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Spring Cleaning; Diet and Lifestyle for the Spring Season

Chinese medicine scholar Lorraine Wilcox reminded us that yesterday, February 4, 2016 was the first day of spring, or Lì Chūn 立春. Chinese medicine tells us that if we adjust our diet and lifestyle to each season we increase our health and prevent disease. Spring is the season of the Wood element and the liver and gallbladder organs. It is the perfect time for “spring cleaning”, detoxification, being outdoors, and starting new projects.

Signs of a Healthy liver/gallbladder organ system = compassion, decisiveness, flexibility, courage, regularity

Signs of an Imbalanced liver/gallbladder organ system = anger, depression, trouble making decisions, stiffness, feeling stuck, irregular digestion, hormonal imbalances

If you wood element is strong, following this advice during spring will help you stay that way. If your wood element is imbalanced this is the perfect time to heal it.

SPRING LIFESTYLE

  • Weather is warm and windy.
  • Rising and expansion.
  • New projects.
  • Move more. Eat less.
  • Get up early, go to bed later.
  • Cleansing, especially liver and gallbladder.

Chapter 2 of the Huangdi Neijing Suwen (trans. Unschuld) states:
“The three months of spring,
they denote spreading and display.
Heaven and earth together generate life:
the myriad beings flourish.”

[Spring is a time of expansion and growth]

“Go to rest late at night and rise early.
Move through the courtyard with long strides.
Dishevel the hair and relax physical appearance,
thereby cause the mind to orient itself on life.”[Wood energy is athletic, active, and on the move. Let yourself get messy.]

“Give life and do not kill.
Give and do not take.
Reward and do not punish.
This is correspondence with the qi of spring and
it is the Way to nourish life.”[Generosity and compassion are the positive qualities of the Wood element, and expressing these character traits benefits our liver and gallbladder system.]

“Opposing it harms the liver.
In summer, this causes changes to cold, and
there is little to support growth.”[When we do not expand and growth; express compassion and generosity during the spring we fail to nurture our wood element. We weaken  our liver and gallbladder systems. This means there is no wood to feed the fire element of summer and sets us up for imbalance in the next season.]

DIETpeasprouts

  • Shorter cooking times
  • Raw, lightly steamed
  • Fresh greens
  • Sprouts
  • Limit heavy, salty foods
  • Pungent herbs

Light foods and a plant-based diet are perfect for spring. Include young foods such as new potatoes and immature beets and carrots. Herb/foods such as milk thistle, dandelion greens and roots, and burdock root are especially helpful to cleanse the liver. Make sure to add a little pungent flavor like mustard greens, mint, onions, and broccoli.

By | 2017-12-03T23:54:39+00:00 February 5th, 2016|Beauty, Detoxification, Nurturing Life Project, Traditional Chinese Medicine|Comments Off on Spring Cleaning; Diet and Lifestyle for the Spring Season

Why Marijuana is Not Always Great for Us Girls

Master marketer Cheryl Shuman does a beautiful job promoting product, and is currently spotlighting cannabis. For example, Shuman advocates a little marijuana for us working gals at the end of the day to help us unwind. Before you run out and get some, however, it is a good idea to learn how to balance cannabis use, as it can be a little harsh on women.

Properties of Marijuana

Hemp seeds (huo ma ren, 火麻仁), have a neutral, moistening effect and are used for constipation due to fluid deficiency. In contrast, the marijuana (huo ma, 火麻, literally “fire herb”) used for fun and medicine is heating in nature. This quality is exacerbated by its traditional method of administration; smoking. Marijuana use depletes yin; the grounding, purposeful, cooling, and moistening functioning in our bodies and psyches. Loss of yin hurts both genders but is harder on women. We already tend to get yin and fluid deficient as we age.

Hormones

Regular marijuana use tends to cause menstrual imbalances. This is because it tends to cause pathogenic heat and deplete yin fluids. Periods may come too early or erratically. There may be excessive bleeding or spotting. Cervical mucous and vaginal fluids, necessary for fertility and healthy sex, may dry out. If you use cannabis on a regular basis it is a good idea to use cooling and moistening herbs to balance this. An example of a mild herb with these properties is go ji berries (gou qi zi, 枸杞子).

The Skin

Abundant yin is necessary for plump, smooth, glowing skin. The lung organ is also directly associated with skin health, meaning anything that injures the lungs, injures the skin. Besides burning off yin, regular cannabis use leaches Vitamin C from the skin. Skin can thin and wrinkle prematurely. Try to consume cannabis in a manner that bypasses the lungs and be sure to apply Vitamin C regularly to your skin.

