warm water will help your muscles relax and pores open up so you can soak up all the benefits of the medicinal herbs. Try adding some epsom salts (for muscles soreness and inflammation) and your favorite herbs. You can go for aromatic herbs like lavender (for relaxation), rosemary (for killing stress), or peppermint (to boost blood flow) or try some TCM herbs, like dried lotus leaf (for inflammation) or goji berries (packed with skinfood beta carotene).
To make your herb bath, all you need to do is grind up your herbs and boil them in a couple of cups of water for 20 minutes to make a sort of tea. Once it cools off a little bit, add it to your warm bath water, and voila! To make the most of your hard work and get the most benefits from your bath, make sure to soak for 30-45 minutes.
If you’re looking for all over skin hydration (or if you just spent a little too much time in the sun), an Ayurvedic milk bath is the way to go. Just warm up a gallon of milk (either by letting it sit out of the refrigerator for an hour or two or by warming it up on the stove) and fill your tub with lukewarm water. Sit in the tub and pour the milk over your body and into the tub. Once all the milk is in the tub, you can add some rosewater and soak your stress (and dehydration) away.
Milk baths can help ease itchy skin from sunburns, psoriasis, or dryness thanks to the proteins, fat, amino acids, and vitamin A and D in milk. Dry, flaky skin isn’t what post-COVID revenge glam is all about, so go run your bath.
Soft n’ Smooth
Now that you soaked away your stress and dry skin in the tub, it’s time for a good scrub. For your body, take a page out of Ayurveda’s book and mix up an herbal scrub, but make sure to use a gentler TCM-style pearl powder exfoliator on your face.
Pearl powder is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a super fine powder made from ground up pearls that you can eat or apply to your skin. Pearls were a major part of the Chinese empress Wu Zetian’s skincare regime, so this ingredient is guaranteed to give you royally good skin. In TCM, it’s also supposed to calm your shen and soothe your mind.
But science backs up pearls’ claims to fame. They’re full of amino acids (which help boost collagen production), nutrients the skin craves, and help increase the amount of antioxidants your body makes. Pearl power also contains Nacre which helps heal skin from acne and might reduce the appearance of wrinkles. You can find it as an ingredient in facial exfoliators or make your own super simple DIY mask by mixing the powder with some water or rosewater until it forms a paste and then scrub away!
Now that your face is taken care of, it’s time to make sure your legs, arms, and body are soft, smooth, and glowing as you emerge from your COVID cave. For this, try an Ayurvedic herbal scrub. Known as Udvarthana, giving yourself an all-over body scrub/massage is a simple but effective way to give your skin a little TLC. You should switch up the herbs you use based on your energy type (kapha, vata, or pita) and skin type, but you can use salt or sugar as a base for any of them. Then just add some coconut oil or olive oil and you’re good to go!
Now that your complexion is glowing and your body is soft and smooth, it’s time to get your revenge for all those nights you had to stay at home in the last year.