New York Post
W HEN 40-yearold Andrea Wytish saw on a beauty blog two months ago that baby-faced supermodel Miranda Kerr’s secret to glowing skin was facial tea steaming, she knew she had to try it.
“It’s easy, it’s cheap — why not?” says the Upper East Side-based vice president of digital for a beauty marketing company.
With a clean face, Wytish takes a basic green tea bag from the cupboard and dunks it into a pot of just-boiled water on the stove, then drapes a towel over her head to lock in the steam and absorb its health benefits as it opens her pores.
“You’re basically steaming your face, except you throw a tea bag in,” she
“Your skin glows, your makeup goes on more easily.”
explains. After about 10 minutes of rejuvenating relaxation, she pulls off the towel to reveal the results.
“Your skin glows, your makeup goes on more easily,” she insists.
While the ancient Asian treatment has long been a staple in beauty aficionados’ regimes, it’s recently gained steam due to the much-touted benefits of green tea, whose antioxidant properties are said to reduce inflammation and combat aging.
And compared to spa treatments such as $180 green-tea facials, it’s downright cheap.
Michelle Park, a Hell’s Kitchen-based beauty blogger, says she’s been relying on tea steaming since she was a broken-out (and broke) high schooler.
“I would use it to get rid of acne — it works magic on pimples,” says the 32-year-old, who says she now benefits from twice weekly, five-minute treatments. “It’s one of those things I do when I’m having a problem — it’s one of my last lines of defense pre-breakout.”
But doctors warn not to overdo it.
“Facial steaming helps open the pores to release cellular debris, [and] there is no harm in doing it at home for several minutes, but [not] more than five, as it can cause broken capillaries due to extreme heat,” says Dr. Marina Peredo, an Upper East Side dermatologist, who says it should only be done on occasion.
“It also presents the urge for home extractions, which can sometimes do more harm than good.”
Even some guys are getting in on the trend — even if they only cop to medicinal benefits, especially when they feel a cold coming on.
“As you get older, you want to look better, and especially since this is all-natural,” says Barry Szymanski, a 59-yearold mortgage broker-turnedfarmer from Bridgewater, NJ, who tea steams every couple of months, since the women in his household are fans. “Every time you feel an ailment coming on, it helps — but you [also] get a clean face and smooth skin.”
While tea steamers rave about the results, one Upper East Side medical aesthetician says it’s all in their heads.
Instead of steaming your face with green tea, Liz Kennedy recommends simply drinking it to get its benefits, stressing, “You can get amazing results skin care-wise without steaming your skin.”
Peredo adds: “While adding green tea sounds like a great DIY solution, there is no clinical evidence that the skin absorbs the antioxidant benefits.”
But Naomi Shaw, a 26-yearold account supervisor from Hoboken, NJ, isn’t planning to quit cold turkey anytime soon. The beauty addict’s had her share of Botox, facials and massages — but the “calming and peaceful” at-home treatment now ranks among her favorites.
“It’s so quick, easy and inexpensive — the best combination,” says the devotee of two years, who uses Trader Joe’s green tea. “Everyone has a bowl and hot water — all you need are tea leaves and you’re good to go.”