Tibetan Skin Care Secrets
Tibetan Secrets for Beautiful Skin
Towering high above the rest of the world, the autonomous region of Tibet sits nestled into the Tibetan Plateau. Tibet, nicknamed the “roof of the world,” being home to the highest mountain in the world- Mount Everest at 29,032 feet- and an average elevation of roughly 14,000 feet!
The Himalayan Mountain valleys in Tibet, where our one-of-a-kind T7® sea buckthorn grows wild, cared for and tended by Mother Nature herself.
For anyone used to living much closer to sea level, the effects of such an elevation can be hard to fully comprehend. Between the bitter, brutal winters and the level of oxygen being only a fraction of what it is at sea level, life here requires ample preparation for an outsider looking to visit.
But the indigenous people of Tibet have developed their own very unique adaptations, both genetically and behaviorally, to survive and thrive in this very unique environment.
The topic of beauty being no exception, Tibetans have forged their own unique approach to maintaining healthy, beautiful skin in the face of a harsh, unforgiving climate. Keep reading to discover the secrets of Tibetan skin care and how beauty standards can be influenced by different environments.
High Altitudes, Harsh Environments & Skin Care
Just as any environment comes with its own benefits and risks on the health of your skin, high elevation seems to skew unevenly towards the riskier side of skin health.
Extreme elevation means lower levels of oxygen and slower blood circulation, both necessary means of delivering healthy nutrients to your skin and body. Lower humidity in the air, gusty winds, and less ozone means dehydrated and damaged skin that is more susceptible to UV radiation.
Although recently falling victim to the eastern standard of beauty with its push for fair and even skin tone, Tibetan women historically were revered for their rosy cheeks, a feature known as “plateau redness.” Plateau redness is an effect of the windy, elevated Tibetan environment which dilates the capillaries, especially noticeable in the cheeks.
This beautifully quintessential Tibetan feature is more frequently being covered up with makeup as women look to neighboring China and India as the setters of beauty standards, though neither country faces quite the same challenges of elevation. Apart from makeup, however, many traditional beauty practices are still alive and well in Tibet, being passed down from generation after generation.
Skin Care is More than Just "Skin Care"
Tibetan skin care focuses on a holistic medicine approach. Recognizing skin as a very sensitive organ, Tibetan medicine incorporates not only topical ingredients and salves, but internal and dietary ingredients as well as more spiritual and energetic elements.
Similar to the Indian practice of Ayurveda and other traditional eastern medicinal practices, Tibetan medicine focuses on balance within the body.
Healing Gifts from Mother Nature
Minerals and nutrients in the soil of the Tibetan Plateau yield particularly beneficial plants for the skin- most notably, the superfoods goji berry and sea buckthorn. Goji berry is an incredible antioxidant, providing protection against the harsh environmental stressors and UV damage. Strengthening the skin both from the outside and the inside, sea buckthorn is a vital source of skin healing nutrients, including omega fatty acids, vitamin A,B, C, and E and of course the highly sought after, omega 7- just to name a few!
Another Tibetan staple for fortifying the body against the harsh elements is Yak Butter Tea. This butter tea is closer to a rich soup, warming the body and providing antioxidants from the tea leaves, healthy fats, and even keeping the lips from chapping in the wind.
Beautiful Movement - The Five Tibetan Rites
Just as important to fortifying the body with physical nutrients, Tibetans also practice a yogic series of rites known as the Five Tibetan Rites to keep the body youthful and vital.
Each move is performed 21 times and is intended to treat and improve the body's various energy fields. Benefits from the Rites include a youthful appearance and aging reversal, increased energy and circulation, and overall improved health.
For more information on the Tibetan Rites, you can check out Peter Kelder’s 1985 book, Ancient Secret of the Fountain of Youth, which was the first introduction of this ancient practice to the Western world.