With these tips you can balance your occasional dabble with marijuana and do it safely.

By | 2015-02-13T19:19:45+00:00 February 13th, 2015|Beauty, Chinese Herbs, Period Care, Sexual Cultivation, Traditional Chinese Medicine|Comments Off on Why Marijuana is Not Always Great for Us Girls

Get Rid of Acne Without Trashing Your Skin

I suffered from severe acne for many years and thus am educated on the harsh and ineffective products that are often used to address the condition. There are many contributors to acne, such as stress, hormonal imbalance, digestive issues, poor diet, topical irritants, inadequate hygiene, etc. This is why it can be so difficult to treat. In Traditional Chines Medicine (TCM) we use herbal medicine and acupuncture to get to the root of the problem. Additionally, we recommend important diet and lifestyle changes patients can do at home which form the basis of healthy skin. Natural skincare does not just mean clean ingredients. It means approaching the skin in a holistic way. It means using a variety of tools to increase the health and resilience of the skin over time.

Relaxation

No matter the cause of acne, Heat (inflammation) is always a factor. Stress, anxiety, and frustration all generate Heat in the body. Most of us need to schedule time for regular relaxation (like meditation, yoga, massage).

coix seed (Job's tears, yi yi ren)

coix seed (Job’s tears, yi yi ren)

Diet

Is important to minimize heating foods in the diet: such as sugar (white bread, fruit juice, soda, ice cream), fried foods, processed foods, garlic, spices, alcohol, and lamb. If you have food sensitivities these foods will also generate Heat in the body. Common culprits include: gluten, dairy, soy, nuts, and shellfish. Drinking ample water and eating a high proportion of vegetables helps to cool the body and promotes regular bowel movements. Particularly helpful foods for acneic conditions include coix seed (Chinese barley, yi yi ren), biter melon, daikon radish, fennel bulb, and honeysuckle (jin yin hua) tea.

Skincare Products

Topical skincare should most importantly be void of irritants, harsh chemicals, and pore-clogging agents. Inappropriate moisturizers, cleansers, and sun protection can sabotage your efforts. Liquid makeup used to cover blemishes only contribute to more inflammation and should be avoided. As a general rule you want to include an anti-inflammatory, an anti-bacterial, an enzyme exfoliant, and a Vitamin A into your regimen. I do not believe in using acids in homecare regimens as frequent acid exfoliation weakens the epidermis and contributes to inflammation. The following are some of my favorite acne-clearing products:

302 Revive Rx

Revive Rx

Antibacterial & Anti-Inflammatory

Hydrates, soothes, and kills bacteria all in one.
302 Remedy Rx

Remedy Rx

Healing Ointment

Zinc oxide ointment to heal lesions and calm redness.
302 Purity

Purity Rx

No Wash Cleanser

Strong antibacterial gel to keep skin clear when you sweat.
302 Clarity

Clarity

Vitamin A Serum

Heals blemishes and helps prevent new breakouts.
By | 2017-12-03T23:54:54+00:00 January 20th, 2015|Beauty, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Get Rid of Acne Without Trashing Your Skin

302 Professional Skincare Ingredient List

Clean ingredients, brilliantly formulated, amazing results. Here you will find listed the ingredients in the various products. It is always important to research what you are using. Note: many products are available in Rx (essential oil-free).

Actives with 302 Compound/Avogen™

Avogen™ Supplement

  • Organic water soluble extracts of lavender, german chamomile and lemon verbena flowers/leaves/stems and oat bark extract and Avogen.

302 Sensitive Drops Rx

  • Organic jojoba oil, caprylic/capric triglycerides, avocado extract, avocatin 302 (Avogen™).

302 Drops

  • Organic jojoba oil, caprylic/capric triglycerides, avocado extract, avocatin 302 (Avogen), vanilla bean extract, camphor, and mint extracts.

302 Serum

  • Organic green tea, kosher glycerine, avocatin 302 (Avogen), organic jojoba oil, prepolymer 2, cocoa-butter, mixed silicones, polyglucose derived surfactant, cellulose polymer, C12-15 alkyl esters, vanilla, lemon verbena, camphor and mint extracts.

302 Plus Drops

  • Organic jojoba oil, caprylic/ capric triglycerides, avocado extract, palmitoyl oligiopeptides, avocatin 302 (Avogen), ceramide 2, vitamin C lipid (tetrahexyldecylascorbate), vanilla bean and coconut extracts.

