Wednesday, October 28, 2015

tea time

I love tea - hot tea, iced tea, tea in my skincare, tea in my candles, and the tradition of "high tea".  Here's just a few of the many reasons why:

In high school and college, I worked for Origins, a division of the Estee Lauder Companies.  One of the products we launched was called A Perfect World - a skin guardian made from, among other miracle workers, silver tip white tea.  The silver tip white tea was the star ingredient - harvested in China just a few weeks each year, the leaves protect the skin from dehydration, deterioration, and oxidation by minimizing damage from free radicals, environmental stress, and harmful ultraviolet light rays.  The skin guardian was so popular and gave such proven results, that additional products have been added to the range throughout the years, including body cream, face wash, moisturizers, and balancing tonics.  I can't say enough good things for what this product has done for my skin - literally stopping the clock on aging.  (Not kidding - a study in the UK by Professor Declan Naughton, from the School of Life Sciences at Kingston University in South West London, said the research showed white tea had anti-aging potential and high levels of anti-oxidants which could prevent cancer and heart disease. “We’ve carried out tests to identify plant extracts that protected the structural proteins of the skin, specifically elastin and collagen,” he explained. “Elastin supports the body’s natural elasticity which helps lungs, arteries, ligaments and skin to function. It also helps body tissue to repair when you suffer wounds and stops skin from sagging.” Collagen is a protein found in connective tissues in the body and is important for skin, strength and elasticity, he added.
Results showed white tea prevented the activities of the enzymes which breakdown elastin and collagen which can lead to wrinkles that accompany ageing. These enzymes, along with oxidants, are associated with inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. Professor Naughton said: “These enzymes and oxidants are key components of normal body processes. However, in inflammatory conditions, suppressing the activities of these excess components has been the subject of decades of research. We were surprised to find such high activity for the white tea extracts in all five tests that were conducted.”)

Drinking tea is incredibly good for you, too.  Many studies have shown that drinking tea may help minimize the effects and progress of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes; encourage weight loss and manage cholesterol; possesses natural antimicrobial properties; and improves mental focus.  Speaking to WebMD, American Dietic Association spokeswoman Katherine Tallmadga, MA, RD, LD, said, “There doesn’t seem to be a downside to tea.  I think it’s a great alternative to coffee drinking. First, tea has less caffeine.  It’s pretty well established that the compounds in tea – their flavonoids – are good for the heart and may reduce cancer."  Subsequently, white tea contains antimicrobial properties that kill the germs in your mouth often associated with plaque, tooth decay, and bad breath.  Tea experts suggest choosing loose leaf tea, often less processed than the bagged varieties, and avoiding bottled, often sugary quick-serve options.

I don't know why, but I love how tea smells.  Maybe it's the calming nature, or the ideas of relaxation and sharing time with others that I automatically associate with the fragrance.  Diptyque offers Thé, while Nest's Ocean Mist & Sea Salt is rounded out with both coconut and white tea.  White Tea is so calming and inviting that Starwood's Westin Hotel chain features the fragrance in every property - from the scent in their lobbies to the bath amenities en suite.

Lastly, I love the time honored tradition of high tea - taking care to add an extra dash of style + class to your appearance, spending leisurely time with those you care about, enjoying carefully prepared snacks and treats, while sipping on piping hot brews.

When you look good, you feel better.  When you feel better, you look your best.  Tea time is more than just an afternoon delight - it's a lifestyle we can all incorporate and celebrate.

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