Ancient beauty is officially back: Jade rollers are a skincare staple, dry brushing is trending, and oil massages are on spa menus across the country. The next age-old beauty secret to enter the mainstream? Beauty teas. Both Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda have been incorporating the power of tea into skincare regimens for centuries, and 5,000 years later, modern brands are following suit. There’s no doubt that beauty teas about to be everywhere — Ranavat Botanics recently added an ingestible tea to its lineup of topical serums and face masks; beauty icon Bobbi Brown’s latest venture, Evolution_18, features an “antioxidant beauty tea” to cleanse from the inside out. The question now is... do they really work?
Nutritionists and dermatologists alike say yes. “One of the easiest ways to emanate health and beauty from the inside out, alongside nutritionally dense food choices, are teas,” Serena Poon, a nutritionist and celebrity chef who works with Kerry Washington, tells The Zoe Report. (Honestly, if tea will give me Kerry Washington’s glow, I am 100 percent on board.) “Most teas, when ingested, help the skin because of their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties,” Dr. Devika Icecreamwala, a board certified dermatologist with Icecreamwala Dermatology in San Francisco, adds in an email to TZR.
There are plenty of antioxidant-rich teas to choose from, all with slightly different skincare benefits — for example, spearmint tea has been shown to help with hormonal acne and rose helps increase cellular turnover — but regardless of which you choose, Poon maintains adding any tea into your regimen can give you a beauty boost. “The best part about these teas is that they’re almost like a three-part self-care checklist,” she says. “You’re hydrating yourself; you’re soothing, detoxing, or protecting your skin; and you’re creating a positive habit that becomes a ritual.” Of course, as with any skincare product, consistency is key in order to see results.
Ahead, 14 derm- and nutritionist-approved beauty teas to help you sip your way to better skin.
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To Fight Pollution Damage: Green Tea
“Green teas are rich in antioxidants and fight against free radicals and DNA damage to the skin,” Dr. Icecreamwala says. “You get these benefits when applied topically and when ingested.” The specific antioxidants in green tea — polyphenols — do more than just fight free radicals, though. “Polyphenols are micronutrients that also act as prebiotics, which supports healthy gut bacteria, which ultimately supports clear and glowing skin,” Jill Therese, a skincare-focused nutritionist and the founder of Heal Your Face With Food, tells The Zoe Report.
To Age Gracefully: Rose Tea
“Rose is a beautiful 'natural retinol’ when used topically, but there are also major benefits to drinking roses,” Michelle Ranavat, the founder of Ranavat Botanics, tells The Zoe Report. “Roses feed your body with vitamin A and antioxidants to help with graceful aging.”
To Treat Hormonal Acne: Spearmint Tea
“Drinking spearmint tea regularly can affect your hormones, specifically testosterone,” Dr. Icecreamwala says. “Several of my patients have noticed an improvement in their hormonal acne after adding spearmint tea to their daily regimen.” This is because studies have shown that spearmint has an anti-androgenic effect on the female endocrine system. “This can effectively alleviate certain skin issues caused by hormonal imbalances — including hirsutism, which is the growth of dark, coarse hair on the face, chest and abdomen; and hormonal acne,” Poon adds.
For A Youthful Glow: Hibiscus Tea
"I love hibiscus tea because it’s not only a great source of vitamin A, B1, B2, C, zinc, and iron; but it has omega-3 fatty acids and natural alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) that are absolutely essential for maintaining that healthy, glow-y skin we all want," Poon says. "Hibiscus is also known for its exceptional antioxidant properties that give us the skin elasticity, anti-aging, and free radical protection we need for optimal skin health."
To Boost Circulation: Matcha Tea
“From a science perspective, matcha contains many of the same skin benefiting properties as green tea, but at much higher levels,” Poon tells TZR. “High vitamin K in matcha helps to promote wound healing and better blood circulation in the skin, which helps reduce inflammation, swelling, puffiness, and dark circles under the eyes. Matcha also contains a lot of chlorophyll, which is rich in vitamins and minerals that can protect our skin from sun damage and reduce photo-aging, acne, and clogged pores.”
To Moisturize From The Inside Out: Calendula Tea
“Calendula, also known as the marigold flower, has antiseptic properties, which are helpful for treating wounds and preventing acne,” Ranavat tells TZR. “As a skin conditioner, calendula extract stimulates collagen production and it also reduces the occurrence of dry skin.”
To Promote Collagen Production: Horsetail Tea
“Horsetail tea has a lot of silica in it, which helps to produce collagen in the skin,” Dr. Icecreamwala says. “When the tea is ingested, it can increase production of collagen, which makes our skin look more youthful.” Bonus: Silica is also great for healthy hair and nails.
To Support Gut Health: Dandelion Tea
“I always recommend dandelion tea for all things beauty,” Therese says. “Dandelion is a bitter herb and as such, it helps to encourage bile flow. I know I just said the word ‘bile’ and you cringed a little bit, but that's OK — bile is super important to estrogen detox and liver support and helps move toxins through your digestive system. Basically, more bile flow equals better digestion equals happier skin.”
For Chronic Skin Conditions: Chamomile Tea
“Chamomile tea is known for its anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and antimicrobial properties, which makes it great for wound healing as well as overall skin healing,” Poon tells TZR. “It’s helpful for improving skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, acne scars, minor breakouts, and pigmentation. Also known for its high levels of antioxidants, chamomile is another tea that can help protect the skin from free radical damage, while also accelerating tissue and cell regeneration.”
To Protect From Sun Damage: Licorice Root Tea
“Licorice root tea is less commonly known, but can help with collagen production and skin elasticity, with amino acids that help hydrate and moisturize the skin,” Poon shares. “Glycyrrhizin, glabridin, and liquiritin, the three active compounds found in licorice root, all yield strong anti-inflammatory properties that help with everything from eczema to hyperpigmentation. This is also a great tea to have before or after you’ve been in the sun. For someone with melasma, I am a big believer that sun protection both inside and out is essential.”
To Eliminate Toxins: Nettle Tea
“Nettle tea is a diuretic, which flushes toxins out of the body when ingested,” Dr. Icecreamwala says. “It also has anti-inflammatory effects, which can be helpful for acne and eczema.” Since nettle boats high levels of vitamin C and K, per Poon, it’s “a great tea for the treatment of skin issues such as rashes, hives, scarring and wound healing.”
For A Deep Cleanse: Burdock Root Tea
“Burdock root is one of my go-to teas for detoxifying and cleansing the body,” Poon says. “This process not only improves the health of your organs, but as a result, promotes better circulation of blood to the surface of the skin, making the skin appear healthier and youthful.” Dr. Icecreamwala adds that this tea is rich in both antioxidants (including phenolic acid, luteolin, and quercetin) and minerals, which work together to prevent wrinkles.
To Control Oil Production: Peppermint Tea
“Peppermint tea is not only a great tea for digestion, but the menthol in it helps to slow down oil production in the skin, which is helpful for anyone with oily, acne prone skin,” Poon says. “Compounds like vitamin E and D in peppermint tea also increase cell turnover, which helps us to shed the outer layers of dead skin cells, leaving us with that coveted glow.”
To Support Cellular Renewal: Rosehip Tea
“Rosehip is another favorite tea I use by itself, as well as in blends and infusions, because it’s so high in vitamin C — which we know is vital for collagen production and skin cell renewal,” Poon shares. “Rosehip also contains a range of potent antioxidants including lycopene, catechins, flavonoids, polyphenols, and carotenoids, all which help with fine lines, wrinkles, and skin healing.”