A powerful antioxidant cleanser that could prevent skin cancer.

When I look for a cleanser I want one to gently wash away impurities without stripping my skin of its natural oils and hydration. A simple request. But face washes these days go far beyond the basics of cleansing.

One my favorites, Ole Henriksen African Red Tea Foaming Cleanser, contains a potent antioxidant, capable of brightening and protecting skin, in addition to cleansing. How you ask? With a little known restorative ingredient more rich in antioxidants than green tea – African red tea.

Indigenous to the Western Cape of South Africa, the red tea aka “rooibos” (Aspalathus linearis), grows as a short bush with long, needle shaped leaves. The Khoi people of the Cape area harvest the leaves, bruise them with hammers, then ferment and dry them to make tea. The leaves turn red after fermentation.

This caffeine free tea is abundant in flavonoids with strong antioxidant activity. Studies found, when ingested, rooibos tea may prevent DNA damage and inflammation in rats. Though, whether this translates to humans still requires further testing.

But it has been found to have serious anti-aging and protective benefits when applied topically. The University of Stellenbosch in South Africa, reported in 2014, that rooibos extracts, when used in skin care products such as soaps, sun creams and lotions, helped stop the development of skin cancer.

Dr. Tandeka Magcwebeba, who conducted the study says that rooibos extracts “contain certain natural compounds (polyphenols) which give them their rich anti-oxidant properties.”

Magcwebeba adds that these compounds are linked with the prevention of various chronic disorders, including cancer. Stating that the extracts, “block the onset of inflammation.” Inflammation is part of all known chronic degenerative diseases.

So the next time you wash your face, make sure to ditch the bar soap and use Ole Henriksen African Red Tea Foaming Cleanser. You’ll strengthen the skin’s outer layer, slow the aging process, nourish and protect your face. Does it get better than that? I think not.

Photographed by Amy Chang


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