The summer heat can make our bodies a little wonky; there is no doubt that the dank air in the subway, or taking a ride out of town on a cheap bus with loads of germs are almost guaranteed to give you a summer bug. Having the flu in the winter isn't ideal, but at least you can wrap yourself up in 57 layers of blankets and sweatshirts. When you get sick in the hot, humid summer, the illusion of dying a slow, mucus-induced death is even more painful. Within a few hours of my first surprise sneeze or itchy throat, I'm already brewing some iced green tea. Loading up on antioxidants before a virus is in full swing is the key to stop an itchy nose from turning into a full blown cold.
Green tea is packed with antioxidants that are known to neutralize free radicals before they can cause any real harm to your body. It's a well known preemptive measure throughout any season to load up on green tea to give your immune system a crucial boost to get over an annoying cold quickly. It's no surprise to this tea-buff that more and more anti-aging creams and skin brightening body washes have green tea in their name.
All tea contains polyphenols which are part of the riboflavin family. According to Web MD, these plant chemicals are known to have strong anticancer, antiviral, antibacterial, AND antioxidant properties. The specific type of polyphenols that are rich in tea also have some serious anti-inflammatory benefits that can reduce the appearance of dark lines and blemishes on site. You can introduce green tea, black tee, and oolong tea into your beauty regimen as they all share the same mother plant (Camellia sinensis) and are just processed differently.
Not a tea drinker? Shame on you. But not to worry! You can reap the benefits of tea by applying topically in the following recipes:
Green Tea & Cucumber Pulp Toner
This amazingly scented toner is a true boss at brightening skin tone and slowing down the signs of aging on your face. You can even say goodbye to dark circles and puffy eyes — the caffeine in green tea will nip that right in the bud. I like to use my trusty cast iron kettle to brew loose leaf green tea, but you'll get about the same results from a pre-packaged tea bag. While you wait for your tea to cool, take half a cucumber and throw it in a blender (for a serious toner, add lemon juice). Once your tea has cooled, add the pulp and apply on freshly washed skin. Now, I know you're going to be smelling pretty delicious, but you must add a moisturizer after, preferably one with sunscreen.
Tea Foot Soak
Personally, I need to wear sneakers anytime I'm going to walk longer than 2 blocks. Fortunately, I have a variety of adorable Keds that I can wear with almost any outfit. The only bad part about Keds in the summer, is the odor from wearing sneakers without socks. The best way to clean out existing odor in your sneaks, is putting baking soda inside but, how do you prevent yourself from being in fear of taking your sneaks off in front of your boo? Once you've rid your kicks of any existing shoe odor, give yourself a foot soak in green tea. Brew your tea and soak your feet in a container in which the liquid can cover the tops of your feet. Add mustard seed to increase blood circulation and control sweat glands, you'll definitely notice odor control if you do this on a consistent basis. Trust me, I am kicking off my Keds after a long day on my feet with some serious confidence!
I am always trying to get that shine, and, as the only one in my immediate family that does not have naturally black hair, I decided to try this hair dye recipe suggested by the Huffington Post. I used about 8 black tea bags and let it steep in boiling water for about 5 minutes. If you have almost black hair or black hair, you'll definitely want to go heavier on the tea bag portions and use only 2 cups of water. If you've got lighter locks, go for a chamomile tea to enhance your natural color.
As most natural hair dyes, this is only somewhat permanent. The staining properties of tea is what enhances your natural hair color. This added some great shine to my hair, but failed as a hair dye. I suspect that for additional color, applying this on dry hair is the best bet. However, if you've got some kink in your mane, like yours truly, it will be pretty hard to spread evenly on dry hair.