302 Plus Serum

  • Organic green tea, rice peptides, kosher glycerine, avocado extract, organic jojoba oil, cocoa butter, mixed silicones, prepolymer 2, avocatin 302 (Avogen), vitamin C lipid (tetrahexyldecylascorbate), niacinamide, polyglucose derived surfactant, urea, zinc oxide, cellulose polymer, C12-15 alkyl esters, lemon verbena, camphor and mint extracts and sodium benzoate.

 

Actives with Vitamin A

A-Boost

  • Organic jojoba oil, coconut oil derived capric triglycerides, retinyl palmitate, phyto-lipids of avocado, camphor, tangerine and mint extracts.

Clarity

  • Organic green tea, retinyl acetate, polyglucose derived surfactant, mixed silicones, glyceryl monostearate, glucose sesquistearate, urea, camphor, tangerine extract, mint extract.

Ceramide Serum

  • Organic green tea, rice peptides, glucose sesquistearate, kosher glycerine, ceramide 2, ultra refined and partitioned coconut oil, guar, lactate, mixed silicones, retinyl palmitate, vitamin C ester (tetrahexydecylascorbate), sucrose esters, polyglucose derived surfactant, sodium benzoate, lemon verbena extract.

 

Actives with Vitamin C

C-Boost

  • Organic jojoba oil, capric/caprylic triglycerides, vitamin C lipid (tetrahexyldecyl-ascorbate), avocado extract, camphor, tangerine, lemon verbena and mint extracts.

Lightening Drops

  • Organic jojoba oil, capric/caprylic triglycerides, vitamin C lipid (tetrahexyl-decylascorbate), avocado extract, camphor, tangerine, lemon verbena and mint extracts.

302 Plus Drops

  • Organic jojoba oil, caprylic/ capric triglycerides, avocado extract, palmitoyl oligiopeptides, avocatin 302 (Avogen), ceramide 2, vitamin C lipid (tetrahexyldecylascorbate), vanilla bean and coconut extracts.

302 Plus Serum

  • Organic green tea, rice peptides, kosher glycerine, avocado extract, organic jojoba oil, cocoa butter, mixed silicones, prepolymer 2, avocatin 302 (Avogen), vitamin C lipid (tetrahexyldecylascorbate), niacinamide, polyglucose derived surfactant, urea, zinc oxide, cellulose polymer, C12-15 alkyl esters, lemon verbena, camphor and mint extracts and sodium benzoate.

Ceramide Serum

  • Organic green tea, rice peptides, glucose sesquistearate, kosher glycerine, ceramide 2, ultra refined and partitioned coconut oil, guar, lactate, mixed silicones, retinyl palmitate, vitamin C ester (tetrahexydecylascorbate), sucrose esters, polyglucose derived surfactant, sodium benzoate, lemon verbena extract.

 

Actives with Proteins (Peptides, Ceramides)

302 Plus Drops

  • Organic jojoba oil, caprylic/ capric triglycerides, avocado extract, palmitoyl oligiopeptides, avocatin 302 (Avogen), ceramide 2, vitamin C lipid (tetrahexyldecylascorbate), vanilla bean and coconut extracts.

302 Plus Serum

  • Organic green tea, rice peptides, kosher glycerine, avocado extract, organic jojoba oil, cocoa butter, mixed silicones, prepolymer 2, avocatin 302 (Avogen), vitamin C lipid (tetrahexyldecylascorbate), niacinamide, polyglucose derived surfactant, urea, zinc oxide, cellulose polymer, C12-15 alkyl esters, lemon verbena, camphor and mint extracts and sodium benzoate.

Ceramide Serum

  • Organic green tea, rice peptides, glucose sesquistearate, kosher glycerine, ceramide 2, ultra refined and partitioned coconut oil, guar, lactate, mixed silicones, retinyl palmitate, vitamin C ester (tetrahexydecylascorbate), sucrose esters, polyglucose derived surfactant, sodium benzoate, lemon verbena extract.

Eye Firming Serum

  • Organic green tea, kosher glycerine, glyceryl monostearate, palmitoyl oligiopeptides, rice peptides, cocoa butter, prepolymer 2, polyglucose derived surfactant, urea, zinc oxide, glucose sesquistearate, niacinamide.

Eye Gel

  • Organic green tea extract with rice peptides, palmitoyl oligiopeptides, marine colloidal proteins, kosher glycerine, cellulose polymer, sodium benzoate.

