All cultures and countries have their own little miracle cures they swear by, and rooibos is mine. Its been a staple in my diet and skincare routine since I was 15. I never leave home without it in some shape or form, whether it be tea or personal care products containing Rooibos Extract. That must be why rooibos is the main character in all FIGGI Beauty products.
Since I am an expat, it also helps ease the homesick blues. There is nothing like the sweet smell of a steaming cup of Rooibos tea to make me feel like I’ve been transported back to the vast open spaces of the Karoo, the beauty of Table Mountain, or the crisp air of the South African Bushveld. Its scientifically proven benefits are just the icing on the rooibos cake.
What is Rooibos?
A little miracle worker that only grows naturally in the Cederberg region of South Africa. It can be consumed as a tea or used in skincare.
Rooibos is actually a herb, not a tea, so you’re really drinking a herbal infusion. Rooibos has a very distinctive bright red to amber colour. This hue is caused by its natural enzymes. The proper name for rooibos extracts used in personal care is aspalathus linearis.
This little miracle worker is unique and only grows naturally in the Cederberg region of South Africa, located northwest of Cape Town. It can be consumed as tea (herbal infusion) or used in skincare and personal care products. Both versions have immense benefits for skin and health.
Green rooibos provides an extra punch of rooibos goodness because it is not affected by the fermentation process that regular “red” rooibos undergoes. Don’t worry. I also applied this vision to FIGGI Beauty, and all the skincare products in the range are only made from the best green rooibos extracts.
Benefits Of Rooibos In Your Skincare Routine
1. Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)
Remember all those fantastic acids being touted for their skin renewal benefits in beauty magazines? My little rooibos friend has the good kind of alpha hydroxy acid (AHA). Although it does not contain a substantial amount its still worth mentioning. We care about AHA because our skin’s renewal process slows down as we grow older. This causes dead skin cells to remain on our skin’s surface for longer, making the skin look dull and tired. There is a longer turnaround time for forming new cells and pushing these beauties to the surface, thereby creating a more even skin tone. Enter AHA, which can help this process by aiding in the shedding of old, dead skin cells to make way for the formation of new healthy skin. This process assists in the appearance of the skin, adding a healthy glow and boosting skin regeneration.
The benefits of rooibos do not stop there. I know sensitive souls may struggle to introduce AHAs into their routine because it can be too aggressive for our skin type. Think burning, itching, and flaking. Not to worry! The AHA found in rooibos is one of the rare forms of AHA derived from a natural source and as mentioned above, is present in a low concentration in Rooibos. As if gifted to sensitive skin by nature, the AHA in rooibos is much less harsh than the versions found in chemical derivatives and those you would find in chemical peels.
Rooibos is also rich in zinc, as you find in your sunscreen ingredient list and baby bum creams. So apart from its ability to boost the efficiency of your sunscreen (you still need your sunscreen Goddess), zinc is also excellent at calming the skin and reducing inflammation. This makes it a great addition to your skincare if you struggle with eczema, sporadic monthly pimples, or just want to calm that nasty sunburn.
If acne is your nemesis, then rooibos is your ally. The body’s zinc levels directly affect the severity of the acne you experience. So make sure you have your zinc scale correctly tuned and apply a little rooibos to boost the eradication of acne-causing germs.
Although rooibos contains common antioxidants such as quercetin, it is also naturally rich in antioxidant compounds specific to this native South African herb. Green rooibos or green rooibos extract is even higher in antioxidants because it does not undergo the same fermentation process as regular red rooibos. This is, of course, also why yours truly only uses the best green rooibos extracts in all FIGGI products.
If you want to know more about antioxidants and how they work in skincare, check out our post on antioxidants here. For now, though, antioxidant properties in rooibos once again aid in calming, soothing, and reducing inflammation. This can be a blessing if you struggle with eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, or acne.
