I’m a coffee lady. I can easily consume three to four cups in the morning; it doesn’t even have to taste that good (I credit years of overseas Nescafé dependence for my general lack of discretion). Coffee wakes me up, gets me moving, and makes me happy to be an adult. Tea, on the other hand, can reduce me to a jittering mass of nerves after just one cup.
But tea is so good for you! It’s chock-a-block full of antioxidants and flavonoids which help fight free radicals and has been found to reduce one’s risk of developing frightening diseases like cancer, Alzheimer’s, and heart disease. Besides that, it’s so refined (the dainty joy of teacups)! In search of ways to reap some of the beverage’s benefits without actual ingestion, I turned—as one often does—to the wide world of beauty products.
Ole Henriksen African Red Tea Foaming Cleanser
Though I often forget about it, red tea (also known as rooibos) is a tea I can happily consume, thanks to its low-caffeine level. It’s got a smooth, smoky-sweet character and amber color, both of which Ole Henriksen has distilled into this anti-aging cleanser. Despite being a foam, it feels almost creamy on the skin and washes away clean. The scent, if a little syrupy, is a guaranteed pick-me-up.
Fresh Black Tea Firming Overnight Mask
I had high expectations of this mask after reading its promise of a “corset-like effect on the skin” on the back of the jar. Topical tight-lacing for my face? Sounded good enough for me to smear a healthy serving of the stuff from forehead to neck. I generally see nighttime as breathing time for my skin—a bit of eye cream and lip balm is the full treatment. As such, this mask felt slightly uncomfortable at first—tacky to the touch and the pillowcase, but absorbed after about twenty minutes of wear. When I woke up? I couldn’t say that my skin had been cinched in any way, but it felt and looked amazing—firmer, softer, and clearer than the morning's pre-mask.
The scent? Decidedly un-Snapplesque. Think the finest pekoe.
Origins A Perfect World SPF 25 Age Defense Moisturizer with White Tea
This line from Origins has a loyal following—touting the range of benefits found in white tea (antioxidants, anti-aging agents, etc.). The moisturizer is recommended for morning and evening use, while the sunscreen element features avobenzone to block UVA and UVB rays throughout the day. A bright, juicy scent accompanies the duo (thanks to orange and bergamot essences), while the texture is substantially moisturizing without adding any greasiness or irritation to my sensitive skin. Fun fact: The silver tips of the white tea leaves used in the A Perfect World line have an ancient, age-defying history in China; they were a main ingredient in the “Elixir of Life,” prized by generations of Chinese emperors.
Image via Getty. In case you had no idea what rooibos was, here's How To Talk Tea.