If you’ve been following me for a while now, you know that I am a HUGE fan of Traditional Chinese Medicine, particularly acupuncture and herbalism. My acupuncturist has taught me so much over the years about the 5 Elements discipline she adheres to, and it absolutely fascinates me. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been around for thousands of years, and it works. I am living proof, and so are my children (I first turned to acupuncture for fertility issues 6 years ago). When 5YINA, a luxury, nontoxic, TCM skincare line landed on my radar, I knew I had to try it.
Ancient texts document that TCM was developed from multidisciplinary practices such as botany, biology, astronomy, meteorology, phenology, and philosophy. The number “5” a the foundation of TCM; along with Yin-Yang, the movement of nature is governed by the five elements: water, wood, fire, earth, and metal. These five elements correspond to seasons, colors, tastes, directions, sounds, aspects of the soul, and many other categories in the natural world. 5YINA products are synergistically formulated to capture and reflect the essence of each season according to TCM. These formulas are made to help skin adapt and remain at optimal vitality when in transition between different climates and/or seasons. The founders, both accomplished practitioners of TCM, believe that if we are dressing for the seasons, and we eating seasonal food, we should also be nourishing our skin with seasonal ingredients as well. I think they are on to something, because their products are incredible.
Something else I want to touch on is the modern science that 5YINA employs. Their botanical extractions are created in-house, in their own lab in California, for maximum freshness and efficacy. Many ingredients they use are rare and even unavailable commercially. The botanicals in 5YINA products are organic, wildcrafted, biodynamic, or of highest medicinal grade. One of the founders is a cancer survivor, which, to me, usually signifies that the ethics of a clean beauty brand are legit and that they are in this business for the right reasons. The products are also housed in beautiful light-protective alabaster white glass bottles, which can be recycled, and unlike plastic, are nonreactive. Because 5YINA does not use synthetic preservatives, these bottles are small, (TSA-friendly) and they should be used in 3-6 months after opening to ensure freshness and efficacy.
Each product I’ve tried has been a delight to the senses – it smells and feels beautiful – and has worked very well. I really enjoyed using the following products over the last month:
- The Divine Bio-Adaptive Cleanser can be used by all skin types, during all seasons. It is one of the best cleansers I’ve ever come across. It is creamy and rich, but it melts into skin on contact, and somehow pulls makeup, sunscreen, and daily grime off the skin and rinses clean, leaving my face soft and balanced. Pearl Powder brightens and exfoliates, but you don’t even feel any grittiness, so this formula is perfect for sensitive skin, too. Moringa has antiseptic and clarifying qualities, and Job’s Tears, Wild Chrysathemum, and Bai Zhu soothe and calm inflamed skin. I am in love with this cleanser.
- The Enlighten Spring Hydrolat feels like the season of spring is being misted onto your face. This toner smells like a delicate garden, complete with Rose, Helichrysum, and Lavender, and it really soothes and refreshes the skin. White Tea prevents oxidative stress, Poria Cocos, a Chinese mushroom, has anti-inflammatory properties to help strengthen skin, reduce uneven pigmentation, and prevent acne. Witch Hazel and Aloe keep things moisturized and balanced.
- I use 5YINA’s jade roller to apply the Enlighten Spring Beauty Oil. If you don’t own a jade roller yet, it’s an investment worth making. Jade rollers have been a secret weapon of Asian women of means for centuries, probably longer. Jade balances energy and has cooling properties; it also depuffs (it promotes lymphatic drainage) and tightens skin, and promotes circulation, and it makes products penetrate skin more deeply. So, whether you had a big night, you feel “saggy”, or you just have a cold, you’ll be happy you own one. As I said, I used mine to “roll in” my Enlighten Spring Beauty Oil. This oil is infused with 24 herbal bio-actives to protect and soothe skin as it emerges from winter to spring. While is is best suited for normal to sensitive skin, I will say that I have not experienced any breakouts in the month I’ve been using it, and I am very breakout-prone. Thanks to Camellia Seed Oil, this formula is deeply moisturizing, and Tremella provides excellent barrier protection. I was also happy to see Astragulus as one of the main ingredients. I take it internally most of the year, as it is a great adaptogen and immunity booster. Topically, it also has antioxidant and healing properties.
- By far, my favorite sheet mask, ever, is 5YINA’s Divine All Seasons Biocellulose Mask. If you give this mask 30 minutes, it will give you skin that looks like it just came out of a esthetician’s chair. Seriously. While specific herbs in this mask such as Peony Root and Schisandra Berry will soothe and de-puff inflamed skin, peptides will simultaneously plump. I swear my face looks lifted, luminous and truly renewed after using this sheet mask. It’s amazing. I will probably repurchase this regularly, forever.
I’m so glad I gave 5YINA a try. It is so different from anything else on the clean beauty market, and I love that those of us who are fans of Chinese medicine have products we can turn to that work synergistically with our holistic lifestyle.
Have you tried any TCM topicals?
In partnership with 5YINA.