 

Treatment Products

Remedy Rx

  • Organic green tea, kosher glycerine, organic jojoba oil, methyl glucose ester, mixed silicones, glucose sesquistearate, beeswax, mineral colloid, prepolymer 2, polyglucose derived surfactant, cellulose polymer, iron oxides. Active Ingredient: zinc oxide (7%)

Revive Rx

  • Organic green tea, kosher glycerine, cellulose polymer, polyglucose derived surfactant, C12-15 alkyl esters, rosemary and lemon verbena extracts.

302 Purity

  • Citrus, lemon and organic green tea extracts, carbomer, ethanol, kosher glycerine.

Enzyme Gel

  • Organic green tea, kosher glycerine, polyglucose derived surfactant, cellulose polymer, bromelain enzymes, polysorbate 80, camphor and lemon verbena extract.

Hydrating Mask

  • Organic green tea, kosher glycerine, ceresin wax, methyl glucose esters, beeswax, glucose sesquistearate, polyglucose derived surfactant, mixed silicones, cellulose polymer, lemon verbena extract, lavender extract.

Treatment Mask

  • Organic green tea, mineral colloid, zinc oxide, kosher glycerine, sulfur, polysorbate 80, polyglucose derived surfactant, lemon verbena, camphor and mint extracts.

 

Cleansers

302 Cleanser

  • Organic green tea, coconut derived amphoteric surfactant, kosher glycerine, alkylated extract from sugar beets, high oleic safflower oil, glyceryl monostearate, polyglucose derived surfactant, cellulose polymer, avocado oil, lemon verbena extract, urea, tangerine extract.

302 Normal/Dry Cleanser

  • Organic green tea, coconut derived amphoteric surfactant, kosher glycerine, alkylated extract from sugar beets, high oleic safflower oil, avocado extract, glyceryl monostearate, polyglucose derived surfactant, cellulose polymer, lavender and mint extracts.

302 Oily/Combination Cleanser

  • Organic green tea, coconut derived amphoteric surfactant, kosher glycerine, alkylated extract from sugar beets, high oleic safflower oil, glyceryl monostearate, cellulose polymer, polyglucose derived surfactant, avocado extract, zinc oxide, lavender, tangerine and mint extracts.

302 Sensitive Cleanser

  • Organic green tea, coconut derived amphoteric surfactant, kosher glycerine, high oleic safflower oil, alkylated extract from sugar beets, glyceryl monostearate, cellulose polymer, polyglucose derived surfactant, avocado extract, camphor, zinc oxide.

302 Sensitive Cleanser Rx

  • Organic green tea, alkylated extract from sugar beets, polyglucose derived surfactant, kosher glycerine, urea, zinc oxide, cellulose polymer.

302 Acne Cleanser Rx

  • Organic green tea, alkylated extract from sugar beets, polyglucose derived surfactant, kosher glycerine, urea, zinc oxide, cellulose polymer. Active Ingredient: sulfur (3%)

302 Face & Body Bar

  • Sodium palmitate/cocoate, avocado extracts, mint extract.

302 Makeup Remover

  • Organic green tea, polyglucose derived surfactant, jojoba oil, polysorbate 80.

302 Purity

  • Citrus, lemon and organic green tea extracts, carbomer, ethanol, kosher glycerine.

 

Moisturizers

302 Calming Mist

  • Organic green tea (epigallocatechins), kosher glycerine, polyglucose derived surfactant, polysorbate 80, camphor, lavender and tangerine extracts.

302 Moisturizing Drops

  • Organic jojoba oil, caprylic/capric triglycerides, avocado extract, camphor, lemon verbena and vanilla extracts.

302 Lip Balm

  • Avocado oil, organic shea butter, organic jojoba oil, coconut oil, beeswax, rice peptides, vanilla and almond extracts, niacinamide, camphor, polysorbate 80.

302 Recovery Plus

  • Organic green tea, kosher glycerine, avocado extract, prepolymer 2, organic jojoba oil, cocoa butter, mixed silicones, polyglucose derived surfactant, cellulose polymer, C12-15 alkyl esters, camphor and lavender extract.

302 Recovery Plus: Intensive

  • Organic green tea, kosher glycerine, cocoa butter, methyl glucose ester, prepolymer 2, phyto-lipids of avocado, organic jojoba oil, polyglucose derived surfactant, mixed silicones, glucose sesquistearate, cellulose polymer, C12-15 alkyl esters, camphor, lemon, lemon verbena and lavender extracts.

302 Recovery: Day/Night

  • Organic green tea, kosher glycerine, organic shea butter, cocoa butter, methyl glucose ester, polyglucose derived surfactant, glucose sesquistearate, mixed silicones, cellulose polymer, C12-15 alkyl esters, camphor, lemon, lemon verbena and lavender extracts.

