Adding chrysanthemum to your tea can help promote circulation and soothes inflammation.
When it comes to cult beauty brands beloved by models and socialites, French pharmacies are where it’s at. Karlie Kloss makes it a point to pop in City-Pharma whenever she’s in town for Paris fashion week—a practice that’s also been Goop-approved. Any beauty girl worth her salt can rattle off French drugstore brands off the top of her head in under 30 seconds: Bioderma, La Roche-Posay, Caudalie, Avène, Vichy, Embryolisse, Nuxe, Darphin…
But when it comes to ancient Chinese beauty remedies, you may as well be speaking French to us. Considering most of us have run into a Chinese drugstore or kiosk at least once in our lives, that’s warped, which is why we have decided to set things right.
Below is a list of Chinese ingredients with beauty benefits that could help your skin withstand the test of time. After all, if they’ve been relevant for more than 5,000 years, they must be doing something right.
What is it? Ling zhi happens to be a magical mushroom—but not the kind you’re thinking of. A rich source of minerals, amino acids, vitamins and essential oils, its medicinal properties have been utilized for more than 2,000 years. What does it do? Aids in cellular regeneration, while antioxidant properties protect skin against pollutants. It also maintains moisture and skin elasticity. How do I take it? The mushroom itself is pretty bitter, so you’re better off taking it in liquid, capsule, or powder form.
What is it? Perhaps the most uncommon ingredient in this list, Zhu ru is actually shaved bamboo. What does it do? Ground to a fine powder, Zhu ru can be used to exfoliate skin gently. It also contains a compound called lignan, which balances oil production and prevents pore congestion. How do I take it? Shaved bamboo isn’t a common beauty product ingredient, so the next best option would be to try gently washing your face with konjac sponge made with bamboo charcoal.
What is it? This is easy—it’s also known as chrysanthemum, Erap’s favorite flower that he couldn’t spell. (Are we the only ones who remember this joke?) What does it do? Apparently, it contains energizing compounds that promote circulation and soothes inflammation. How do I take it? Have you ever seen those beautiful Chrysanthemum blooming teas? That’s probably the most sophisticated way to get the benefits of Ju hua, but sure, feel free to give those prepackaged bottled drinks at 7-11 a chance.
Have you tried using Chinese herbal remedies to improve your complexion? Where is your go-to Chinese drug store?
Source: Beverly Dalton for Southern Living, “Asian Herbivore,” January 2014