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East and West Meets Our Skin in the Summer

In the summer we are more aware of the largest organ in our body: our skin.  Skin issues can arise in the summer from sunburn to dry skin.  There are many approaches to taking good care of our skin in the summer.  There are many other natural ways to pamper our skin in the summer including the traditional Chinese medicine approach.

The summer exposes our skin to toxins and increased sun exposure.  Protecting ourselves from UV rays, keeping our skin hydrated, and detoxifying toxins can help to keep our skin healthy and beautiful.  In traditional Chinese medicine, summer is the yang season, a time when energy is moving upward and warm weather promotes energy. 

Hydrating our skin in the summer is an important part of staying healthy. Drinking at least 8 cups of water daily is a start, but there are also water-rich foods which can hydrate our skin, such as watermelon, leafy greens, and berries. Water is also important for flushing toxins from our skin. In TCM, balancing summer heat can help keep our skin glowing and hydrated.  Excessive sweating can scatter heart qi and cause an imbalance in our body.  Eating foods such as strawberries, tomatoes, mung beans, cucumber, and fish can help ease symptoms caused by summer heat. 

Summer also means protecting ourselves from damaging UV rays from the hot summer sun, using a good sunscreen which protects our skin from UV rays is crucial to avoiding skin damage.  A good sunscreen should have a SPF of 15 or higher, be water resistant, and provide broad-spectrum protection.    In addition to sunscreen, extract of fern can be taken as a supplement and offers protection from sun exposure by inhibiting the skin’s absorption of ultraviolet rays. 

Supplements which support normal skin function all year round include vitamin E, vitamin C, and selenium.  Each of these are powerful antioxidants which can speed up the skin’s natural repair and help with wrinkles and fine lines associated with aging.  Flavonoid-rich foods, such as green tea and chocolate (Yes chocolate!), are packed with strong antioxidants can benefit the skin as well.  

In TCM, humidity in the summer can cause dampness in the body.  Summer heat, toxins, and dampness can cause inflammation in the skin, itching, and acne.  Formulas such as Skin Balance by Health Concerns can help to eliminate toxins, reduce heat and dampness, and nourish the skin.  Bitter is yin or cooling, reduces excess heat, and drains dampness, eating foods such as dandelion, chamomile, alfalfa, asparagus, and papaya can help balance dampness and clear heat.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.