Archive for March 2013

Ways Green Tea Can Help Your Skin

 

 

 

Green tea is one of my favorite ingredients for skin care. It has some amazing qualities that have been scientifically studied. We make our own extract for our products using organic green tea. You can also put green tea directly on your skin from your tea cup or use a spent tea bag on your eye lids.  Green tea contains polyphenols such as EGCG that have powerful antioxidant activities. It is thought that these polyphenols are responsible for much of the benefits. Studies on green tea include those that have looked at green tea orally as well as used topically. And we talk a lot about benefits of green tea, but remember that black tea and white tea come from the same plant (Camellia sinensis) and have a lot of skin benefits as well. More studies have focused on green tea. Here are 7 ways that green tea is beneficial:

  1. Studies have shown that green tea, both orally and topically, can decrease the risk of skin cancer.
  2. Green tea has antifungal activities to reduce athlete’s foot fungus.
  3. Green tea’s anti-inflammatory properties can help control acne and rosacea as well as other conditions that lead to aged looking skin.
  4. Green tea extracts have been shown to improve the elastic tissue in skin (a great anti wrinkle benefit).
  5. Tea’s powerful antioxidants can reduce oxidative stress to the skin. This stress is behind many skin conditions and also leads to aging.
  6. Green tea has been found to ‘quench’ free radicals and reduce inflammation by blocking UV rays. It is possible that tea extracts could enhance sun protection when used with a sunscreen.
  7. Green tea decreases the destruction of collagen caused by UV light and aging (another great anti-wrinkle benefit).

Got Sunburn?

What to do about a sunburn?

A Sunburn is always best to be prevented by protecting the skin from intense sun. This can mean wearing a lightweight long sleeved shirt and hat and/or applying sunscreen if you are going to be in the sun for extended periods of time. I like to buy men’s white dress shirts from the second hand store to wear working in the yard. They are typically worn with age which makes them very lightweight and not at all hot.  But with spring break almost here you may be planning a sun getaway and increase your risk of sunburn. There are a number of useful herbs to help after getting a sunburn.

My favorite herb for sunburn is green tea. Green tea is rich in antioxidants and it has enough scientific evidence to convince me that it can be useful in preventing severe skin damage and even cancer that is caused by overexposure to UV light. For spot treatment, apply wet tea bags directly to the skin. For all over treatment of sunburn, use green tea in the bath.

Sunburn results in inflammation of the skin so any anti-inflammatory herb is useful. I like chamomile best but you could also use lavender, mallow, or mint. Lemon balm is also an herb that can really help to soothe sunburn. Use any of these herbs in your bath. Colorado Aromatics Green Tea Herbal Bath is great for a sunburn, keep this around in the summer and and make sure you take one along on your spring break trip! You can also try the recipe below for a bath. Make sure you do not take a hot bath if you have a sunburn, the water should be cool.

Spritzing the skin to keep it moist can help counteract the drying effects of the sun. You can spritz with a tea made from herbs, or better yet is to spritz with an herbal distillate; lavender or lemon balm are best for this. These herbal waters are slightly acidic and rich in antioxidants; they can help restore the health of the skin. Keep your spritzers in the refrigerator to provide additional relief. You can find these Distillates here.

 

Sunburn Relief Bath

Place these herbs in a muslin bag or tie in a washcloth. Make a strong tea with this before putting it in the bath tub so you can be sure to take a cool (not hot) bath.

1/8 cup Violet flowers/leaves

¼ cup Lemon balm

¼ cup Green tea leaves

1/8 cup chamomile flowers