302 Body Treatment Intensive

  • Organic green tea, kosher glycerine, organic jojoba oil, avocado extract, cocoa butter, glyceryl monostearate, mixed silicones, glucose sesquistearate, prepolymer 2, polyglucose derived surfactant, cellulose polymer, C12-15 alkyl esters, vanilla bean extract, coconut and mint extracts.

302 Body Butter

  • Organic green tea, kosher glycerine, organic jojoba oil, high oleic safflower oil, Methyl glucose ester, ceresin wax, avocado oil, urea, polyglucose derived surfactant, mixed silicones, glucose sesquistearate, prepolymer 2, cellulose polymer, C12-alkyl esters, lavender, lemon, tangerine extracts and peppermint oil.

302 Body Massage Oil

  • Caprylic/capric triglycerides, high oleic safflower oil, avocado oil, chlorophyll, cocoa butter, evening primrose oil, mixed silicones, coconut and vanilla bean extracts.

 

Sun Protection

302 Recovery Minerals (SPF-30): Translucent

  • Coral calcium (calcium carbonate), iron oxides. Active Ingredients: titanium dioxide (13%), zinc oxide (2%)
302 SPF-15: Tinted
  • Organic green tea, mixed silicones, kosher glycerine, polyglucose derived surfactant, caprylic/capric triglycerides, organic jojoba oil, cellulose polymer, C12-15 alkyl esters, iron oxides. Active Ingredients: zinc oxide (7%), titanium dioxide (1%)
302 SPF-30: Tinted
  • Organic green tea, mixed silicones, kosher glycerine, polyglucose derived surfactant, caprylic/capric triglycerides, organic jojoba oil, cellulose polymer, C12-15 alkyl esters, iron oxides. Active Ingredients: zinc oxide (13%), titanium dioxide (1.25%)
302 SPF-50: Tinted
  • Organic green tea, mixed silicones, kosher glycerine, polyglucose derived surfactant, caprylic/capric triglycerides, organic jojoba oil, cellulose polymer, C12-15 alkyl esters, iron oxides. Active Ingredients: zinc oxide (22%), titanium dioxide (3%)
By | 2015-01-20T06:03:05+00:00 January 19th, 2015|Beauty|Comments Off on 302 Professional Skincare Ingredient List

Cleansing After the Holidays, Chinese Medicine Style

The holidays are over and as we emerge from our sugar-comas we instinctively want to “cleanse.” We want to get off the sugar roller coaster, fulfill our goal to be healthier this year, and of course shed a few pounds. We often associate cleansing with suffering. In fact, in an increasingly secular society, restricted eating has become the new penance.

If your goal is sustained health and balanced weight loss, however, I prefer a gentler approach that will not cost more than you are already spending on groceries. First I want to go over a key term in Chinese medicine; Phlegm-Damp. Phlegm-Damp is a pathological fluid accumulation that can cause such symptoms as lethargy, excess fat, high cholesterol, cellulite, nasal congestion, snoring, incomplete bowel movements, water retention, yeast overgrowth, and weepy skin conditions.

What Causes Phlegm-Damp

Excess consumption of: sugar, greasy foods, raw or cold foods. Eating less does not resolve the issue. Instead, it is more effective to eat foods that counteract Phlegm-Damp without starving yourself.

radish white

Daikon Radish

Cleansing Guidelines

1. Eat a high proportion of vegetables. Aim for 50%. Vegetables gently cleanse excess conditions in the body, regulate bowel movements, and aid in weight loss. Fruit also has a cleansing action but its high sugar content can trigger blood sugar imbalances. Limit fruit to 1- servings daily.
2. Unless you have a lot of Heat (feel hot, crave ice cold drinks, have hot flashes, etc.) limit raw food. Eat your vegetables in soups, casseroles, steamed, or sauteed. Exception: eat a little pungent or digestive vegetables with meals such as daikon radish, red radish, or fennel bulb.
3. Drink plenty of room temperature or warm water. Cold water suppresses digestion, which is a hot process, and can compound poor fluid metabolism issues.
4. Cut out sugar (wine, white bread and tortillas, cereal) and dairy for at 1-2 weeks. Then limit to 3-5 times per week.
5. Eat complex grains and organic protein to feel satiated and energized.

This is just a simple cleansing program but it is highly effective to balance your body after the holidays.

