Tea has been around for centuries, and it's not difficult to see why: This antioxidant-rich powerhouse has innumerable health benefits — including bona fide beautifying ones. To optimize its effectiveness, aim for three cups a day of loose leaf tea and *don't * nurse it. "Drink your tea within 20 minutes of steeping," says celebrity esthetician Renée Rouleau. "You'll prevent oxygen from breaking down the antioxidants before they can enrich your skin with healing benefits." Here, five reasons why tea is the perfect bride-to-be elixir.
It brightens skin.
Green tea is chockfull of Vitamin C (and green tea with rose packs an even higher dose), and peppermint tea is also a standout glow-getter. "It boosts blood circulation, which makes the skin vibrant," Rouleau says.
Antioxidants, like those found in tea, reverse free radical damage to help prevent fine lines. So, whatever stressor your skin is hit with — cigarette smoke, smog, UV rays — these little babies have your back. Want to make your skin even more resilient? Tea works wonders applied topically, too. Try Fresh Black Tea Age-Delay Cream — one of our fresh-faced editors swears by it.
It reduces acne.
Acne stems from inflammation and tea is anti-inflammatory — see where we're going with this one? It isn't a cure-all for blemishes, of course, but experts say it can help as part of a clear-skin regimen. Tea also contains acne-fighting antibacterial and antimicrobial benefits — another plus for those with breakout-prone skin.
It helps you sleep.
Having bouts of insomnia from all of that wedding planning? Try melatonin tea, says dermatologist Vermen Verallo-Rowell of VMV Hypoallergenics. Melatonin is the hormone that makes us sleep, so the more melatonin you have, the deeper your slumber. (And we all know how essential rest is for brides — it's called beauty sleep for a reason!) You can also try drinking chamomile and lavender teas before bed if you just need a little help relaxing.
It aids digestion.
If you're bloated, your stomach isn't the only thing that gives it away. Poor digestion can reveal itself in decreased energy levels and minor skin disorders. Drinking ginger and peppermint teas can help keep your tummy flat and happy.