001 Skincare London founder Ada Ooi's magical hands are the secret weapon behind the flawless skin of Kate Middleton and Lady Gaga, to name a few

One of the fastest growing trends in beauty and wellness, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) emphasises a holistic way of looking at health, with a belief that the skin is a reflection of the internal well-being. While the concept of “beauty from within” has contributed to a growing interest in ingestible TCM, the benefits of TCM extends to skincare products, which incorporate natural TCM ingredients such as ginseng, goji berry, gingko and licorice root, combined with a lifestyle that balances the yin and yang of the body to maintain healthy-looking skin.

See also: 5 Winter Skincare Tips From The Founder Of Margy's Monte Carlo

Tatler Asia
SPA,  The St. Regis Hong Kong. SPA treatment at the St. Regis Hong Kong in Hong Kong.(Photo by Moses Ng /MozImages)
Above 001 Skincare London treatment at the St. Regis Hong Kong (Photo: Courtesy of St. Regis Hong Kong)

Pioneering the benefits of TCM in premium skincare, Ada Ooi is the founder of 001 Skincare London and one of the most sought after cosmetic acupuncturist and facialist to royalties and celebrities. A TCM practitioner who grew up in Hong Kong, Ada uses her award-winning line of skincare products combined with Chinese facial massage techniques such as gua sha to formulate a facial treatment that “treats skin from within” (available at The St. Regis Hong Kong). 

Prior to her flight back to London where facial appointments with the whole cast of Downton Abbey and top models like Kate Moss awaited her, Ada revealed five tips on how to add the benefits of TCM to make your skin glow from the inside out.

See also: Autumn Beauty: 5 Ultra-Hydrating Facials To Try In Hong Kong

1. Avoid cold foods and drinks

Tatler Asia
Very cold mineral water with ice in a misted glass bottles, dark background, selective focus
Above Photo: Getty Images

One of the keys in TCM is to keep our body “neutral”, which means maintaining a good balance of warm and cold in our eating habits. We call anything that’s cold to the body “evil cold” in Chinese, which causes a waste of Qi—a flow of energy which we are born with but to a certain limit—as our blood rushes to our organs to recover from the sudden drop of body temperature when we consume something cold. 

Keeping your body nourished will keep your Qi intact, which helps slow down the ageing process. As we age, our Qi gets recovered slower which is reflected on the skin. For example, if our liver is constantly cold because we don’t have enough Qi, it cannot flush out toxins effectively and results in dull and pigmented skin.

2. Allow yourself to cry

Tatler Asia
Young woman crying with tear drop.
Above Photo: Getty Images

Negative emotions and stress get accumulated in the liver. You can be sad and stressed, but try to find a way to let it out instead of storing those feelings. It seems many people have lost the ability to cry nowadays, but I believe crying is a cleansing ritual—everyone needs a ritual for them to let go of their negative emotions, whether it’s getting a haircut, a tattoo or anything that helps you release.

See also: To Ice Or Not To Ice: 5 Reasons To Try The Wim Hof Method


3. Start your morning with warm food

Tatler Asia
Chinese breakfast: Youtiao and fish porridge
Above Chinese breakfast (Photo: Getty Images)

Breakfast items like cereal and milk are cold in nature, which take up your Qi first thing in the morning. According to the Chinese horary clock, 7am to 9am is the time when your Qi is at the highest in your stomach, so warm meals that are high in nutrition such as oatmeal, congee, rice noodles and even a cup of tea or coffee will nourish your body first thing in the morning.

See also: Weekend Specials: 8 Most Unique Brunch Spots In Hong Kong

4. Exercise moderately

Tatler Asia
Asian girl exercising in gym she tired and She has sweat on her face.
Above Photo: Getty Images

I’ve observed this from my clients—they come to me after working out five times a week and their hands become cold from over-exercising.

Exercise is good, but it’s best to alternate high and low impact workouts to give your body enough time to rest. It’s not so much about the exercise itself but the recovery, which uses up your Qi to restore overworked muscles. Moderate exercise helps to maintain a balanced Qi which reduces visible signs of ageing. 

5. Observe your body

Tatler Asia
Chinese medicine
Above Ginseng water (Photo: Getty Images)

Listen to your body when you try a new TCM supplement or skincare product, even if it claims to be completely natural. Every body type reacts differently to different foods, for example, green tea is a cold food that may clash with someone with a cold-natured body and cause digestive problems and bloating. 

The best way to nourish your body is with real food. I am a fan of ginseng as it’s a neutral food that nourishes Qi. I boil it with water and drink it every day. I also drink pu’er tea, which contains a lot of antioxidants and is neutral in nature.

See also: 7 Beauty Supplements That Will Make You Glow From The Inside Out

Tatler Asia
© 2023 Tatler Asia Limited. All rights reserved.