By | 2017-12-03T23:54:54+00:00 January 6th, 2015|Beauty, Detoxification, Men's Health, Traditional Chinese Medicine|Comments Off on Cleansing After the Holidays, Chinese Medicine Style

Natural Healing for Dry Skin; Topicals

In San Diego dry skin can be a chronic issue, especially in winter time. Internally, you want to take in ample fluids, eat Blood and Yin-nourishing foods, and eat some sour-tasting foods to astringe fluids. Dry skin that is not weather-induced is a sign of Blood and/or Yin deficiency.

302_Day_Night302 Recovery Day/Night

This is a new addition to the 302 line and is already performing miracles. After my mom, Judith’s, stay in the hospital she developed Blood and Yin deficiency as is common after a prolonged exterior invasion (infection). She is still recovering and her skin was rough and dry. After two days of using 302 Recovery Day/Night her skin is incredibly soft and fine lines have disappeared. The results are due to the high concentration of phytolipids of avocado oil which have a remarkable softening effect on the skin.

Who Benefits: Those needing a great deal of hydration. This cream leaves a protective dewy layer on the surface of the skin. It is appropriate for dry skin types or dry, windy weather. It also doubles as an excellent hand cream.

How to Use: A little goes a long way. Use day or night as needed. As with all our moisturizers, Recovery Day/Night does not cause dependency and does not contain actives that can cause irritation.

Hylunia_Healing_RestoringHylunia Healing and Restoring Cream

This continues to be our most versatile moisturizer. Deeply hydrating but non-greasy, it can be applied thick over serums at night or in a thin layer under sunscreen/makeup in the morning. Excellent for adult acne or enlarged pores as it won’t clog pores. (A great trick for enlarged pores is to apply 302 Serum followed by Healing and Restoring Cream at night.)

Who Benefits: All skin types. This cream leaves a protective matte layer on the surface of the skin.

How to Use: Use day or night as needed. As with all our moisturizers, Healing and Restoring Cream does not cause dependency and does not contain actives that can cause irritation.

302_moisturizing_drops302 Moisturizing Drops

Contains refined jojoba oil, phytolipids of avocado oil, and capric triglycerides (highest quality coconut oil). This oil blend is the base for all 302 active oils (302 drops, 302 Plus Drops, C-Boost, A-Boost, and Lightening Drops). Refining natural oils makes them safe for even the most acne-prone skin to use. Refining removes the large lipid molecules which clog pores and can cause breakouts. Unrefined, these oils are not recommended for acne-prone skin.

Who Benefits: All skin types. This oil leaves a dewy layer on the surface of the skin. It is appropriate for even the most irritated, sensitive skin.

How to Use: A little goes a long way. Use day or night as needed. As with all our moisturizers, Moisturizing Drops does not cause dependency and does not contain actives that can cause irritation.

302_dry_cleanser302 Normal/Dry Cleanser

Japanese women typically perform 2 cleanses at night: an oil wash to remove makeup, sunscreen, and pollutants, followed by a soap wash. This provides a very thorough, yet gentle cleanse. In the U.S. cleansing with oil has enjoyed a resurgence. The problem is that oil, even good oils like jojoba or coconut, contain large lipid molecules that can clog pores. 302 Normal/Dry Cleanser contains refined avocado oil where the large pore-cloging lipids have been removed. It also contains natural surfactants making this an incredible “oil” wash.

Who Benefits: Excellent makeup remover for all skin types. Perfect for dry skin but provides a deep cleanse for all skin types.

How to Use: Use like all 302 cream cleansers. Apply one pump to dry skin, massage in, and let sit for 60 sec. Wet your hands and apply another pup, massage in, and rinse.

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By | 2017-12-03T23:54:54+00:00 November 21st, 2013|Beauty|Comments Off on Natural Healing for Dry Skin; Topicals

How to Fix Hyperpigmentation; Internal & External Treatment Part II

This is a continuation of a previous post.

Sun Protection

Sun protection is another key to preventing and treating hyperpigmentation. Use a mineral sunscreen with an spf 30. The mineral sunscreen should contain both zinc oxide (protects against UVAs) and titanium dioxide (protects against UVBs) to provide broad spectrum protection. When using mineral sunscreens and not exposed to water or the elements, one application will last you all day.

Chemical sunscreens have a number of issues. They are inflammatory and carcinogenenic, which increases hyperpigmentation. They are also unstable. Chemical sunscreens are absorbed into the skin or evaporate, which is why they need to be reapplied every 2 hours. This also why you can get burned even  with a very high spf. To make sure your sunscreen is chemical-free check the “active ingredients.” It should only say zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.

Procedures

There are a variety of procedures that treat hyperpigmentation. These can be done in a series or alternated.

