Yesterday at a beauty blogger event, one of my girlfriends turned to me and said, “Wow, your skin looks so good. Your PD (perioral dermatitis) is completely gone!” I couldn’t help but smile. My skin has come a long way. It’s taken over two years, but I’ve been able to radically strengthen my barrier and restore resiliency to my skin by following two rules – (1) avoid products that strip my skin of moisture and (2) deposit moisture into the skin with each step in my skincare routine. When I first started trying to heal my perioral dermatitis, my focus was on…

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While I’m no stranger to the stress reducing benefits of adaptogens, like ashwaganda (thanks to my discovery of Moon Juice a few years back), or the ability of Chinese herbs like jujube, longan and astralangus to ease labor and delivery, the benefits of western herbs are rarely salient in my mind when I think of herbs. When I mentioned this to Traci Donat, herbalist and founder of Simples Tonics, an herbal apothecary that specializes in western herbs, last week during our interview she wasn’t surprised. “In our society, we often look to Ayurveda or Traditional Chinese Medicine or the Andes when it…

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Currently, I am 35 weeks pregnant! Woohoo – almost there! And while I’ve been busy checking off my to-do list (prepare the nursery, register at the hospital, make a list of baby names, etc), it’s now time to also begin prepping my body for labor by drinking daily a prenatal Chinese date tea made with red dates, goji berries, longans and astralangus. This herbal tea contains many components routinely used in Traditional Chinese Medicine, such as Chinese red dates (jujube), goji berries, astralangus membranaceous and dried longan, for their qi enhancing qualities. I was instructed to begin drinking this tea and eat…

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As a Korean adopted American girl raised by Jewish parents in the midwest, the Chinese postpartum practice of “sitting the month” also known as “confinement month” or zuò yuè zi was a foreign concept to me when I first learned about it from my Chinese American girlfriends. Many of them began getting pregnant a few years ago and discussing how they would practice this tradition, either with help from their mothers’/mother-in-laws or by hiring postpartum Chinese nannies. Some of the Chinese confinement rules felt intuitive, like eating nothing but nourishing soups with Chinese herbs, no physical exertion or wearing socks to prevent…

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Using clean, nontoxic haircare is nonnegotiable for me. After rebounding from a receding hairline and major hair loss by turning to green shampoo and hair products, I now avoid harsh chemical surfactants and detergents at all costs to preserve the health of my hair. (Sulfates can be drying and sensitizing to skin over time, AND can weaken hair follicles causing premature breakage.) But when I transitioned to clean shampoos, I was disappointed to find I had to sacrifice texture and lather ability (I’m looking at you Rahua Shampoo). Yet, the trade offs were worth it. My hair started to grow back and…

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