If you enjoy drinking tea, simply for the pleasure of doing so, there's no way around the fact that it's an absolute must that you have green tea in your tea collection. From a health standpoint, it's got some benefits that are nothing short of impressive. Off the cuff, green tea is able to fight off free radicals, improve brain function, burn fat, lower cancer risks, get rid of bad breath, help to prevent the risk of type 2 diabetes—whew—and that is just the tip of the iceberg!
I've been a fan—and consumer—of green tea for quite some time now. What I really like about it is, not only does this tea help to maintain my insides but, from a beauty standpoint, it is able to do some pretty impressive things for the outside of me as well. So, if you've got some green tea somewhere in your kitchen and you want to treat your skin (or hair) this weekend without spending a ton of cash, I've got 10 green tea beauty hacks that will have you glowing from head to toe—literally.
1. Acne Wash
Did you know that if you drink green tea 2-3 times a week, it can reduce the amount of sebum that your body produces which, in turn, can minimize your breakouts? Three other benefits that come from consuming the tea is it can reduce internal bodily inflammation, regulate your blood sugar levels and boost your immune system. At the same time, due to all of the antioxidants that are in green tea, it's also a super effective acne wash if you're looking for something natural that will cleanse your skin, dry out your pores and reduce the appearance of any pimples you might have. All you need to do is steep a green tea bag for 20 minutes, let it cool and then wash your face with the tea. You can also dip cotton balls into the tea and apply it directly onto your pimples, if you'd prefer.
2. Anti-Aging Serum
Something that green tea has a good amount of is Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). It's a plant compound that has a pretty impressive resume when it comes to maintaining our health. EGCG reduces skin inflammation, helps to prevent heart and brain disease, and can assist with weight loss too.
Because EGCG also has the ability to reactivate dying skin cells (which ultimately can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and age spots), that's why it can be a great anti-aging remedy.
To get the most out of green tea in this way, it's probably best to turn it into a skin serum. One of the best recipes I've seen is found here.
3. Eye Treatment
Whether your eyes are puffy or you've got dark circles that you're trying to get to fade away, this is just one more way that green tea has your back. That's thanks to its combination of the antioxidants and caffeine that is able to reduce your inflammation and irritation. An easy way to use green tea in this case is to soak two tea bags in warm water (no need to boil them), gently squeeze the bags to remove any excess water and then place them directly onto both of your eyes. If you leave them there for 15 minutes, you should see results once you remove them.
4. Skin Exfoliant
To make the most powerful kind of green tea exfoliant, it's best to use dried green tea leaves. Mix a tablespoon of dried leaves with ½ cup of olive oil (it contains vitamins A, D, E, and K; it can also deeply moisturize your skin), two tablespoons of water, a teaspoon of honey (it balances bacteria) and three drops of lavender oil (it has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties). After washing your face, apply the exfoliant and gently massage your face with it. Then rinse your skin with cool water. Your skin will feel soft and smooth.
5. Skin Toner
Is your skin naturally oily but you want to find a toner than has no alcohol in it? If so, green tea is the answer. The tannins that are naturally found in this tea makes it a powerful astringent. As a bonus, something else that tannins do is reduce the amount of sebum production that happens within your skin's pores. If you want to use green tea in this way, mix a half cup of cooled green tea with a tablespoon of witch hazel (it's also an astringent), a teaspoon of honey and three drops of tea tree oil (it contains anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties). Soak a cotton ball into the toner and rub the solution all over your face after you wash it. Do this once a day for the best results.
6. Acne Scar Lightener
If you've got surface or even stubborn acne scars, green tea extract is wonderful way to fade them. Something that antioxidants are able to do is brighten skin while fighting off free radicals at the same time. Plus, since green tea also deeply penetrates skin, it is able to soothe inflamed and damaged skin while it lightens up acne-related blemishes you might have. Steep two bags of green tea into a cup of water, along with two teaspoons of honey. Allow the solution to cool and then add two tablespoons of pure Aloe Vera gel. Let the mask sit on your freshly washed face for 20 minutes. Then rinse with cool water. Try and do this once a week for optimal results.
7. Hair Strengthener
Since green tea contains nutrients, antioxidants and phytochemicals (compounds that are found in plants), it makes total sense that it's also a tea that would be good for your hair.
