One of nature’s best beauty remedies, a spot of tea—or recycled tea bag—can truly work wonders.
A nice cup of tea will warm you up and slow you down. It forces you to pause, sip slowly and savor your day. The mind-body benefits are endless. But tea can offer beauty benefits, too. Recycling leftover tea bags—or tea—is one of my favorite natural beauty secrets. Here’s how to maximize the benefits, inside and out.
Bright Eyes Chill a recycled tea bag (black or green), squeeze, lie down and place over the eyes for 10 minutes to take down puffiness and ease dark circles. The caffeine helps shrink blood vessels and eliminate dark circles under the eyes. Try: Numi Organic Tea Aged Early Grey, numitea.com
Calm Skin A cup of chamomile tea calms an upset stomach, and a compress, dipped in warm chamomile tea, will reduce skin irritation. Soak a cloth in warm chamomile tea and apply to the affected area for up to 10 minutes. (Great for post-waxing!) Try: FashionistaTea Organic Orange Chamomile Tea, fashionistatea.com
Chapped Lips Take a wet tea bag (green or black) and hold it against irritated lips for a few minutes. The tannins in the tea soothe skin and help to heal. Try: Traditional Medicinals Green Tea with Lemongrass, traditionalmedicinals.com
Radiant Skin Turmeric, a relative of ginger, contains curcumin, a powerful anti-inflammatory. It is great for stimulating circulation, and that is good for healthy, glowing skin. Studies at the University of Texas also show that curcumin inhibits the growth of melanoma. Try: Alvita Organic Herbal Turmeric Root Tea, alvita.com; Transcendent Tea Glow, transcendenttea.com
Fresh Breath Polyphenols in black and green tea inhibit growth of the bacteria that causes bad breath. Green tea may also help reduce inflammation in the gums. Mint tea freshens the breath. Sip a cup or rinse your mouth with it, and see—and smell—the effects immediately. Try: Pukka Mint Green Organic Tea, pukkaherbs.com
Shiny Hair To add shine to dull hair, steep two tea bags in a cup of boiling water for 10 minutes and chill until cool. Shampoo your hair, then pour the tea rinse through and leave it on for five to 10 minutes before conditioning. Try: Lov Organic Spicy Citrus Fruits Green Tea, us.lov-organic.com
Clear Skin Rooibos tea is rich in antioxidants and naturally exfoliating alpha-hydroxy acids. Dandelion root helps detox the liver, and it can also help clear up congested skin. Brew a cup, cool and spritz on the face to keep blemishes at bay. Try: Republic of Tea Get Gorgeous, therepublicoftea.com; Traditional Medicinals Organic Roasted Dandelion Root Tea, traditionalmedicinals.com
Sweaty Palms If your palms get sweaty when you’re stressed, let four black tea bags steep in three cups of hot water and cool to room temperature. Soak a washcloth in the tea and apply to palms for 10 to 15 minutes. The tannins in the tea help control the sweat. Try: Zhena Bed & Breakfast, zhenas.com
Matcha Face Mask
Green tea is loaded with natural antioxidants known as polyphenols, which protect the skin from premature aging.
I like to whip up this refreshing Matcha Face Mask, which hydrates dry skin, calms inflammation, and helps with oiliness and breakouts. Matcha is a form of green tea whose leaves have been stone-ground into a fine powder, making it easy to prepare, and to absorb into the body.
Mix a half teaspoon of Matcha into two ounces of plain chilled yogurt. Apply to clean skin and leave it on for five to 10 minutes. Remove with warm water and a washcloth. Enjoy with a nice cup of green tea!
Try: Matcha Love Classic by Ito En, itoen.com
*Remedies are from Fast Beauty: 1000 Quick Fixes, by Rona Berg (Workman Publishing).