Monday, December 06, 2010

The beauty of tea

By Jess Hodges

Over the last few months of writing this blog I hope that I've given you lots of good reasons to be interested in tea so just for a change here's a more frivolous one - it makes you look great. We all know by now that drinking plenty of fluids, especially ones high in antioxidants like tea, is great for your skin but it's doesn't just work on the inside. There are loads of other ways to extract the beauty benefits from tea.

One old trick is instead of discarding your teabags to squeeze out any excess liquid and put them in the fridge. Then after a hard day or night out, once the tea has done it's relaxing, rejuvenating work, you can place the bags over your eyes to refresh and relax them as well. It is however advisable to finish drinking your hot drink before obscuring your vision.

Green tea in particular, with its high vitamin and antioxidant content, is supposed to have an amazing array of beauty applications. Sprizted or patted onto the skin (cooled first!) it's supposed to tone, cleanse, fight spots and help with sunburn. Boiled until reduced and mixed with bicarbonate of soda it's reputedly effective as a home-made toothpaste and it's a key ingredient in any number of face masks and hair treatments.

If you fancy enjoying all of these benefits whilst effectively soaking in a giant cup of tea then get yourself a large piece of muslin, fold in half and sew up two sides to make a pouch. Now add a decent handful of green tea leaves and the other ingredients of your choice. Lavender and chamomile are a good way to go if you want to relax or rosemary if you fancy something more invigorating. Now sew up the top of your pouch and voilĂ , your own giant tea bag. Add to a hot bath and brew yourself beautiful. Biscuits are optional.