There’s no doubt about it: tea is great for drinking. But if you’re looking to eliminate as much waste as possible while also keeping your skincare routine as free and clean of nasty ingredients, you’ll be happy to know you can repurpose your spent tea for skin care.
The way drinking tea makes you feel on the inside directly translates to your skin, making you glow from both the inside and the outside.
Tea for Skin Irritation
Just as chamomile relaxes your high-strung nervous system so that you can get a good night’s sleep, it will also calm any inflamed skin. From rashes to dry skin, acne, and more, it will lessen any redness and moisturize at the same time. I’ve used it to heal my nipples when recovering from a yeast infection there when nursing my first baby.
To use chamomile tea for skin, steep 3 tsp of the flower in 8 ounces of boiling water until the water cools to room temp. Then moisten a cotton cloth with the brew and let it rest on your skin for a half hour or so. Repeat as needed. It’s so gentle you can’t overdo it. This makes chamomile a great tea to use on everyone, including babies.
The tannins in black tea are also very soothing to irritated skin, though this is best used on adults or older children. Simply place your steeped and cooled leaves over the affected area for about 30 minutes and repeat as needed. Just be sure to use a plain black tea versus something with added ingredients or flavorings as those might further irritate your skin.
Tea for Sunburn
The tannins in black tea are back to the rescue for your skin, this time for sunburns. You can treat your overexposed skin in the same way as described above for skin irritation, but that might be awkward if you have a lot of area to cover. If that’s the case, you can steep 8-10 tsp of plain black tea in 2 cups of boiling water for 10 minutes or until the water cools. Then add to your bath water and soak for at least 30 minutes.
When applying tea directly to your skin, for any purpose, I recommend using an organic tea. Organic isn’t perfect, but at least that way you greatly lessen the chance of anything further inflaming or irritating your already tender skin.
Tea for Hydration
We’ve heard it over and over, and then some more: the key to great skin is keeping yourself hydrated. If plain water isn’t your thing, or if you just want to change it up once in awhile, certain teas are perfect. Since caffeine tends to dehydrate most of us, it’s best to stick to herbal teas or rooibos-based ones for hydration.
Drinking herbal tea is the same for your body as drinking plain water, plus it has the added benefit of flavor and anything medicinal in the herbs. Rooibos has lots of hydrating minerals in it, like magnesium, manganese, and iron. So not only do you get extra hydration without any danger of keeping you up at night, which is just as bad for your skin as dehydration, but you also get great flavor.
From the Inside Out
Tea for skin care is just as beneficial when consumed as when applied to the skin. The good news is, you don’t have to pick one application over the other. You can use both daily. So get to it! Keep your skin looking good, your household waste to a minimum, and toxins out of your skin care routine.