Edwina Ings-Chambers: Why I’ve always got time for tea

It’s the new star ingredient perking up skincare.

More tea, vicar? Sorry, I couldn’t resist. I can never say the word tea without that phrase popping into my head. And the thing is that it’s actually an appropriate notion, since more tea is very much the order of the day here. However, these tea-focused beauty choices aren’t about the regular cuppa. Take Maysama, for instance, which makes skincare with a sustainably sourced green rooibos extract. Founder Bev May Sanderson had noticed the benefits from drinking more rooibos and decided to look into its topical use.

tea beauty
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Working with The South African Rooibos Council and researchers at the Nelson Mandela Institute, they discovered that it is indeed a powerful antioxidant – helping to protect skin from the ageing effects of stress and pollution – and great for skin clarity. Plus the extraction process Sanderson uses makes the rooibos 70 times more potent than standard. So Maysama Green Rooibos Pressed Serum (£41.40, maysama.com) really packs a punch. By the way, don’t be put off by the brown colour – once rubbed in all it adds is a slight extra glow. And, in case you’re wondering, yes it does have a faint smell of tea.

Defence skincare (protecting skin from external stressors), as Dr Marko Lens of Zelens calls it, is at the heart of his new Zelens Tea Shot Urban Defence Serum (from £35, zelens.com), too. It took almost three years for him to perfect the formula. A blend of rooibos, green, white, black, kombucha and matcha tea, it’s made using a biofermentation process that increases the product’s efficacy. ‘There is now a wealth of research around the topical use of tea,’ says Dr Lens, who believes we’ll be hearing a lot more about it in skincare. The serum also helps to protect against blue light from excessive screen time. The green colour is natural and comes courtesy of the matcha element.

Matcha is also the star of Le Labo Thé Matcha 26 fragrance (from £60, lelabofragrances.com). Alongside creamy fig, sandalwood and vetiver notes, it’s a warm dose of mellow in a bottle.