As an herbal medicine practitioner and aromatherapist, I started blending tea into beauty treatments when I started my company almost 10 years ago in my kitchen in the majestic Matilija Canyon in Ojai, California. Sipping tea is one form of a beauty treatment, yet it takes longer to see the benefits of beauty treatments from within – and in a society that demands quick results, applying tea to our skin, hair, and nails is a viable alternative. Here are some tips to get you through the winter chill with your good looks intact, simply by using your steeped tea leaves.
You can use cold tea sachets on your eyes to reduce puffiness, redness, and wrinkles. Brew black tea (I use Gypsy Rose, Bed & Breakfast, or Peach Blossom Oolong), allow it to cool, and then refrigerate. Apply the cool tea bags to your eyes as needed – this is better than cucumber slices!
Facts: Black tea (with caffeine) contain tannins, a natural astringent that constricts blood vessels and pulls the skin taut, which can be helpful for puffy eyes. Caffeine constricts dilated capillaries, diminishing dark circles. Tea bags are preferable to cotton pads soaked in tea since they are far more concentrated in tannins and contain Vitamin B2.
2. Antioxidant hand soak and exfoliating scrub:
To moisturize and reduce the signs of aging, steep one black and one green tea sachet in 16-20 ounces of boiling water for 10 minutes, allow the liquid to cool, pour in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and soak your hands for 10 minutes. Take the leftover tea leaves from the sachets and blend with sugar and olive oil for a fabulous hand scrub that exfoliates dead skin and exposes younger-looking hands.
Facts: Contains Vitamins A, C, and E and polyphenols EGCG (also known as catechins) that are natural antioxidants – stronger than Vitamin E – with anti-inflammatory properties that cleanse and detoxify the skin and protect it from free radicals. When exposed to EGCG, the old cells found in the upper layers of the epidermis appear to start dividing again, renewing into healthy epidermis.
For brunettes, blonds, redheads, and gracefully greying hair, tea brings out the shine and reduces frizz by relaxing the hair shaft. You can brew a batch of tea, allow it to cool, and then use it after you shampoo and condition your hair in the shower. Blondes should use white and green teas (Sense of Peace or Egyptian Mint), brunettes should use black tea (Ginger Peach or Raspberry), and both brunettes and redheads can use Rooibos (Red Lavender or Luminous Lemon).
Facts: Tea is a great source of panthenol, or pro-vitamin B, which has long been used as a conditioner. It softens, strengthens, and conditions the hair and keeps split ends from forming.
4. Weight-loss tea lattes:
We have found these help our customers give up dessert, speed metabolism, and lose weight. Steeping a strong brew with loose-leaf tea or sachets (doubly strong) and adding frothed milk and a natural sweetener satisfies a sweet tooth while helping your body lose weight – for under 100 calories.
Facts: Scientific studies have found that the main ingredients responsible for tea’s slimming effects are caffeine and EGCG.
5. Tighten pores with tea spritzers:
I always make homemade toners from tea to tighten pores and freshen skin. I like to use our Egyptian Mint Green Tea or Goji Cacao Green Tea, steep it for 5-7 minutes, allow it to cool, and then transfer it to a small spray bottle. Store it in the refrigerator and use it after cleansing as a pore-tightening astringent.
Facts: These astringents contain Vitamins A, C, and E.