A healthy glow may be deceiving. Too much exposure to the sun can leave your skin leathery, dry, wrinkled and marked with visible and invisible damage. Autumn’s cool, dry air can rob your skin of the moisture that is so vital to its healthy appearance. So, before the dry, winter weather exacerbates your sun-damaged skin, take the following measures to replenish and repair your complexion.

Hydrate Your Skin!

Drink plenty of water. Drinking water not only hydrates your body, but also helps rehydrate your skin.

I used to hate drinking water. The taste of water didn’t appeal to me. It tasted bland. Blah! I simply didn’t feel thirsty enough to drink water and I thought my body didn’t require that much water.

The appearance of your skin — its suppleness and luster — depends on its moisture. As I get older, I see a difference when I drink enough water and when I don’t. If you are like me and don’t have a taste for water, adding lemon or green tea is an excellent way to overcome the difficulty of swallowing the tasteless fluid. Both are full of antioxidants and vitamin C.

Green tea has so many good effects on skin. I use it both internally as a tea and externally as an ingredient in my revitalizing herbal mask (more on that later). Green tea contains antioxidants that impede the damaging effects of free-radical toxins. It also contains anti-inflammatory chemicals which can counter-act signs of sun damage.

Moisturizing the skin is also very important. There are many different options for externally hydrating your skin.

I like applying ample amounts of serum, which is also called essence. There are different types of cosmetic serums that help with issues like pore control, whitening, collagen supplementing, etc. During the extreme summer heat, pores tend to open and stay open. Aging makes it harder to tighten up the stretched pores again. I use a pore refining serum, which really helps to minimize pores loosened by summer heat without drying out your skin

Proper rest is essential for a good complexion.

Try to sleep eight hours a day. The quality and time of sleep are also very important. If possible, you should sleep between 11pm and 5am. The reason? In Oriental Medicine, the hours from 11pm to 3am are believed to be the time that the liver and gallbladder cleanse all the body’s blood. The lungs’ time is from 3am to 5am. The lungs are closely related to the skin. Healthy lungs flower into the skin, making it look lustrous and taught.

Deep, restful and unbroken sleep is also important. Proper rest doesn’t only mean 8 hours of restful sleep. It also means minimizing the use of the computer when you are not working. Sitting in front of the computer can strain your eyes. And your eyes are closely related to the liver. Tired and overworked eyes will tax your liver. Sitting idle in front of the computer for more than 30 minutes will block the circulation of qi and blood.

Acupuncture Facial
If your skin is damaged, it needs to be repaired proactively. An acupuncture facial is the best way to counteract a damaged complexion. It will clear blockages and bring more circulation of qi and blood to the face. This promotes the production of collagen, which tightens and fills in wrinkles. The increased blood circulation will bring more nutrients to the skin cells, preventing premature aging caused by sun damage.

My acupuncture facial includes an herbal poultice mask with green tea. The herbs nourish, regenerate and tighten the skin. Green tea whitens dark and dry spots and mildly exfoliates dead skin cells that choke the budding skin layer beneath.

Here’s to a truly healthy complexion!