And, since one of the vitamins that green tea contains a lot of is Vitamin B (which is a vitamin that strengthens hair roots and helps to prevent split ends), you can't go wrong by adding green tea to your hair care regimen.
Probably the best way to get the most out of green tea in this way is to put two teaspoons of green tea extract into your shampoo and wash your hair as normal. Noticeable results tend to occur within a couple of months.
8. Dandruff Remover
The root cause of dandruff is fungus and not dry skin. This means that the best way to combat dandruff is to apply a remedy that kills fungus while exfoliating the scalp and removing dead skin cells all at once. One way to accomplish this is to create a dandruff rinse out of green tea (it will exfoliate), lemon juice (it contains anti-fungal properties) and coconut oil (it's an anti-bacterial oil and a moisturizer too). If you put two tea bags, one lemon peel, a cup of water and one tablespoon of coconut oil into a small saucepan, let solution boil, steep for 10 minutes and then cool completely, you'll have an ideal hair rinse that will help to remove dandruff quickly and effectively. Apply the rinse after you shampoo your hair and before you condition it. Make sure to allow the rinse to sit on your scalp for 15 minutes in order to get the best results.
9. Skin Moisturizer
Something else that green tea happens to have in it is Vitamin E. The cool thing about this particular vitamin is it does everything from boost immunity and reduce UV skin damage to renew skin cells and deeply moisturize the skin. That's why green tea makes the list for being an effective moisturizer. If you combine two teaspoons of sweet almond oil (it improves skin tone), a teaspoon of rosewater (it maintains skin's pH balance) and a teaspoon of organic green tea powder, you've got the kind of moisturizer that will have your skin feeling super soft and smooth from head to toe.
10. Psoriasis Reliever
If you've got psoriasis and you're self-conscious about it, don't be. Reportedly, eight million Americans have this skin disorder that leads to symptoms like red scaly patches of skin, skin plaques, itching and burning around the skin patches, swollen joints and severely dry skin. If you have these symptoms, while it's important to get officially diagnosed by a medical professional, green tea is something that can help to make the symptoms more bearable. In fact, one study revealed that applying green tea extract can significantly reduce the psoriasis symptoms and heal the skin overall. Hmph. And you thought that green tea was only good for sipping on (wink).
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at email@example.com. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
Russell and Nina Westbrook are one of those low-key, unproblematic couples we don’t talk about enough. They met in college and got married in 2015. They also have a beautiful family with three kids. While Russell is an NBA star, Nina is a licensed family and marriage therapist and a mental health advocate.
She recently launched the podcast The Relationship Chronicles with Nina Westbrook, and in the latest episode, she had none other than her husband on as a guest. The college sweethearts dived into important topics from marriage to children and how they navigate it all.
One of the topics they touched on was dealing with resentment in your relationship. The former MVP highlighted the sacrifices his wife has had to make in order for him to pursue a career in the NBA, and that’s why it’s also important for him to support his wife whenever he can.
“For me is respecting and understanding what your partner do and the time it takes,” Russell said. “Not kind of downplaying what they do, understanding the time and energy and effort they're doing to make sure whether it’s their job or making sure home is taken care of, and understanding that, I think that is the challenge of not being resentful.”
Nina agreed and also shared her thoughts on resentment. According to her, one of the best things couples should do is have their own identity and passions outside of the relationship in an effort to be fulfilled.
“I also think that when you’re in a relationship, that’s why it’s so important that each individual kinda pursue their own passions and follow their own dreams as I feel like it only becomes or leads to resentment when one person is not feeling fulfilled in what they're doing in their lives,” she explained.
“And so, they will start to look at the other partner who’s happy or excelling or promoting or moving along in their journey, then they’re left feeling stuck like they sacrificed themselves, their happiness, their career, their future and have not pursued it in the name of the relationship or their partner. So, it’s so much easier to avoid those feelings of resentment when you’re each equally pursuing your passions.”
The couple has many passions that they work on together and separately. Outside of basketball and his family, Russell has become known for his eclectic style and started the fashion brand Honor The Gift. Nina has her podcast, and she also started the mental health website Bene. Together, they run the Why Not? Foundation, which works with kids in underserved communities.
“I’m a firm believer that one person can’t be everything to you, so you have to sort of seek out those different friendships or groups or hobbies or activities that help to fulfill you,” Nina concluded.
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Feature image by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images for Religion of Sports