NOT ALL TEAS ARE MADE EQUAL

All are rich in an­tiox­i­dants, and all hy­drate and soothe ir­ri­tated skin. But not all do so equally well – some teas are bet­ter for cer­tain things.

Herworld (Singapore) - - CONTENTS -

Dif­fer­ent amounts of an­tiox­i­dants, caf­feine and tan­nins in teas help skin in dif­fer­ent ways.

Whether green, black or white, tea is a proven an­tiox­i­dant due to the EGCG polyphe­nols in it. It also has caf­feine and tan­nins, whose con­strict­ing ef­fect on mi­cro blood ves­sels make tea good for sooth­ing skin red­ness and ir­ri­ta­tion.

What’s not so well­known: All tea comes from the leaves of the camel­lia sinen­sis plant. It’s how th­ese leaves are pro­cessed that give tea dif­fer­ent colours, tastes and aro­mas. The pro­cess­ing method also af­fects the chem­i­cal com­po­si­tion of the leaves. The re­sult: Cer­tain teas are bet­ter at treat­ing cer­tain skin con­cerns.

Green Tea

How it’s pro­cessed: Ma­ture tea leaves are steamed, rolled, then dried. What it con­tains Green falls in the: mid­dle be­tween black and white teas. It is high in EGCG polyphe­nols, and has enough caf­feine to re­duce puffi­ness and red­ness in skin. Says Marie Amiand, founder of French-Chi­nese tea-based skin­care brand Lu Ming Tang: “EGCG in high-qual­ity green tea is 30 times more po­tent as an an­tiox­i­dant than vi­ta­min E.” Green tea is also a pow­er­ful yet gen­tle an­tibac­te­rial agent, says Jae Yeon Park, global mar­ket­ing man­ager at Cao­lion Cos­met­ics. Who it’s best for: Those with sen­si­tive and/or ir­ri­ta­ble skin.

Black Tea

How it’s pro­cessed : The tea leaves turn black as they un­dergo ox­i­da­tion and/or fer­men­ta­tion. This process re­duces an­tiox­i­dant ac­tiv­ity in the tea – the EGCG polyphe­nols get con­verted into theaflavins, which are harder for skin to ab­sorb, mak­ing them less ef­fec­tive in skin­care, says Jae, What it con­tains: Fewer an­tiox­i­dants, yes. But it has the high­est caf­feine and tan­nin con­tent of the three teas. Who it’s best for: Those who want to re­duce eye puffi­ness and brighten dark un­der-eye cir­cles, says Jae. Black tea draws out tox­ins and shrinks blood ves­sels.

White Tea

How it’s pro­cessed: Young leaves and buds are left un­pro­cessed, or steamed right af­ter pick­ing. Be­ing the least pro­cessed, it re­tains more of the plant’s nat­u­ral good­ness than black or green tea. What it con­tains: The high­est amount of an­tiox­i­dants, even more than green tea, says Jae. Who it’s best for: Those whose skin is stressed by city pol­lu­tion, says Amiand. It’s also good for those with dry, flak­ing skin – white tea has the least caf­feine in it, so is best at help­ing skin re­tain mois­ture.

1 Cao­lion Pore Triple Ac­tion Cleans­ing Stick (Green Tea), $37. Made for sen­si­tive skin, it trans­forms from balm to oil on con­tact, then foams up when you add wa­ter. It gen­tly cleanses off makeup as it soothes the skin. 2 Lu Ming Tang Creme de Marie, $66. The Longjing green tea in­fused in this silky mois­turiser is “im­pe­rial grade”. It’s pris­tine – grown and har­vested by hand on moun­tains un­af­fected by city pol­lu­tion, so it has the max­i­mum an­tiox­i­dant ben­e­fits of green tea. 3 Juara Tamarind Tea Hy­drat­ing Toner, $80, www.juarask­in­care. com.sg. The toner has white, green and black tea ex­tracts, which work with tamarind seed ex­tract to hy­drate, plump and soothe.

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