Your skin is your body's largest organ and it has the potential to absorb many ingredients that you apply topically to it.
On the negative side, potentially toxic chemicals and carcinogens can find their way into your bloodstream through creams, perfumes, and cosmetics.
On the positive side, you can take charge of what goes into your body, through foods and daily care products, and reap the benefits of what nature has to offer us.
Herbal teas are a wonderful addition to your daily skin care regimen. Teas such as green, black, and peppermint are aromatically uplifting and can help to tighten pores. Chamomile and lavender flowers are calming and can help to reduce inflammation.
The next time you steep some herbal tea, keep the used tea bags, open them up, and use them in your face masks and scrubs.
Here are five teas to use for glowing skin:
Turn chamomile tea into ice cubes and use them in a cold compress for puffy eyes.
You should never use ice directly on your skin, though. Wrap a few chamomile ice cubes in a cloth, then apply to eyes for no longer than 10 minutes at a time.
2. Green Tea:
Topically, green tea2, and its major component, epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), works well with reducing inflammation, removing bacteria and excess oil, and free radical protection. The antioxidants and polyphenols in green tea are among the most powerful in helping to protect the skin from environmental damage.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine states that the antioxidant power in green tea polyphenols inhibit UV damage.
Steep 1 cup of green tea in hot water, just before boiling point, and cover for 8 minutes. Remove tea bag and pour water into a spray bottle or glass bottle with lid. Add 1 cup of witch hazel or aloe vera juice. Use daily with a cotton pad after cleansing.
Add your steeped calendula tea bags to yogurt and rolled oats 3for a mask high in antioxidants. Oatmeal contains avenanthramides, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds that soothe itchy, dry and irritated skin.
Steep 2 bags of calendula tea for 8 minutes. Remove tea bags from water and squeeze out excess. Open tea bags into ½ cup plain yogurt and ¼ cup rolled oats. Mix well and apply to a clean face. Leave on for 15 minutes. Wipe off with a cloth and rinse well.
Cool off in hot weather with peppermint face spritz.
Peppermint tea is often used for soothing the digestive system6, but it also helps to cool the body internally and externally. It's naturally antiseptic and antibacterial, making it a perfect herbal remedy to beat the summer heat.
Steep a bag of peppermint tea in 1 cup of water for 8 to 10 minutes, covered. Remove bag and pour peppermint tea infusion into a dark glass spray bottle. Spritz face when you need a cool down or are suffering from a headache. Keep refrigerated for extra cooling benefits.
5. Black Tea:
Black tea7 contains tannins and polyphenols8 such as theaflavins and thearubigins as well as catechins, which are mainly responsible for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant actions. Antioxidative properties of black tea are manifested by its ability to block and scavenge free radicals. These antioxidative properties help tone the skin9, accelerate skin cell regeneration, and protect from free radicals that cause premature aging.
You can steep a pot of black tea and pour the infusion directly into your bathwater, or try opening up the tea bag and add it to 2 tablespoons of honey. Gently exfoliate the face with the mixture and leave on for 15 minutes. Rinse well and follow with moisturizer or plain coconut oil.
Jen Casey is a certified Holistic Health and Nutrition Coach and mother of two. She has been making natural products, including her own line of natural skin care for babies, since 2001. She strongly believes that what goes ON the body is just as important as what goes IN the body. She teaches workshops and writes about making natural skin care products from ingredients in your pantry to help eliminate toxins from your daily life.