10 MARCH 2009
From the majestic mountains of the Cedarberg comes a plant so rich in antioxidants, alpha hydroxy acids, zinc and a myriad of other substances known for their soothing, healing and anti-ageing properties, that cosmetics houses the world over have incorporated it into their ranges. Rooibos offers an amazing, all-natural formula to promote clear and healthy skin while acting like a shield against environmental influences that are to blame for premature skin ageing. Although the uses of Rooibos have been passed down through the generations, the benefits that this herb offers are no longer merely anecdotal, much research has been done into this magical plant and the natural healing powers that it possesses.
Here are just a few useful beauty tips from the South African Rooibos Council to enhance your beauty regime:
Wash your face with cold or lukewarm Rooibos tea instead of water; it is a great alternative skin freshener.
Rinse dark hair with strong Rooibos to give it a beautiful shine or use as a leave-in for lighter hair to provide a slight reddish tint to your colour.
Treat tired and sensitive eyes to a rinse with lukewarm Rooibos or wipe out eyes gently with a face-cloth dipped in lukewarm Rooibos for instant relief from sore eyes of any kind. Alternatively, you can also hold cold Rooibos tea bags over your eyes to relieve your tired or red eyes.
The following face-mask method has proven a saviour to many an acne sufferer: take half a cup of strong, plain Rooibos tea (fairly warm); add half a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar; add 2 teaspoons of oatmeal (NB – if you’re allergic to oatmeal, use a gluten-free flour); allow the mixture to cool until it’s lukewarm; apply it over your face and neck; lie down and relax for about 15 minutes; rinse off with lukewarm plain Rooibos tea, then press to dry.
If you have itchy or burning skin, then after a cleansing bath, wipe off your affected skin with a face-cloth moistened in Rooibos tea; press gently to dry (NB – do not rub, as this will only make the itching/burning worse). Alternatively, you can also add a few Rooibos tea bags to your bath water to sooth your skin.
If you suffer from eczema, bathing the affected skin areas in Rooibos tea or applying it with cottonwool can provide soothing relief.
“Many of the unique anti-ageing and anti-allergic properties of Rooibos may be attributed to the unique blend of potent antioxidants found in Rooibos,” says Dr Jeanine Marnewick, researcher at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. “Researchers in South Africa and Japan were able to prove that Rooibos has the ability to delay ageing, preserve fertility and, when applied externally, could even reduce and slow down skin cancer.”
So in short, Rooibos can be used for achieving healthy skin; delaying the signs of ageing; the treatment of acne, eczema, sunburn and tired eyes; while offering shine for hair and even protecting your hair colour. And these are just some of the cosmetic benefits. There is a long and varied list of benefits offered by Rooibos, including the prevention of life threatening diseases like cancer and heart disease, providing relief from stomach problems, assisting with detoxing, and even helping with anxiety or depression.