Beauty Care & Skin Health: Detox with TCM!

Photo by The Honest Company on Unsplash

Skin Beauty Care health is what we all want! Chinese medicine can show you what you’re doing wrong, and what could help.

And you’ll pick up some theory along the way. Here goes!

Your Single Most Important Organ? Your Lungs!

At what point at birth are you reckoned to be OK?

Well, the first thing is, can you breathe? If not, no matter how fast your heart is going, you won’t last long. You have to breathe!

In Chinese medicine, the first listed energy organ is/are your Lungs. (Then the next one, believe it or not, is your Large Intestine! You’ll see why later.)

So for beauty care skin purposes, your lungs come first!

Your Lungs rule your Skin

Sage - one of many herbs for beautiful skin.
Sage from my garden.

What does that mean? (Picture is of Sage, from my garden: one of many herbs used for ‘restoring’ the lungs, stomach and intestines.)

The Chinese system of medicine is, in its own way, as sophisticated as Western Medicine. It can deal successfully with many problems that Western medicine struggles with: it thinks about health very differently, and expresses things in another way too.

One way it differs is that it puts parts of your body under different energy organs, or zang-fu. For example …

  • Flesh and muscles come under your Spleen
  • Tendons and eyesight comes under your Liver
  • Blood comes under your Heart
  • Bones and joints come under your Kidneys
  • Your skin comes under your Lungs.


What that means is that, other things being equal, if you have problems with your flesh and muscles (overweight, underweight, losing weight etc), your acupuncturist would probably first consider your Spleen energy. Or at least, it would be very high on his list.

For skin problems, he thinks of your Lungs.

Your Lungs open and close your pores

This has partly to do with adjusting your body’s temperature through perspiration. But it goes much further because you have various kinds of skin pores, and they all need to work properly. That includes the pores that moisturise and oil your skin.

So dry, oily, scaly or just troublesome skin, your Lungs are in charge. That’s really important when it comes to your beauty care skin.


Learning to Breathe properly

There aren’t many bodily functions that you can control without help!

  • Can you regulate the speed at which your liver metabolises?
  • How do you slow down the action of your large intestine?
  • Tell me how to make your kidneys work better?
  • But you CAN learn to breathe properly! As you read this, you can take a large breath or a small one, or even stop breathing for a minute or so (please don’t!). You have enormous control over what and how you breathe!


You can also seek better air quality. Clean air is essential for your beauty care skin health.

  • Avoid air contaminated eg with smoke
  • Go for a walk at lunch, preferably outside in fresh air
  • Spend spare time outside, playing games, gardening, walking in the countryside, and (carefully) tanning your skin


What naturally benefits your skin beauty care will benefit your lungs.

Why is this so important for Skin Beauty Care?

In Chinese medicine, your Blood nourishes all of your body. As you’ll read if you click on that link to the page on Blood, there are a number of reasons, besides your Lungs, why these need attention:

  • What you choose to eat and drink (see Nutrition)
  • How you store and prepare it, ready for consumption
  • How you eat or drink it (see also Stomach)
  • What your Spleen does with what you eat
  • How your inherited constitution and energy help
  • How your circulation and thoughts affect it all (Heart)
  • What your Lungs pick up from, and return to, the air, before your heart pumps the blood off round your system


Detox! – the word we think of first

Parsley for Skin beauty
Parsley, rich in fibre and vitamin C

Here’s a picture of a pot of parsley growing in my garden.

Parsley is rich in Vitamin C and its root is used for warming and moistening, but also nourishing and restoring.

Why not grow your own herbs?

Well, of course, if you’ve been unwell, or eaten lots of bad food, and your body has absorbed too much alcohol or smoke, it might need time to clear out the remains of the garbage – to detox!

Read about Damp-Heat in your Large Intestine for more about a situation when your body needs help.

But actually, given half a chance and the right foods, sleep, water and air, it can often do it naturally given a few days.

It would be better to avoid stimulants, alcohol and more garbage-foods during that time, and do what you body actually wants, (which might include an occasional fast) and you’ll detox perfectly naturally.

Talking of stimulants, if you often take what many countries regard as illegal substances, you may be over-stoking your Fire energy. (This may make more sense if you read our page on 5 Elements acupuncture. Also the page on Fire.) The Chinese discovered that one class of foods has the ability to steady your Fire energy. They are the bitter foods. Include them in your diet.

Skin Beauty care health comes together when a whole range of factors come together.

Lifetime of a Skin cell

The cells in your blood that make it red each live for only about 4 months. They nourish all your body and other cells are nourished by them. How long do your skin cells live for? 14 – 21 days!

The reason is that you shed skin all the time. That dust in your house? Probably a good deal of it comes from, or rather offyou.

That means that if you have bad skin, within a few weeks of starting to do the right thing, your skin can be improving, as the old, poor quality skin cells get replaced. But that still comes back to your Blood and that’s why the right food is so important.

