Monday, November 18, 2013

The Power of Tea

Now that the weather is getting chilly, I am all about a nice, hot cup of tea.  Tea is's
cheap, easily accessible, and offers a variety of powerful health benefits.  In fact, different types of tea contain different amounts of polyphenols, which have antioxidant, anticancer, antibacterial, and antiviral properties.  But did you know that tea is great for your skin too?

Skin Benefits of Tea:
  • Antioxidant activity of tea is more potent than that found in 22 fruits and vegetables including orange juice, carrots, and broccoli (USDA).  Antioxidants strengthen your skin's immune system by helping to fight against aging and skin cancer related to sun damage and free radicals in the air.  This means that all teas are anti-aging.
  • Teas are super hydrating, despite any caffeine content.
  • Their composition of natural ingredients = they are toxin-free
  • They are soothing and calming, which means that they are super gentle and non-irritating.
  • Every skin type can reap multiple benefits from almost every type of tea. 

There are a few major types of tea.  Check out the benefits of some popular ones:


What it is:  As the name implies, black teas like assam and darjeeling (my person fave!) are dark in color because they are fully oxidized and more processed than other types of teas.  Oxidation also allows for a caffeine content in black teas.   

Why it's great:  Black teas are rich in vitamins C and E, which along with polyphenols and tannin, help promote cell turnover and repair.  The caffeine in black teas helps stimulate circulation to boost radiance.  It's especially great in eye creams because it helps de-puff around the eye area.  And don't forget that black tea helps fight blemish-causing bacteria. The fact that it tackles the 3 major skin issues - aging, brightening, and acne - makes black tea idea for normal skin types or those of you, who want to target all 3 of these issues.

Product Recommendation: The JUARA Sweet Black Tea Eye Creme ($38 on is one of my favorite eye products because it's light and absorbs quickly.  The black tea in this product and in many other black tea beauty products is kombucha, or fermented black tea.  Although kombucha has a very strong and distinctive taste, the fact that it's fermented makes it an even stronger health tonic and skin-saver.  In fact, kombucha is a key ingredient in many of JUARA's products.  The kombucha in eye cream helps tighten and smooth fine lines, and the caffeine helps reduce puffiness.  The JUARA product also incorporates rice bran and avocado oils for extra moisture, protection, and elasticity.


What it is:  Green teas are generally brewed the same day that they are gathered.  Since they are not as oxidized and processed as black teas are, they have a very low caffeine content and a weaker taste.  This also means that green teas retain a lot of the plant properties such as the green color.  And luckily for your skin, they retain a lot of their vitamins and minerals as well. 

Why it's great:  When it comes to tea and skincare, green teas have definitely gotten most of the attention primarily because they offer such power anti-aging benefits.  Compared to black teas, green teas have a higher content of the catechin polyphenols that give teas antioxidant power.  In addition to assisting in warding off early signs of aging, its anti-inflammatory and purifying properties and ability to help regulate sebum (oil) product
make it a great ingredient for those with acne-prone skin too.  Thus, many popular acne-fighting products like Proactive contain green tea.  

Product Recommendation:  For those of you with oily skin, the Boscia Green Tea Oil-Control Mask ($34 at Sephora) will help control shine.  Boscia is a really effective brand that blends the best of botanicals and science (hence the name).  With the help of cucumber and burdock root, the green tea in this gentle peel-off mask will work to mattefy, nourish, and smooth your skin.  


What it is:  White teas, including silver needle and white peony, are even less processed than green teas and are grown mainly in China.  Thus, of all teas, they have the lowest caffeine content and the lightest taste.

Why it's great:  White teas offer similar anti-aging benefits to green tea.  They have a comparable amount of catechin polyphenols to green teas, but a different composition of them.  Since it has less caffeine than green tea, it is even more hydrating and helps lock moisture into your skin.  White teas also help detoxify skin to keep your pores clean and give your complexion a natural glow...ideal for dry or dull complexions.

Product Recommendation:  The 100% Pure Mint White Tea Tonique ($19 on is a really nice balancing toner.  It soothes skin, replenishes moisture, and removes impurities to help clear skin.  The mint also works to tighten pores and offers a slight and refreshing tingling feeling.  Perfect for oily/combination skin types!  You can also try an oil-free, light day-time moisturizer like the Origins A Perfect World SPF 25 ($41 at Sephora) for strong protection against aging.


What it is:  Unlike other teas, herbal teas aren't produced from leaves.  Instead, the actual plant leaves from herbs, flowers, fruits, and vegetables are brewed.  Many of them are often blended with other types of teas.  There are 3 main types of herbal teas:  herbal infusions, rooibos, and mate.  You are probably most familiar with herbal infusions such as chamomile, hibiscus, rose, and ginger.  

Why it's great:  Certain herbal teas are especially nourishing for your skin.  But different types of herbal teas can offer very different benefits.  For example, chamomile tea is an herbal infusion that has useful healing properties.  You can use it to help heal acne scars, soothe minor irritation and sunburn, and brighten to even your complexion.  Herbal infusions are ideal if you have sensitive skin or any skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis.  In addition, the discovery of African red teas, which are a part of the rooibos tea family, has been a great breakthrough in skincare.  Why?  Well believe it or not, these teas have an antioxidant power that is 50 times that of green tea.  They also contain an enzyme called superoxide dismutase, which also fights free radicals and helps with cell regeneration.  Overall, rooibos teas offer optimal protection in the fight against aging.  Plus, they lack bitter tannins, so they have a nice, sweet taste too!
Product Recommendation: The Juice Beauty Simply Pure Chamomile Cleanser ($22 at Ulta) is a very delicate cleanser that softens as it cleanses.  In addition to chamomile, it contains other natural skin-protecting and soothing ingredients like aloe, white tea, and grape seed oil.  One of my favorite skincare brands, Ole Henriksen, produces an "Age Control" line of products featuring African Red Tea.  The Ole Henriksen African Red Tea See the Difference Serum ($48 at Sephora) has a great non-greasy feel.  Apply it morning and night to create a virtually impenetrable barrier against the free radicals and sun exposure you may encounter during the day.

So, there are a lot of different teas out there that offer a variety of different skin benefits.  Luckily, many beauty brands have recognized the benefits of tea and produce healthy skincare products containing tea (all of the product recommendations above at 100% healthy).  Hopefully, this post will help you pick the products that are best for your unique skin needs :)

Working tea into your life is just as simple as swapping 1 glass of water for a cup of tea every day.  You can even just wet a tea bag and rub it over your face at night or in the morning as a refreshing toner.  

Whether you drink tea or apply it topically, you skin will thank you!  For more on teas, visit:

What's your favorite type of tea?

No comments:

Post a Comment