Green Tea Beauty Secrets and Benefits

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Green tea has gotten a lot of attention in recent years, and not just for its amazing health benefits while consumed as a drink.  Cosmetic companies have capitalized on green tea’s potent anti-oxidant qualities and started adding it to their products for face and body.  But what is it exactly that makes green tea a staple for your beauty drawer?

 

Beauty in a green tea cup

Clinical research has shown that green tea leaves contain high amounts of anti-oxidants, which fight free radicals (harmful particles in the body that contribute to aging and diseases). These anti-oxidants work to fight free radicals when applied to the skin in the same way as when they are digested. But if you don’t want to spend a lot of money on expensive lotions and potions containing green tea extract, you can easily make your own beauty essentials right in the kitchen. Here are some simple green tea home beauty remedies:

Strengthening hair rinse – protect your hair from pollution, harsh products, and make it strong and shiny by rinsing with a green tea solution.  To make the rinse, simply steep 3-4 green tea bags in 1 L of boiling water for about an hour, let it cool down and thoroughly rinse your hair with it in the shower after you’ve shampooed and conditioned it.

Soothing eye compress – reduce puffiness and dark circles under your eyes by placing two used, cooled green tea bags over your closed eyes while lying down for 10 minutes. Alternatively you can brew 2-3 tea bags in a cup of boiling water, refrigerate for a few hours and use cotton balls soaked in the concentrate over the eyes the same way. The anti-oxidant content of green tea leaves works to prevent fine wrinkles and lines around the eyes.

Exfoliating body scrub – use dry ground green tea leaves mixed with honey to remove dirt and impurities from your pores. The slightly abrasive texture of dry green tea leaves and honey act as a great exfoliant to scrub off dead skin cells and pollutants, leaving your skin soft and smooth. Green tea leaves also have great anti-inflammatory properties and help reduce blemishes and scars.  Use it either for your face or your body.  Rub a small amount of the mixture in circular motion (avoiding the eye area) with your fingertips, leave on your skin for 10-15 minutes, and rinse off with water.

Refreshing face toner – make the same type of solution as for the hair rinse, soak a cotton ball with it and dab it all over the face as a toner first thing in the morning and at bedtime. Or use it in a spray bottle as a spritzer to invigorate and refresh your skin. Green tea’s antiseptic properties can help with cuts, scrapes and acne.

Detoxifying facemask – green tea leaves also help preserve your skin by reducing damage caused by the sun. Make a skin-reviving facemask out of green tea and yogurt (3 tblsp full fat yogurt + 1 tblsp ground green tea leaves). Apply on the face for 20 minutes then rinse well with water. This mask will help reduce sunspots and even out the skin tone.

Drink yourself skinny

Green tea can help you lose weight! It’s no wonder why supermodels and celebrities use green tea in their diets to stay in shape. Green tea boosts metabolism when consumed in high quantities daily. It also flushes toxins out of the body and has diuretic properties to reduce water retention. When I was getting ready for the Miss Universe contest, my nutritionist advised me to drink a cup of strong green tea after every meal to help my digestive system burn more fat, and flush out excess water to help my belly look flatter. I’ll drink to that!

Breath of fresh air

If you are concerned with your breath, green tea can also help you stay fresh. Swishing your mouth with high concentration of green tea will help prevent odor-causing bacteria from building up on your teeth and freshen up your mouth. You can also make your own toothpaste, using high concentration of green tea liquid and a teaspoon of baking soda. All natural and healthy toothpaste!

Originally published in Bitter/Sweet Magazine issue 19 volume 5 August 2012.

 

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