EPISODE #26 THE SKIN EPISODE – cosmetic acupuncture instead of botox + upping your YIN to plump your SKIN
- Published on: 05 October, 2020
- Last update: 01 April, 2021
THIS WEEK ON WHAT’S THE JUICE PODCAST…
For years, my skin was a huge insecurity for me. I struggled with cystic acne, blackheads, and whiteheads (the unholy trinity) all throughout high school and into college. Of course—most of you know this about me already, especially considering many of you found me after I shared my acne story! To this day, my 2016 YouTube video about curing acne and my skincare routine is the most viewed video on my channel (and my 2019 follow-up is in the top 5).
I could talk about skincare and feeling beautiful inside and out allllll day, which is why I am so thrilled to introduce this week’s podcast guest: Amrit Singh. Amrit is a Toronto-based registered acupuncturist and the owner of 6BabeBeauty (and what a babe she is—inside and out). I think you’ll notice just how natural the convo is, and how passionate we both are about these topics.
We start with skincare (acne, anti-aging, facial acupuncture) and then completely nerd out on TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) theory, patterns, why she won’t wear crop tops (hint: it’s the same reason I don’t recommend iced drinks), and really dig into diet and gut health.
BECAUSE…as you might recall, skin health is directly related to GUT HEALTH. So, while we’re gonna touch on skincare, this convo goes a whole lot deeper. We’re diving into the gut, the liver, the lungs, the brain—because everything is connected and we’re all about whole-body wellness over here.
Ready to get juicy? Let’s start with the basics!
What is Acupuncture + How Does it Help Your Skin?
Acupuncture is a regulating form of medicine (just like herbalism; they’re often taught alongside each other). Essentially, it helps to regulate organ function so that everything—from your skin to your brain to your spleen—can work better together. The goal of acupuncture is to return your body to homeostasis by addressing internal imbalances.
Cosmetic acupuncture, which is what Amrit practices, is influenced by Japanese acupuncture. At its simplest, it helps stimulate blood flow (along with Yin and Shen—more on those later) in the face through a series of microtraumas. Your body understands that something is breaking down the skin barrier (the needle being inserted) and triggers a healing response. This helps create more collagen to minimize fine lines and wrinkles and just bring a healthier glow to the skin.
It can be a great alternative to—or a complement to—things like BOTOX and fillers. If you want skincare that’s stronger than a serum/cream but you’re not ready for needles (or maybe you want to go longer in between appointments), Amrit recommends and combo of the following:
- Cosmetic acupuncture
- Face massage
- Gua sha
- Facial rolling
OH…and GUESS WHAT ELSE! Cosmetic acupuncture can help with acne, too! The needles can help speed up the healing process, reduce inflammation, treat and prevent scars—yes, please!
We love that about acupuncture, but remember that Chinese medicine/holistic medicine is about the whole body. And that means we like to get to the root cause of what we’re treating, rather than just addressing the symptoms. Otherwise, they’re just gonna keep coming back.
So, why might you be dealing with acne in the first place?
The occasional pimple, blackheads, whiteheads—these might be caused by clogged pores or something happening on the surface of the skin. But hormonal acne, cystic acne, really chronic, hard-to-treat issues—these are coming from somewhere deeper within the body.
Think of acne as a warning sign or a smoke signal. It’s telling you that something is off balance. And in many cases, as Amrit can attest for her clients (and herself—she also struggled with stubborn breakouts) and I can attest personally, the root cause of acne tends to be one of these:
- Gut/digestive issues (you might also be dealing with acid reflux or digestive issues)
- Hormonal imbalances (could also be affecting the immune system)
This is why it’s so important to think of the body as a whole unit. Heal your gut -> heal your hormones -> heal your skin.
Okay, so, when your skin is clear and healthy and you’re feeling yourself, what do people tend to say? “You’re GLOWING”, right? Well, like me, Amrit is all about inner beauty showing through, and let me tell you—that glow comes from within just as much as it comes from the literal health of your skin.
In Chinese medicine, that glow comes from your Shen and your Yin. Your Shen is your spirit; it’s a combo of happiness, alignment, fulfillment, energy, how you nourish yourself. It connects your heart to your mind to your intestines—and one thing being off can affect everything (including your skin). Your Yin represents nourishment—physical (external & internal) and spiritual.
Below are Amrit’s tips on balancing both in your body.
How to Nourish Your Shen
- Consume blood-building herbs, heart herbs. Hawthorn berry tea is a great go-to evening drink to help nourish your heart and promote better rest.
- Eat well FOR YOU. We all need different diets—not fad diets—to nourish our blood, which will nourish our Shen (which is found in our blood)
- Eat foods that nourish your blood. Choose foods rich in B12 and iron, but also look for foods that literally resemble blood: deep berries, beets, etc. That’s nature talking to us!
- Eliminate what’s holding you back and not letting you shine. This might be a job that’s unfulfilling, an abusive relationship, trauma you need to process and let go…
When you have your purpose, then you have your glow.
5 Tips to Cultivate Your Yin
- Sleep when you want to sleep.
- Eat what feels good for you and is nourishing. For me, it’s soup—every day of the year.
- Do things that nourish you, say no to things that don’t—and don’t feel guilt or shame about your choices.
- Build up your blood. Take inspo from Chinese medicine and prepare for Yin-depleting wintertime by consuming a blood-building formula (insert shameless Mane Magic plug)
- Practice self-care. Yin is associated with being present, not rushing through things, listening to your heart.
Speaking of self-care…
…let’s end with a community self-care moment!
Head to my IGTV for a 10-minute Gua Sha/facial massage demo with Amrit to refresh your skin and connect with your self.
CONNECT WITH AMRIT SINGH