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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Coming from a long line of aestheticians (mother, grandmother and great-grandmother), it’s no surprise Angelina Umansky, co-founder of Spa Radiance in San Francisco, is one of the most sought after skin specialists in the country with a clientele that reads like Vanity Fair’s who’s who (we’re talking – the Gettys and Michelle Pfeiffer #needisaymore). I sat down with Angelina to get answers to my burning skin care questions – How do I get rid of my neck bands? What can be done about crepey skin? Is the cult favorite, Biologique Recherche a nontoxic line and if so, which products do you recommend…

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Generally, I avoid harsh acids like the plague. My sensitive, frail skin time and again has been burned and sensitized by strong acids so I typically opt for physical exfoliants, like this one from Tammy Fender (LOVE) or the Ayuna Essence (which I review down below). BUT last night, fed up with the persistent little clogged bumps on my cheeks and forehead, I decided to give the AHA/BHA REN Ready, Steady, Glow AHA Daily Toner a go (gasp!). At first, I was scared, fearing the worst. The REN toner is the type of product, usually sent to me by a PR rep, that…

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