It's Valentine's Day. A day of love. Did you know that for centuries Japanese brides used green tea to enliven their skin before their weddings? But here's their secret. They didn't drink it.
Green tea, as you may know, is high in antioxidants. These antioxidants help slow down skin cell damage and improve skin texture. Green tea is naturally anti-inflammatory and has been used for centuries to help calm acne, eczema, and psoriasis. The Japanese use it to reduce hyperpigmentation and to minimize wrinkles over time.
Contemporary research is catching up with this traditional wisdom, showing that thanks to its dense concentration of polyphenols, green tea plays a remarkable role in DNA repair, inflammation, and oxidative stress. A study published earlier this year in Photodermatology, Photoimmunology, and Photomedicine even found that tea can help protect the skin from UVB-induced skin cancer. So it's a good beverage to have in your regular rotation.
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But, as the Japanese brides knew, green tea doesn't just have to benefit you from the inside out. They would use green tea in a mask. And you can do it too. In fact, you probably have all the ingredients in your kitchen already. What I love about this mask is that you can use it whenever you want. There's no special occasion necessary. Here's the recipe:
- 1 tbsp plain, unsweetened yogurt - full fat is preferable, but you can use any unsweetened yogurt (this makes the mask especially effective for breakouts)
- 2 tbsp strong green tea
- 2 drops of honey (raw, unpasteurized is best - use Manuka honey if you have it, which is full of antibacterial and healing properties)
If the above is too thin or you want extra soothing properties, add 1-2 tbsp ground oats (preferably NOT quick oats). Oats are full of soothing beta glucan.
Mix the above ingredients in a small bowl. Apply it to your face and let the mask dry for 20-30 minutes. Rinse off and apply your favorite moisturizer, such as the Système 41 Day Crème or Night Treatment, depending on when you use it.
Combine this ritual with a hot cup of green tea to drink, and you'll be setting your skin up for beauty all day every day!
To your health, naturally,