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Health, Dr. Mao, Santa Monica, Columnist

Dr. Mao's Wellness Living: Spring Cleaning For Your Skin

Dr. Mao Shing Ni
Courtesy Photo
Dr. Mao Shing Ni

Posted May. 11, 2014, 9:03 am

Dr. Mao Shing Ni / Mirror Columnist

As we eagerly welcome spring and the rebirth it inspires, many of us start our spring cleaning. So what better time to apply the “spring cleaning” concept than now to our skin?

From a health standpoint, the skin is the largest organ in our body – a functional part of our immune system – and it’s essential that we keep it healthy.

Cleanse from the inside with powerful food

“You are what you eat” has been said many times but has never been truer than with your skin because what you eat eventually shows up there.

As always, avoid foods that contain chemical and artificial ingredients. Eat foods that nourish the skin, like broccoli, dandelion green, mung bean, lentils, split peas, chickpeas, black beans, lima beans, pinto beans, seaweed, pearl barley, oats, water chestnuts, watermelon, carrots, brewer’s yeast, raspberries, papayas, pineapple, cherries, apples, pears, raisins, and grapes.

Fish, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, can be an excellent way to help nourish your skin. And don’t forget the water! The best way to keep you hydrated on the outside is to hydrate on the inside. At least eight 10-ounce glasses of room temperature water will do the trick.

Cook with the Skin Beauty Spice/Herb Blend

A combination of Western research and the beauty secrets of the ancient empresses of China has given us this youth-enhancing, flavorful blend of herbs and spices made expressly for the skin: blend together equal amounts of turmeric, dried rosemary, dried sage, dried basil, dried and ground neem leaves, dried parsley, dried thyme, dried oregano, dried mint, dried chives, and dried cinnamon. Store the blend in an airtight jar. The best time to add it to your meals is one minute before taking your food off the flame. Just add a teaspoon, stir, turn off the heat, and enjoy.

Bonus Tip: Herbs can help you spring clean your whole body, effectively giving you beautiful, radiant skin. Try my specially formulated Exquisite Skin, which contains herbs to help you detoxify and lubricate the skin.

Skin Brushing

We brush our teeth and our hair, but rarely think about brushing our body. Yet this is a popular practice among centenarians (people who live to be 100 or more). Brushing the whole body with dry, natural bristles can eliminate dead skin cells, as well as increase small capillary circulation to the skin, boost skin immunity against infection, and promote vibrant skin tone—a definite plus for spring skin. An alternative to brushing is body scrubbing, using a dry cloth or moist rag to vigorously scrub your body from head to toe.

Homemade Skin Smoothing Recipe

Hydration and exfoliation are the keys to smoother skin for spring. And there are many homemade skin care recipes you can find right in your grocery store that do just that. For example, the egg has been used for centuries on the face and body to cure dry skin. They’re packed with protein and lecithin, which is a natural lubricant. Adding a bit of sour cream to the mix will help slough off any dead skin cells.

Homemade Beauty Recipe for an Oily Complexion

One for oily skin is the carrot buttermilk mask. Just mix 2 tablespoons of fresh carrot juice and 2 tablespoons of powdered buttermilk into a smooth paste. Spread the mixture over your face and relax for 10 to 15 minutes, and then rinse with lukewarm water.

And lastly, as the days get longer and the sun gets stronger, don’t forget to protect your skin with sunscreen.

May you live long, live strong, and live happy!

Dr. Mao Shing Ni, best known as Dr. Mao is a bestselling author, doctor of Oriental Medicine, and board certified anti-aging expert. He has recently appeared on “The Ricki Lake Show,” “Dr. Oz,” and contributes to Yahoo Health and The Huffington Post. Dr. Mao practices acupuncture, nutrition, and Chinese medicine with his associates at the Tao of Wellness in Santa Monica, Newport Beach, and Pasadena. Dr. Mao and his brother, Dr. Daoshing Ni, founded the Tao of Wellness more than 25 years ago in addition to founding Yo San University in Marina del Rey. To make an appointment for evaluation and treatment call 310.917.2200 or you can email Dr. Mao at To subscribe to his tip-filled newsletter, visit

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