  1. Cosmetic Acupuncture – This includes face and body acupuncture along with moxa, gua sha, and internal and topical herbs in some cases.  Cosmetic acupuncture focuses on resolving the internal cause of hyperpigmentation. For faster results it is often paired with one of the following topical treatments.
  2. Ultrasound – Ultrasonic waves break up melanin clusters deep in the epidermal and dermal layers and facilitate their excretion by the lymphatic system. This is a non-abrasive treatment, there is no discomfort or down-time, and there are added benefits of plumping and firming of the skin.
  3. Endermolift – A mechanized lymphatic drainage treatment that facilitates the excretion of excess melanin by the lymphatic system. It also increases the microcirculation. Endermolift is a relaxing treatment, is non-abrasive, there is no down-time, and there are added benefits of plumping and firming of the skin.
  4. Microdermabrasion – A classic treatment to exfoliate dead skin cells and promote faster cell turnover. Microderm utilizes crystals and is like gently sandblasting the skin. At Cinnabar, we use sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) crystals which are non-toxic and can be safely used around the mouth, eyes, and nose. Microderm feels scratchy, like a cat is licking your face. There is no down-time, however treatments should be spaced 2-8 weeks apart depending on your skin type and spf 30 should be worn at all times. Exfoliation is best used sparingly, like a detox.
  5. Peels – There are many types of peels (salicylic, lactic, retinol, Vit C, etc.) that come in various concentrations. Light peels can be added to other treatments and have no down-time. Heavier peels that go deep into the epidermis will have some down-time (2-7 days). Peels that go down to the dermis must be performed under supervision by a physician and require significant down-time (up to a month). There is greater risk of scarring and pre-aging the skin with frequent peels or peels that go to deeply. Lighter peels can be spaced similarly to microderm, every 2-8 weeks depending on your skin type.
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By | 2017-12-03T23:54:55+00:00 November 18th, 2013|Acupuncture, Beauty|Comments Off on How to Fix Hyperpigmentation; Internal & External Treatment Part II

How to Fix Hyperpigmentation; Internal & External Treatment Part I

hyperpigmentationHyperpigmentation is the technical term for what many people call dark spots, freckles, liver spots, acne scars, and uneven skin tone. Melasma (cholasma), or pregnancy mask, and linea nigra are forms of hyperpigmentation.

Biomedical Cause

Hyperpigmentation is the result of 2 things: 1) the excess production of melanin and 2) the body’s inefficiency to break up the melanin clusters and eliminate them. Melanin is a pigment produced by melanocytes that gives the skin color. Darker skin tones have higher concentrations of melanocytes. Melanocytes are activated by UV light or topical irritants and procedures to produce melanin. This means the major causes of excess melanin production are sun (or tanning bed) exposure and topical serums or procedures that cause an inflammatory response. Inflammation caused by hormonal imbalances or acne are also a major trigger for excess melanin production. Persons of Asian, Middle Eastern, African, and Latin descent have a greater tendency towards hyperpigmentation.

Melanocytes are located between the epidermis and dermis. Clusters of excess melanin can be located deep in the skin and cannot simply be exfoliated off, though exfoliation can stimulate more rapid cell turnover. Rather the microcirculation and lymphatic system must be efficient enough to break up the clusters and move them out of the skin, into the blood stream to be eliminated. Impaired microcirculation and lymphatic system will also cause rough, tough, uneven skin texture.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Cause

My personal experience is that most cases of hyperpigmentation are a Liver imbalance: Blood deficiency, Qi and Blood stagnation, and sometimes Heat. The Liver in TCM terms is intimately tied to hormonal cycles and becomes vulnerable during menses, postpartum, and menopause. This is why improper care during menstruation, postpartum, and menopause can lead to hyperpigmentation.

Internal Solutions

Practicing Menstrual Renewal, Postpartum Recovery, and proper menopausal care are critical to treating and preventing hyperpigmentation. These practices ensure hormonal balance and promote optimal microcirculation and lymphatic functioning.

In addition to Chinese herbal formulas, I recommend taking 1 capsule of Avogen daily. Avogen is a compound isolated from avocados that affects the cellular matrix, making the skin structure softer, increasing microcirculation, and greatly speeds up the process of cell waste removal (including excess melanin).

Topical Actives

Since hyperpigmentation can be caused by inflammatory topicals, avoiding inflammation is the #1 priority. Eliminate sulphate cleansers. Absolutely no benzoyl peroxide or hydroquinone. These 2 ingredients are often marketed as treatments for hyperpigmentation, but are so inflammatory they worsen it longterm. Acids are helpful when used occasionally (once a month or so) to stimulate cell turnover. Acids used regularly in cleansers, moisturizers, etc. will cause inflammation and exacerbate hyperpigmentation.

