Lab Rat: Skin-Detoxifying Tea

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Photo: Courtesy Photo

Following in Asia's footsteps, the BB cream craze in the U.S. now has the term BB (short for beauty balm) synonymous with being a cosmetic "cure-all." The newest introduction into the revered Kusmi Tea family is the BB Detox Tea. It's a rather delicious blend of maté, green tea, and rooibos (with a hint of grapefruit flavor) that's meant to detoxify and purify skin from the inside out if you drink five to six cups of it a day. "Maté is higher in antioxidants than green tea is," explains celeb facialist Joanna Vargas, who is a strong believer in ingesting antioxidants for added protection against sun damage and pollution. "Your skin cells tend to mutate into fine lines, wrinkles, and brown spots very easily when you are in the sun or walking around New York City; if you are drinking antioxidants, you are reinforcing the skin's defenses."

The concept of a detox tea is not particularly new. Green tea and maté have long been trusted for their ability to eliminate the body's excess fluids by way of the bathroom. When you combine drinking a whole lot of water on a daily basis (something that's already recommended by doctors), plus the added bonus of antioxidants and a boost of rooibos (rich in alpha hydroxy acids that promote exfoliation), you have all the right elements to help skin look better and clearer. Now, calling it a BB tea? That's just good marketing.

As a religious and faithful coffee drinker, I immediately started to feel less sluggish, possibly due to the decreased levels of caffeine in my body on a daily basis. I went from having two to three cups of coffee each morning and another one in the afternoon, to just one in the morning, followed by six cups of tea. My skin, on the other hand, looked more or less the same after being fully committed to BB Detox tea consumption for five days (Kusmi's CEO, Sylvain Orebi, said that noticeable results appear in a few days, with full effects visible in two weeks). However, for people who can't seem to make themselves drink six to eight tasteless glasses of water a day, this rather mild green tea with a hint of sweet grapefruity flavor is one way to make the process a little more delicious.