Beauty

‘Old is gold’ traditional treatments and ancient foods you need for radiant skin

In light of the recent opening of Singapore’s first ever bird’s nest cafe, here’s a primer on ancient foods and treatments that’ll do wonders to your skin
 

Let us take a journey, by bamboo rafts, back to the beginning of time. Okay beginning of time is a little far, so how about just until we started creating healing treatments. Our ancestors were no fools - here’s to glowing inside and out!

Chia seeds

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Don’t underestimate these tiny black and white seeds that come from Salvia Hispanica - a plant related to mint. Chia seeds have been a superfood staple since the Mayan, Inca, Aztec and Native Indian civilisations. Packed with Omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and protein, chia seeds are considered one of the most nutritious foods in the world. Chia seeds also have anti-inflammatory properties that soothe skin conditions like acne and eczema. On their own, they taste rather bland, so you can add them to just about anything, from porridge to yogurt and rice dishes. Try Superior Chia, which are micro-sliced for your body’s maximum absorption of all the goodness.

Birds nest

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When you think of beauty enhancing food, bird's nest is probably the first that comes to mind. There’s a good reason that it has been used in beauty and wellness for over 1,200 years. High in protein and rich in collagen and other nutrients, studies have shown that consuming bird's nest can stimulate the regeneration of skin and tissue repair, maintaining that youthfulness and elasticity we so love.

Time is never on our side, but you can enjoy fuss-free double-boiled bird's nest from Superior at the click of a button. Tip: Indulge in bird’s nest between 9pm and 10pm, when your body is in rejuvenation mode.

Jade rolling

Jade rolling is an ancient beauty practice that has been used by Chinese women for hundreds of years. It utilises a specially designed jade stone tool (that looks, well, like a paint roller) to massage the muscles of the face and neck and stimulate acupuncture energy points. By normalising the flow of qi (energy) and blood to your face, neck and head, your skin's energy is restored to a balanced harmony, boosting suppleness and tone. Jade rolling is synonymous with reducing tension and puffiness, so you can be one step closer to that V-shaped face that’s every woman’s dream.

Jade rolling also helps your skin better absorb products – use it after applying a mask to help the product further penetrate. You can do it right in front of the TV or while lying in bed. If all else fails, spoil yourself with a cooling jade facial.

 

READ MORE: Eat these top 9 immunity boosting foods, pronto and Yo-yo dieting will be a distant memory with these expert healthy-living hacks

 

Gua sha

Gua sha dates back 700 years to the era of the Ming Dynasty. The name comprises two Chinese words: “gua” (to rub or scrape) and “sha” (a type of stagnant energy that causes excess heat to build up in the body). Put together, gua sha means rubbing the skin to remove energy blockage, and it’s often done using a slice of water buffalo horn.

Gua sha is known to improve blood circulation and remove dark eye circles, puffy eye bags, lighten pigmentation and sharpen the face. Because nothing good ever comes easy, be prepared to see some unsightly red marks after the treatment. Be sure to get your skin scraped by a trained professional – you don’t want to deal with ruptured capillaries!

Ginseng

Discovered 5000 years ago in the mountains of Manchuria, China, ginseng’s unusual human shape soon became a powerful symbol of divine harmony on earth. It’s packed with a large amount of phytonutrients, which can stimulate the skin’s metabolism. It rids your skin of the pesky free radicals that accumulate when your skin is regularly exposed to sunlight and environmental pollution.

Ginseng also contains ingredients that can increase the production of collagen in the dermis, making your skin firmer and more youthful. Enjoy the benefits of the revered plant with a range of holistic treatments, from facials to foot baths.

Acupuncture

We have a point to make about this very ancient form of healing that goes back about 2,000 years, and was a popular method for the royalty to preserve their youth and beauty. This treatment is now a hit with celebs like Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow to fix their crow’s feet.

Most recently, Eu Yan Sang started offering facial acupuncture at its traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) clinics. Like gua sha, acupuncture stimulates acupoints and harmonises the yin and yang so the body is in good order. If you suffer from common skin conditions like acne, dull skin and pigmentation and have yet to try acupuncture, you know what to do.  

Honey

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Did you know? Cleopatra of Egypt, the epitome of beauty, regularly took honey and milk baths to maintain her youthful appearance. This all-natural product isn’t just perfect for sweetening your tea. Honey is a humectant, which means it attracts and retains moisture.

This makes honey a great fit in a variety of moisturising products including cleansers, creams and shampoos. Pamper yourself with a yellow citrus and honey shower mask because hey, who’s to stop us from feeling like Cleopatra?

READ MORE: 10 glorious ways to finally STOP snacking at your desk! and So you want to lose those excess kilos? Easy – eat dessert FIRST

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