Recently, I’ve decided to start working actively towards bettering my own life in small ways. I think the motivation arrived one afternoon when Katy Perry came hollering through my headphones during my daily hour of hiding under my desk.
(For the record, I’ve yet to listen to “Roar” without crying. Katy’s my girl, y’all. And that “Unconditionally” video is gorgeous. Get it, Katy.)
I’m a pretty healthy human. I drink a lot of water, I eat tons of vegetables, I ride my bike to the farmers market, but I rarely buy anything because a forged sense of self-righteousness is the ultimate appetite suppressant. But in the spirit of taking my health and self more seriously, I started going back to yoga, went on a juice cleanse and cut caffeine out of my life.
Yoga is awesome, and I don’t remember why I stopped. Juice cleanses are total BS, but more on that another time. Cutting caffeine out nearly killed me.
I mean, not biologically. I was still functioning without caffeine, but I seriously didn’t realize how dependent I am on coffee and Diet Coke for the level of alertness required to keep me alive in everyday situations, like driving a car. I do feel better now, though. It’s cool to feel my body create its own energy. I also started taking a multivitamin, so that’s probably helping too.
It is super-cold out, though. It got down to 30 degrees the other day! I live in M-I-SS-I-SS-I-PP-I, so that’s basically tundra weather as far as I’m concerned. To combat my frozen hands and sluggish heart, I’ve taken to drinking steamy, hot mugs of (decaf) green tea all the live-long day.
Green tea is delicious, healthy and inexpensive. According to THE INTERNET, green tea is an excellent source of antioxidants and will probably make you live forever. Also, I read it can help prevent liver damage, which means green tea is pretty much cancelling out my nightly bottle-of-wine habit. Green tea for everyone!
Except the other day I went and bought a huge box of store-brand green tea (big ups to Kroger) but accidentally bought the kind with caffeine in it. UGH. I wasn’t about to let my wellness makeover fall by the wayside, but I also wasn’t about to return this big box of green tea because, well, the store is like 20 minutes away and I am extremely busy always.
The good news is that green tea is super-versatile. It’s sort of the Color Tattoo eyeshadow of the tea world. Caffeine, that I can’t currently consume, is great for your face because it energizes and revives dull or puffy skin. You know, the way your face gets after spending the past month sniffling and wiping your nose.
Green tea gives good face! Let me show you how.
Green Tea Steam Facial
The first step is to find a mug that’s about half the size of your face.
I’ve taken to sipping a huge mug of green tea in the mornings, and resting my face above it right after I pour it so that the steam gets all up in my pores. Do this before you put any makeup on, and cleanse your face after with a splash of cold water.
The steam will open up your pores, and make your face very happy, and the green tea scent will work to calm down you and your debilitating anxieties.
Green Tea Toner
I don’t really ever use a toner. Until a few years ago, I thought toner was always really drying.
But this toner’s more of a refresher. It’s energizing and fresh! Like toothpaste for your pores. Just a few spritzes will have your weary skin feeling better in no time.
·2 cups of brewed green tea, cooled
·Some sort of essential oil (optional)
·A clean spray bottle
Brew your green tea and let it cool for a while. Then, water it down a bit and pour it into the spray bottle. If you’d like, mix it with a few drops of your favorite essential oil. I chose lavender (sorry, Marci) because it’s relaxing and fine for all skin types.
If you’re having issues with breakouts, you could go with tea tree oil. If your skin is oily, try peppermint or rosemary. Or don’t add any oil at all. Do whatever you want. I don’t care.
I like to keep the spray bottle in the fridge, because the cool green tea feels very soothing on my skin, which has been irritated lately from stress and a nonstop barrage of tissues and sweater sleeves. Don’t forget to label the bottle just in case your curious roommate (slash boyfriend) should get too curious. It won’t hurt them to consume it, but it’s for your FACE and not their tummy!
Green Tea Face Mask
For this little ditty, you’ll need:
·2 bags of green tea
Tear open those bags of green tea and mix the leaves with equal parts baking soda in a small bowl.
Take a teaspoon of this mixture and mix it up with some honey. Spread the mixture all over your face. If it needs to be diluted, add any sort of oil or water a little bit at a time and stir it up. Leave the mask on for 10-15 minutes.
Green tea will soothe your face, calming any irritation or redness while the honey moisturizes.
Face and Body Green Tea Sugar Scrub
Brew a cup of green tea, and then let it thoroughly cool. Combine several tablespoons of sugar with the brewed tea. It’s important the tea be cool so that all the sugar won’t dissolve.
Let it sit for a minute, and then stir until it thickens. Add water, honey, or oil to achieve your desired consistency.
Use this scrub to exfoliate your arms, legs, face and whatever. It smells sweet and light, and gives skin a nice glow.
Keep it in the fridge to keep it as fresh as possible. Don’t forget to label it unless you live alone like some Richie McRicherson.
Green Tea Eye Treatment
This is a classic. I’ve pretty much accepted my under-eye bags at this point. People have been remarking on them since I was 10-ish. They’re genetic. All the women in my family have them, and I bear them as a symbol of our endless strength and even more endless sleepiness.
This green tea trick really does help to reduce puffiness and darkness under my eyes temporarily. Steep the tea for a few minutes, and then remove the bags from the water.
Wring out all the water, and place the bags in the fridge for a bit. Don’t put hot things on your eyes, dudes.
After they’ve cooled down quite a bit, lie down with the bags over your eyes for 20-30 minutes. Put on some jams and zone out. You deserve it. Look, I made you a playlist. Now you can be sad and mopey like me while your eyes get beautiful-er.
Berry Green Tea Smoothie
A couple of weeks ago, my boyfriend bought a Vitamix and IMO it’s his greatest accomplishment yet. Sure, he has a CFA charter and a fancy degree from some university in England, but Vitamix is so legit! I’m a very lucky gal.
The Vitamix has upped my smoothie game 110%. You might not think smoothies are a beauty thing and you might be right, but whatever. Everything you put into your body affects the way your body looks, so consuming great stuff will make you look greater! So a smoothie full of fruits and green tea is awesome for your skin. And awesome for your tummy, because it is yummy.
·Green tea (I mean, OBV)
·Some frozen fruits (Choose whatever you want, I had blackberries and blueberries already in my freezer. Get fresh fruits if you want but you need a lot for smoothies, and frozen’s just less expensive. Cheap-o’s unite!)
·Honey, lemon, milk to taste
Steep 2 cups of green tea and let it cool all the way to room temp. Blend up all the fruit and once the tea is cooled, blend it on in there with the fruit.
If you’d like, add honey, lemon, milk, or anything else you have lying around to make the smoothie taste the way you’d like!
I’m sure there’s hundreds of other uses for green tea, but that’s all I’ve got for you today.
Do you love green tea, too? Would you try any of these DIYs? OK, fill the comments with teabag jokes.