I recommend 302 Professional Skincare products because they are natural, corrective, and calming to the skin. Specifically I like to put patients on a regimen on 302 Drops 3x a week, Lightening Drops 3x a week, and Clarity once a week. 302 Drops contain the same active ingredient as Avogen. It softens the skin and increases cell microcirculation. Lightening Drops contains a stable form of Vitamin C (THDCA). Vitamin C brightens the skin and increases the skins’ ability to resist and repair sun damage. Clarity contains powerful retinoid (Vitamin A) which weeds out defective skin cells and is a key topical in lightening, acne-clearing, and anti-aging regimens. Retinoids must be used sparingly as they will cause irritation, dryness, and flaking when used in excess.

Post continued here

By | 2017-12-03T23:54:55+00:00 November 17th, 2013|Beauty, Chinese Herbs|Comments Off on How to Fix Hyperpigmentation; Internal & External Treatment Part I

Generating Yin and Moisturizing Dryness

quan-yinVaginal dryness is an unspoken occurrence that affects many women. It is one of the two most prevalent symptoms of menopause (the other being hot flashes). Vaginal dryness, and the attendant reduction in plumpness, occurs due to a drop in estrogen. It can also happen in much younger women who are experiencing hormonal imbalances.

In TCM vaginal dryness is a sign of Yin deficiency. Yin is the substance and lubrication of the body. It provides the luster, suppleness, flexibility, centerdness, and calm. Yin anchors our thinking and excitement and allows us to rest. Yin is the fuel for active Yang in the body.

Yin can become deficient due to overwork, mental and emotional stress, blood and fluid loss, poor nutrition, and lack of self care and rest. All women have a tendency to become Yin deficient with age. When Yin is deficient, Yang becomes relatively excessive which causes heat signs. Yin deficiency can manifest as dryness (skin, hair, eyes, mouth, stools, etc.), anxiety, insomnia, hot flashes, night sweats, headaches, emotional instability and sensitivity, excess libido, agitation, tinnitus, thinning skin, malar flush, and heat in hands and feet worse at night.

How do we protect our Yin and avoid or reverse vaginal dryness?

  1. Live a healthy lifestyle. This means getting at least 8 hours of sleep a night, eating regular nutritious meals, enjoying connection and laughter, reducing stress, and avoiding overworking. This is the foundation for everything.
  2. Practice proper menstrual and postpartum care. This keeps the hormones balanced and is essential for every woman’s long-term vitality.
  3. Drink sufficient fluids to avoid dehydration and limit alcohol and caffeine.
  4. Consume Yin tonics regularly like fish oil, black sesame seeds, avocado, bone broth, go ji berries, and American ginseng. The most effective and potent way to take Yin tonics is in the form of balanced Chinese herbal formulas that will include herbs to clear heat and astringe fluids.
  5. Take astringent herbs regularly such as Wu Wei Zi (schizandra) and Shan Zhu Yu (cornus). These are best taken in balanced formulas.
  6. Treat unresolved trauma, repression, or resentments in regards to sexuality, trust, and relationships. Vaginal dryness can be psychological or have a psychological component. The uterus and genitals are strongly connected to the heart. Most women need to feel an emotional and mental connection with their lover. If there are resentments, blockages due to past experiences, or you simply do not like the person anymore you cannot expect to feel excited. Your body may be trying to tell you something.
  7. Cultivate an empowered sexuality. Many women receive conflicting and negative messages that block sexual expression.
  8. Practice relaxation. This can mean daily meditation, spending time in nature, doing qigong or yoga.
  9. Get in touch with your creativity on a daily basis. Creativity and sexuality belong to the Water element and are strongly linked. Cultivating one will increase the other.

Maintaining juiciness is about more than just sexual functioning. Keeping your Yin strong means maintaining your womanliness: gentleness, grace, self-sufficiency, ease, peace, love…. all the things this world needs.

Andrews, Lia. “The ‘Three Golden Opportunities’: Key Times Women Can Improve or Damage their Health.” (The Journal of Chinese Medicine, October 2013, Number 103).

Andrews, Lia. “7 Times a Woman; Ancient Wisdom on Health & Beauty for Every Stage of Your Life.” (Alcyone Press: San Diego, 2013).

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By | 2017-12-30T00:20:27+00:00 October 19th, 2013|Beauty, Postpartum Care, Second Spring, Sexual Cultivation|Comments Off on Generating Yin and Moisturizing Dryness