A GLOW UP PLAN FOR YOUR BIG DAY
How to use Chinese beauty to get your skin ready for all those spring weddings and summer events...
SANDRA LANSHIN CHIU, LAc
Wedding season is upon us, but you don’t have to say “I do” to start a “glow-up” routine for your skin. Below are my tips for achieving healthy, photo-ready skin this Summer using the genius of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
For more comprehensive and personal guidance on creating your skincare plan, join my weekend workshop at the world-renowned Omega Institute in JUNE. Register now - space is limited!
If you've got serious goals for your skin, you may want to start as soon as 8-10 weeks before a wedding day. Skin takes 28-30 days to turnover (i.e. transform and change) and you’ll get the best results by consistently working on your skin for 2 full cycles. If this timing doesn't work for you, I recommend applying the below tips at least 2-3 weeks prior to your event, to give your skin time to acclimate to new products and a new routine (especially if you have highly sensitive or breakout prone skin).
GAME CHANGE YOUR SKIN'S HYDRATION AND MOISTURE
No matter what “skin type,” hydrating and moisturizing are essential elements that all skin needs to do its jobs well (skin cell turnover and sebum regulation).
PRODUCTS. If you primarily use a moisturizing cream, consider switching to a hydrating mist (or toner) and face oil. That combination goes much further for moisturizing your skin than a cream because you can control how much fluid and oil your skin receives (cream is oil and water pre mixed and emulsified for you).
Products vary by skin type so I recommend using ones that address your skin’s unique needs. If you’re already doing so, you might still want to slightly tweak the way that you’re using your skincare products in order to get more out of them. You can find my product recommendations here.
ADD FACIAL GUA SHA TO YOUR SKINCARE ROUTINE
Getting a professional Gua Sha Facial and/or Acupuncture may already be part of your glow-up plan, but if not you can still do Gua Sha on your own to get your skin to its healthy best.
TECHNIQUE. To begin you want to learn the proper, basic technique. I know Gua Sha can be intimidating at first, so I created this “how-to” video for beginners. Once you grasp the basics, Gua Sha is pretty easy and only takes 10-15 minutes. That said, to achieve and maintain the best results you’ll need to do it daily or as often as you realistically can.
PRO TIP. Don’t put off trying Gua Sha just because you can’t do it every day; make that routine a goal to work towards. You’ll still get visible results whenever you practice Gua Sha, but you get maximum results from daily practice.
GUA SHA & OTHER TREATMENTS
EXFOLIATING. If you‘re working with a professional for exfoliation treatments (e.g. acids peels, microdermabrasion, dermaplaning) then consult your Dermatologist or use your best judgement about doing Gua Sha the same day. As a general policy, I always recommend avoiding Gua Sha on red, irritated, or raw skin. When it doubt, just wait a couple days for your skin to recover.
WAXING. If you just got a wax, definitely wait until any irritation or sensitivity settles before using Gua Sha on those areas.
PRO TIP. Do Gua Sha on your neck, even if you’re avoiding your face! Working on your neck is really good for your face and it keeps your Gua Sha routine going.
Many top makeup artists swear by Gua Sha as skin-prep prior to makeup application. Follow their lead and start your big day with 10-15 minutes of Gua Sha! *Important note - If you haven’t been practicing Gua Sha regularly, I don’t recommend starting the week-of or day-of an event. As with any skincare routine, there can be a slight chance of minor breakouts initially, while your skin detoxes and adjusts to new products and routine.
GUA SHA FOR ORDINARY BREAKOUTS
Gua Sha can be really helpful to reduce the lifecycle, size, and redness of regular breakouts, and even some cysts.
Chinese Medicine addresses pimples by helping the congestion move. You can do this at home with Gua Sha, using several more strokes than usual along broken out areas (as long as the skin isn’t raw or open). If a blemish is open or bleeding, avoid the area or stick a “spot” on it (my fave is Cosrx Acne Pimple Master Patch) to gently protect it before continuing Gua Sha.
TO BE CONTINUED...
You may have more questions about using Gua Sha for specific skin issues like acne and rosacea... I recommend joining my weekend workshop in June for 2 full days of training and conversation, or stay tuned and I’ll try to address those issues in future posts!