Antioxidants also help boost your sunscreen’s efficiency, and rooibos is no stranger to this party. I just want to be clear before I reveal the next benefit of rooibos: Sunscreen is a must in every skincare regime, and there is no better strategy than protection and prevention so use your sunscreen. However, even superheroes need a little extra help, which is where rooibos comes in.
Although a good sunscreen helps shield us from the sun, it cannot completely protect us from its rays. We don’t apply sunscreen in the correct amounts to benefit from its complete protection, and even an SPF50+ still only blocks around 98% of harmful rays. So you are still exposed to harmful UV rays, which can result in free-radical damage. Free-radical damage hastens the skin aging process and can cause wrinkles, dark patches, loss of skin elasticity, and other issues. The powerful antioxidants in rooibos scavenge these free radicals to help further protect you from its effects on your skin. An absolute must for any skincare regimen.
Benefits Of Drinking Rooibos Tea
1. Strong Bones
Many teas are rich in vital minerals that help develop and maintain healthy bones and stave off osteoporosis and arthritis. But our little rooibos friend takes it a step further. Besides being rich in calcium, manganese, and fluoride, which are in charge of constructing dense bone mass, rooibos also contains luteolin and orientin. These flavonoids not only protect bone mass but actually raise the mineral content of the bones.
2. Diabetes Super-Helper
A 2013 study found that rooibos tea (herbal infusion) may assist in managing diabetes or delaying the development of Type 2 Diabetes. The polyphenols in rooibos seemed to control blood sugar levels and improve glucose tolerance in diabetic mice. Also, the aspalathin found in rooibos seems to promote glucose absorption and inhibit the rise in fasting glucose levels that can cause blood sugar rises in people with diabetes.
3. Heart Health
Indulging in regular cups of rooibos comfort can also support a healthy heart by assisting with good blood flow, decreasing blood pressure, improving overall circulation, and preventing vascular inflammation. Aspalathin can also help regulate hormones, lowering the risk of hypertension.
4. Cancer Benefits
The South African Medical Research Council has been studying rooibos’ effect on inflammation and skin cancer for the last eleven years. They’ve found that rooibos extracts can eliminate precancerous damaged cells and also stop the start of inflammation after the skin has been exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation. These healing properties are due to rooibos’ high polyphenols (antioxidants) concentration.
How I Use Rooibos For Skin & Health
“I try to include skincare products that feature green rooibos extracts only.”
When I want to enjoy extra me-time and treat my skin, I throw 2 teabags into my bath water and enjoy a blissful rooibos bath. My skin feels softer, soothed, and less itchy. The colour of the water can be a little off-putting but believe me its worth it.😊
I don’t use cleansers in the morning. I only rinse with rooibos-infused water. Nothing starts the day better than waking up the skin with a soothing rinse packed with zinc, antioxidants, and AHAs. Sometimes I will alternate and use a rooibos-infused rinse, instead of plain water, in the evenings after cleansing. This is especially soothing when I’ve had a day in the sun or the garden and my skin feels extra grimy.
I try to include skincare products that feature green rooibos extracts only. Here I will shamelessly advertise that I use FIGGI Beauty products for this purpose as I personally hand-picked suppliers to ensure that only the best green rooibos extract is included in our products.
When my eyes feel a little puffy or look a tired, I place wet rooibos teabags (cool or room temperature) on my eyes and relax for 10 minutes. This is wonderful for depuffing my eyes and it soothes the sensitive skin around my eye area.
I drink 4-5 cups of rooibos daily and always end my day relaxing in bed with a cup of rooibos in hand. It helps with my good fluid intake, calms gastrointestinal issues, and gives me all the benefits listed in this article. Skincare also comes from within, and we cannot rely only on topical applications to get the desired results.
Whether you’re brewing a cup of tea, rinsing your face with rooibos-infused water, or scouring the internet for rooibos products (look no further than FIGGI Beauty 😊), it’s worth including in your daily health and beauty routine. I love my rooibos miracle worker, and I hope you do too!
Let me know what you think of rooibos, if you’ve tried it in your routine or if you’ve tasted the tea.
Love and Light.
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