(And what will you be doing with that old, bad skin during those 3 weeks? Why! You’ll be plastering on rejuvenants and moisturisers to try to keep it alive – when it’s dead! That’s a bit like putting moisturiser on the clot that naturally forms over a wound after you cut yourself. But your body forms the clot only as a temporary measure and eventually discards it when new, healthy skin has formed underneath it. When discarded, the clot takes all that expensive moisturiser with it.) 

Bad food

In most countries until around 150 years ago, ‘bad’ food was only rarely available. Given that, and that our bodies evolved during times of only sometimes plenty and often famine, we are made to store food reserves when we can.

Also, our bodies can put up with the occasional garbage. (Perhaps it’s even quite good for us, just like Candida, if under control in our guts!)

But from around 100 years ago, depending on your country, all sorts of luxury foods became available. Once just there for festivals, they were on sale all year round. These luxuries include:

  • sugar and sweeteners
  • sweet fruit eg bananas, appropriate in hot countries, less so in cold, wet places because of the energetic actions of the fruit (for example, bananas are sweet and give you energy, yes, but they are moistening and cooling in nature, according to Chinese medicine. Is that what you want if you live in a cold, wet country? Also, too much sweet food weakens the action of your Spleen, and that tends to produce Damp and Phlegm.)
  • refined food (white flour, white sugar, tasteless preservatives) which mess with your large intestine (and your Spleen)
  • concentrated foods – can be harder to digest
  • ice cream and chilled foods (both weaken your Stomach Yang energy and ice-cream may also produce Damp and Phlegm)
  • oils that keep fresh indefinitely, because ‘purified’ to remove the necessary nutritional bits that do you good, but make them go off quickly (read Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill)
  • preserved foods
  • flavourings


Each of these has its place but not as a daily food.

What’s More for Natural Skin Beauty Care …

We all took more exercise (see Lungs, above). I had to bicycle to school in the 1940s and 1950s, and many walked.

Sometimes children walked a mile to school in the morning, back home for lunch and then back to school for the afternoon, then walked home again after school: 4 – 6 miles every day! At weekends we played outside.

So we ate less and exercised more. Now we eat more and exercise less.

Not good for beauty care skin health.

What’s more …


Food used to come from good earth

Over-farming for yield has meant farmers use fertilisers to squeeze more crops from the ground. The fertilisers used are usually just three – phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium – instead of the necessary 70 plus minerals that make up the earth. 

So, put in three and take out 70.

Eventually the crops, lacking the soil nutrition they need, become weaker, more prey to bugs and beasties. Then farmers need herbicides, pesticides and fungicides to prevent plant disease and maintain yields. Those often end up in us.

So does the sub-standard food.

Eventually the top-soil blows away leaving – perhaps – sand-dunes.

sand dunes - silica - you only need a little for your beauty care skin!
Photo by Joshua Sukoff

Consequently, the foods we eat are less rich in essential ingredients.

That doesn’t help your blood. That doesn’t help your beauty care skin health regime either!

But even that’s not all …

Modern medicine stops fevers

It stops them several ways.

  • By vaccinating us, it prevents us from ‘enjoying’ the occasional fever that might habituate our bodies to being able to kill off bugs safely and without help
  • By giving antibiotics too often, it prevents our bodies having to fight for themselves, using up garbage to fuel the fever. Read Suppression.


Consequently …

  • we end up with long-term low-grade illnesses, often hardly noticeable, that blow up into acute hyper-sensitivities when most inconvenient. Read Latent Heat.
  • one of those hyper-sensitivities can be to food
  • others turn up on your skin, causing inflammations and no end of beauty care skin problems!


So … why did you think that plastering your skin with embalming oil would cure your bad skin?

Of course, they’ll plaster over some of the ‘cracks’. But you’ll keep needing more for your beauty care skin!

And … bad foods, not containing real nutrition:

  • make you crochety, intolerant and hyper. 
  • mess with your energy, giving you lots for short periods of time, then plunging you into tiredness and grazing – hypoglycaemia
  • prevent good sleep
  • in women, can worsen your menses
  • for everyone, make us more susceptible to disease, with lowered immunity
  • make us need nutritional supplements
  • harm your teeth, meaning governments can then justify fluoridation of the water supplies, even though there is evidence linking this with a variety of other problems, including ADHD and stained teeth etc.
  • keep us all fretting about our beauty care skin health regimes – making good money for the manufacturers!


What Have Rats got to do with Beauty Care and Food?

My father liked to point out –

  • food manufacturers bought good grain from our organic-type farm. Then …
  • they removed the essential nutrients from it (the germ) and the husk (the fibre) …
  • so they could sell us white flour that would last indefinitely but contained little of nutritional value
  • and sell us vitamin B and other stuff made from the germ to help our beauty care skin health
  • and sell us fibre – bran – to keep us regular.
  • He noticed that the rats in the barn wouldn’t eat the white flour!
  • He should have bought shares in the food manufacturers!


