For most of us, bay leaves are the flavorful herbs that we maneuver our forks around while eating delicious homemade pasta sauce. You may not want to consume them, but your skin will love a topical bay leaf treatment for acne and other excellent DIY beauty treatments. In ancient times, bay leaves allegedly gained notoriety for their ability to alleviate bee and wasp stings. These days, bay leaves are used to ease indigestion and those skin woes that plague us all too often.
In case you are unfamiliar with bay leaves, they are pungent leaves of the bay tree that are commonly used in flavoring dishes because of their rich aroma. The benefits of bay leaves can be obtained from bay leaf oil, dried bay leaves, and fresh bay leaves. Rich in antioxidants, bay leaves are antiseptic and antibacterial which is a significant trait in any natural care ingredient you wish to use to treat acne because bacteria can build up in the sebaceous glands causing outbreaks. Not only are bay leaves used for topical acne treatments, but the anti-inflammatory properties can bring down puffiness in the skin without causing loss of moisture. Sources at Stylecraze state that bay leaves are rejuvenating and moisturizing.
As with many organic beauty remedies, there isn't much conclusive scientific evidence that proves the benefits of bay leaves. However, I've found that applying a homemade bay leaf team to my face calms down my acne without leaving my skin dry or flake. If you want to give it a go, here's how you can make a bay leaf tea for your future beauty needs.
1. Pick Your Bay Leaves Wisely
Once you make a bay leaf tea, you'll be able to truly see the versatility of this herb. Since you'll be using this tea on your skin/scalp, purchase an organic form to maximize your results.
2. Boil Water
Bring four cups of water to a boil, keeping your water on high. I like to use filtered water or double-boiled water for anything I'm applying on my skin, especially if I'm in an area where the water is hard.
3. Add Bay Leaves To Low Boil
Once your water has begun to boil, add six whole, dried bay leaves. You don't need the water to be at a roaring boil — just slightly bubbling for a nice simmer to brew. If you are looking for a stronger tea because you plan on diluting the mixture further with other earthy ingredients, add a few more leaves.
4. Brew Bay Leaves
Let the leaves simmer at a low-medium heat for about 20 minutes, you'll notice the smell will become stronger and the water will begin to color.
5. Strain The Bay Leaves
Strain the bay leaves out of the liquid by using a coriander, with a bowl underneath to catch the liquid. Or you can remove the leaves with a spoon if they remained whole. Put the bay leaf tea in a sealable container and let it cool before using topically.
6. Use The Tea
Use your bay leaf tea for an all-natural no 'poo cleanser, toner, acne treatment, or astringent. Or you can add bay leaves to do a DIY facial steam that will slowly open your pores and draw out those pesky impurities!
Image: Eskymaks/Fotolia; Kristin Collins Jackson (6)