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A Time for Tea

By: Mary Bemis
Posted: June 16, 2008, from the August 2006 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

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Worster now incorporates this tea into a variety of treatments, such as the Anakiri Churani Body Tea Mineral Mud Wrap (60 minutes, $90) and the Anakiri Body Tea Steep (30 minutes, $45), as well as herbal wraps. The beverage also is available for retail. “The greatest benefit of drinking the tea is that it provides such a balance of benefits,” he says. “There are minerals, and anti-inflammatory and detoxifying herbs. It offers a combination of relaxing and detoxifying benefits.”

A modern use

“My love affair with tea treatments dates back to when I opened my business in 1975,” reminisces Ole Henriksen, owner of Ole Henriksen Face/Body locations in West Hollywood, California, and Bangkok, Thailand. As a young man with cystic acne, he discovered that applying compresses drenched in strongly brewed chamomile and comfrey teas dramatically improved his skin. He soon created a name for himself as an expert in treating acne-prone skin and was consulted frequently by celebrities. About 13 years ago, he began custom blending creams when he realized that actress and singer Liza Minnelli had a specific need for one of his creations that contained chamomile tea. In his book Ole Henriksen’s Seven Day Skin Care Program (MacMillan Publishing Company, 1986), he showed readers how to create homemade concoctions using common kitchen ingredients such as chamomile, comfrey and rosehip teas.

It wasn’t until four years ago that African red tea came to Henriksen’s attention. “I discovered a tea shop in Hollywood that featured this wonderful tea,” he recalls. “I brought it into my spa as a cocktail and began serving it in the lounge area, then used it in compresses.”

The immediate results, he says, were dramatic. “The calming and healing effects on all kinds of skin problems—from rosacea and mild rashes to capillary sensitivity and dry skin—were amazing.” Soon after, he created a red tea body treatment (see On the Menu) and recently included the tea as an ingredient in his newest products.