International facialist-acupuncturist, Ada Ooi, loves channelling her inner zen...
Ada Ooi, 39, is founder of skincare brand 001 skincare (opens in new tab) London (available online and in Wolf and Badger) and is also an international facialist-acupuncturist to royalties and celebrities. Classically trained in aesthetic therapy and aromatherapy, Ada is also an accredited member of The Acupuncture Society and The College of Chinese Medicine. Ada combines over 15 years of skincare experience and skin science knowledge gained across continents, from the East to the West. A Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Practitioner, Ada’s modern approach is to treat skin from the inside-out, including; skin ageing, hormonal, stress and sleep.
My wellness journey so far…
My grandfather used to own a pharmacy in Macau and I picked up pieces that he left to me. In his pharmacy, my grandfather used to incorporate traditional Chinese medicine and blended Chinese herbal remedies with western medicine prescriptions while I picked, mixed and packaged these herbs in blended pastes or paper bags for his patients. This process sparked an interest in bio-chemistry, cosmetic ingredients and TCM in me so I trained to be a TCM practitioner focusing on cosmetic, mental and hormonal management acupuncture (opens in new tab). As I started to combine different methodologies, I learned from the East and West in my practice. I also blended after-care products and herbal teas for my clients. One day I woke up and realised I had sufficient recipes to create a line of skincare products for my high profile clients.
Each morning I…
It’s critical for me to have some sort of movement in the morning so I normally have a quick stretch with music. My recent morning playlist is Czardas, a composition by Italian composer Vittorio Monti in the early 1900s, and my playlist consists of over 30 variations of it interpreted by different musicians in many different ways. This makes me feel more energised and my thinking is clearer for the day. I then use 001 skincare’s Eyecicle (opens in new tab) which is great for puffy eyes in the morning.
“My wellness week is a monthly instalment of wellness advice from real women, weaving the best of health and wellbeing into their busy daily lives and sharing their insights with you.”
Every evening I...
Gently massage 3-5 drops of 001 Skincare Alpha-Paradise Cleansing Dew (opens in new tab) into my face and neck as part of a night-time ritual. It is great for enjoying a relaxing mini facial that will stimulate the circulation in your skin whilst pushing the oil deep into the pores. I take a few deep breaths and inhale the aromatherapy oils.
Once a week I try to…
Visit a museum or a gallery to see art exhibitions or admire pieces with historical significance, they stimulate and inspire my thinking and also remind me of what makes us human.
If I’m on the run I eat/drink…
In between appointments, I tend to eat very little as it doesn’t feel right to be rushing food down the stomach and not taking the time to appreciate it. But I do keep myself hydrated with herbal teas with a few drops of honey.
When I have time to cook I eat/drink…
Nowadays we often eat on the go, rush our meals and don’t take time out to appreciate our food. My wellness approach is all about balancing your ‘qi’ otherwise known as your life force or energy. I take time to enjoy my meals and take time to appreciate the flavours and texture of each mouthful. I tend to avoid hard-grains (as much as I know the benefit of them I don’t get much pleasure out of eating them) and instead I opt for warm wholesome meals which are normally noodle-based. I do not consume alcohol and try to avoid cold food/drinks, they can shock the organs and can overwork our digestive system. I like to cook warming foods such as noodles in soup – such as the noodle soup and tomato, eggs, prawns pictured above – they are very simple, tasty and it's easy to create a number of different variations.
One thing I would really recommend is...
Create a little ritual of anything that can help you pause, take your mind and your eyesight away from your daily work for a short moment. For me that is lighting a Japanese incense. This year, I even went to Kyoto to learn Japanese Kodo which is the Japanese art of incense appreciation. I use Japanese incense everyday so I wanted to understand more about the concept behind it.
The one thing I do to achieve a better work-life balance is...
Set some rules for turning my phone off and taking days off. I used to work over the weekends too but I don’t now.
In the future I hope to…
I would very much hope that I can commit myself to exercising regularly. I put my hands up for having all sorts of excuses for missing my much-needed boxing classes. I would have liked to be able to meditate (opens in new tab) with a completely empty mind, but this is still quite challenging for me. I am working on it. Meanwhile, I like to create a sense of stillness by switching lights off, putting on some music and lying on the floor for a moment to relax and leave my mind to wander where it will.
My pearl of wellness wisdom …
My motto would be: do it, don’t stress it. Stress only lives in our mind, not our being.
Will you try out any of Ada's wellness tips?
Miriam worked for woman&home for over five years and previously worked on the women's lifestyle magazines Woman and Woman's Own.
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