Green food, excellent for skin beauty care.
Green peas growing in my garden. Why not grow your own, either from seed or by transferring a pot of the growing herb to a bigger pot of your own with good earth?

(The picture is of green peas growing in a pot in my garden. You just need earth, sun, water and time, then you get good greens, great for clearing blocks!)

If your intestines clog up, that doesn’t help your skin.

Remember, at the top of this page, I said that the second energy organ after the Lungs was the Large Intestine?

That’s where the refined garbage collects, along with the bugs that grow in it, like Candida – which causes thrush.

Now you see perhaps why the Chinese had a point. If you breathe the wrong air and can’t get rid of the garbage, your skin will suffer.

(In case you wonder, where do you find white flour? Well, it’s a long list. Here are just a few of the most frequent contenders: white bread, cake, biscuits, sauces, puddings, rolls, croissants, pastry …)

All right. I understand. You’re on this page to get the low-down on the best skin nutrients. By which you mean oils and creams to smooth onto it!

Sad to say, there is a huge list of ingredients that will sooner or later be shown, if not already, to cause you all sorts of nasty health problems.  Often these become apparent only in the long-term so we don’t notice them at the time, and don’t associate their ill-effects with them.

They include chemicals which are so widely used that we think they are safe because so many manufacturers include them.

  • What you put on your skin will be absorbed
  • So don’t apply poisons
  • Don’t assume that because the oil is ‘natural’ it is good


Please look up and read about some of the following:


What does that leave you?

Skin Creams

There are a growing number of producers who are aware of all this. Here are some that I am aware of. But check their ingredients yourself before you buy! At least they all strive for high standards, I believe.

And they are often MUCH cheaper than many famous brands.


Healthy Food Supplements for Beauty Care

One I use has helped many, and not just in aid of beauty care skin health. Click here for details. 

But don’t forget: don’t keep putting garbage in. Even the best supplements won’t compensate.

If you want healthy plants to grow in a field, by all means start replacing all the missing minerals the soil needs, but also, stop dumping poisonous chemicals on it!

Peppermint and Beauty Care Skin

Chinese medicine classifies peppermint as being cool and pungent.

That’s a slightly unusual combination, but it makes peppermint rather special because …

Being cool, therefore YIN in nature, it can:

  • calm the mind, as in anxiety, stress, racing mind, unable to concentrate …
  • steady your appetite, and often regulate nausea
  • remove heat, for instance occurring in acne, pruritis, itch, dermatitis, sunburn: all problems for beauty care skin and …
  • … steady burning in your stomach
  • regulate heat in your skin, joints and feet, helping to remove or ease aching, for example
  • ease allergic reactions (allergies are nearly always a kind of HEAT in your body, occurring where your body cannot regulate its tendency to produce inflammation or over-reaction: frequently treatable in Chinese medicine)
  • ease YANG type headaches


Being pungent it can:

  • stimulate our Lungs and Large Intestine to work faster (that’s why after a hot or pungent dish, such as curry, if you aren’t used to it, you will perspire and later on, have smelly poo!)
  • help problems with your large intestine, such as constipation or even IBS, depending on what kind of IBS it is, helping keep you regular and clearing out some of that garbage you ate
  • stimulate your immune system, managed by – in large part -your Lungs, so it will help to keep you free of disease, helping your beauty care skin that way too ..
  • .. which helps to keep your nose clear too (because your Lungs and Large Intestine manage your nose: in fact your Large Intestine acupuncture channel goes right up to your nose)


and, well, a bundle of other stuff, just about all of which can be explained by the fact that peppermint is pungent and cooling, so can help beauty care skin!

You can read lots more about peppermint oil uses and benefits at


Just remember, when you take peppermint oil, it’s much more concentrated than peppermint and so can burn you. Please check the directions carefully! All essential oils like peppermint oil are really concentrated, so potentially dangerous if misused: like any medicine or herb!

Why not grow your own good foods?

You just need a pot, some good earth, water and sun and time

Thyme - a great herb for skin beauty care!
Thyme from my garden. Why not grow your own? It’s easy! Get a pot of the growing herb and transfer it into a bigger pot with good earth. Then give it water, sunlight and time!

(Here’s a picture of the thyme I planted a few months ago. Thyme is classified as being good for restoring the function of the lungs, intestines and stomach.)

If you read my book on Qi Stagnation, you’ll understand why gardening is good for nearly all of us.

Lastly – something else for Beauty Care Skin Health

  • Now read the page on Skin Care for a completely different view on this, and discover how your skin can keep you healthy!
  • And if, after doing all this, your skin beauty care is still a real problem, see an acupuncturist!


Other pages to read:

Jonathan Brand colours

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