TCM Herbs For The Skin

If you have acne, eczema, psoriasis or similar skin problems, these Traditional Chinese Medicine herbs should be in your beauty regime now.

When the body’s energies are in balance, it shows up as healthy and glowing complexion without any blemishes. This is the philosophy of Traditional Chinese Medicine – good health is nurtured from inside out, and the health of the internal body system is reflected externally as well.

Skin appearances and imbalances

TCM believes that the skin is closely linked to the heart, lung and spleen. The spleen is the source of blood and qi, while the heart pumps blood to the whole body. Lungs are responsible for circulating blood and fluids to the skin. When these organs are functioning well, skin complexion is radiant and glowing. When there are dysfunctions in these organs, skin problems such as acne, eczema and psoriasis arises.

For example, when the lungs are imbalanced, the skin becomes itchy and flaky. The heart is affected by stress and leads to acne on the forehead or nose bridge. The spleen removes dampness from the body, and an imbalance in the spleen may lead to accumulation of dampness and heat, causing increased sebum production, which leads to pimple outbreaks or eczema.

Here are some common skin appearances and their possible underlying causes according to TCM:

Pale or tired-looking skin: The person has poor blood circulation, with a possible cold body constitution. He or she may also often feel sluggish.

Unhealthy yellow skin: The person has a spleen deficiency causing excessive dampness in the body.

Flushed and red skin: The person has excessive internal and external heat with yin deficiency.

Dark patches on skin: The person has a kidney deficiency with stagnant blood circulation. He or she is also likely to have a cold body constitution.

TCM herbs for glowing skin

There are many TCM herbs that help to restore balance to the organs and treat skin problems. Here is our complete guide to the top beauty-enhancing TCM herbs:

1. Ginseng

TCM Herbs For The Skin
Arguably the most popular TCM herb, ginseng has many health benefits and this herb has even found its way into modern skincare products. Ginseng rejuvenates skin, prevents UV damage and promote collagen production, hence it is most commonly used for reducing signs of ageing. Ginseng can be consumed as a drink or applied topically on the skin.

2. Chinese wolfberries (Goji berries)

TCM Herbs For The Skin
Highly sought after for its antioxidant properties, Chinese wolfberries are one of the main staple herbs in TCM. These small berries nourish the liver and kidney, as well as improve blood circulation in the body. Chinese wolfberries play a huge role in preventing sun damage, as it contains zinc oxide, a common ingredient in sunscreens to block out harmful UVA and UVB rays from the sun. They also boost collagen and elastin production, thereby improving your skin complexion.

3. Green tea

TCM Herbs For The Skin
Herbal teas have been used in TCM practice for thousands of years, and one of the most popular herbs is green tea. It is high in bioflavonoids and catechins that increase skin elasticity and reduce uneven skin tone.

4. Ginkgo biloba

TCM Herbs For The Skin
Aside from its memory-boosting properties, ginkgo is very beneficial to the skin as it has a high amount of antioxidants which prevents free radical damage and guards against premature skin ageing.

5. Licorice root

TCM Herbs For The Skin
Licorice is often used to treat inflammatory diseases in TCM, and in skincare, this herb is prized for its ability to reduce skin inflammation and calm blemishes. Licorice also improves spleen and stomach functions.

6. Chinese Angelica Root (Dong Quai)

TCM Herbs For The Skin
Also known as the “female ginseng” in TCM speak, it was traditionally used to treat women’s problem. Dong Quai has proven to be effective in treating eczema due to its anti-inflammatory abilities. It also brightens skin tone by interfering with the production of melanin, a skin pigment that makes skin darker.

With that being said, TCM is not a quick-fix solution, nor a one-size-fits-all treatment. Instead, TCM needs to be tailored individually. It would be dangerous to self-diagnose your own skin condition. Randomly buying TCM herbs and hoping for glowing skin complexion is wishful thinking as well. A licensed TCM physician has the knowledge and experience to assess your skin condition and recommend specific herbs to suit the needs of your body.

Start your beauty journey by consulting our Joyre TCM physicians today.