When a container of Happy Tea landed on my doorstep from the San Francisco based, green beauty shop, Ayla Beauty, I was very excited. I love tea. When I finally gave up my three cups of black coffee a day (a necessary evil while I lived in New York City), I moved onto tea (and a healthier lifestyle in Los Angeles). The shift started with black tea, English Breakfast and Darjeeling were my faves, then I was able to taper my caffeine intake down even more to green tea. The last few years I even quit drinking green tea and have been caffeine-free completely. It has improved my mood, sleep, eating habits, cravings, everything. While caffeine-free isn’t for everyone, for me it was a game changer. So, when Ayla Beauty + MyHavthorn sent me their Happy Tea to try, made with organically-grown sea buckthorn leaves that’s caffeine-free, I was very excited. (There’s only so much ginger, chamomile and peppermint tea a girl can drink…)
Sea buckthorn is THE skin care ingredient of the moment. I saw it everywhere while I was in Tokyo this year and more and more luxury brands here in the states are using it for its anti-inflammatory properties, like Ursa Major Golden Hour Recovery Cream and Marie Veronique Redness Relief Serum. According to a report published in the ISRN Pharmacology Journal in 2012, sea buckthorn is incredibly rich in vitamins A, B1, B12, C, E, and K.
Here’s a little vitamin cheat sheet, in case you’re curious:
Vitamin A – Has antioxidant and photo protective properties. It supports immune function, vision, cell growth, wound healing and reproduction (University of Maryland Medical Center).
Vitamin B1 + B12 – B vitamins help the body convert food into fuel to produce energy. They help the body use fats and proteins making them critical for skin, hair, eyes and liver health. In addition, Vitamin B1 supports wound healing, while vitamin B12 works with folate to support immune function and mood (University of Michigan Medical).
Vitamin C – “Helps to repair DNA damage in the skin,” explains Dr. Andre Berger, MD and founder of premiere Beverly Hills anti-aging practice, Rejuvalife, “It does help to heal damaged skin, especially, from the effects of ultraviolet light. So, it can reduce the appearance of wrinkles and help repair skin dryness.”
Vitamin E – “Is an antioxidant, just like Vitamin C. It protects against sun damage. Normally, we produce Vitamin E through sebum; an oily material we omit through our pores. When the sebum is balanced, it helps to keep the skin moist, conditioned and prevent dryness. Lack of Vitamin E in sebum can lead to dryer skin. If you have dryer skin, Vitamin E is a very useful thing to take and it’s also great for reducing inflammation of the skin,” says Dr. Berger.
Vitamin K – “Is very useful for certain skin issues, like dark circles under the eyes and dark spots,” explains Dr. Berger, “It’s also good for improving stretch marks and spider veins.”
Overall, this sea buckthorn tea is a tea drinker’s dream, especially, if you’re concerned with anti-aging. I really enjoyed drinking it every day. I found that the sea buckthorn tea is best brewed for 5-10 minutes. The longer you let it sit, an oil will emit from the sea buckthorn leaves and linger at the top. It creates a slight mouth feel that’s very enjoyable. The only draw back is that when drunk in copious amounts, like most teas, teeth stains can be an issue. And you’ll quickly find that it’s hard to drink only one cup, so I suggest you swish with water after each tea sip to avoid staining.
Scent: The scent reminds me of oolong tea, but with the softness of green tea. There’s also a subtle sweetness.
Taste: Slightly sweet, herbal, flavor reminds me of oolong tea
Ingredients: Organically grown sea buckthorn leaves (caffeine-free)
Price: $39, 1.4oz (makes aprox. 40-50 cups) – www.aylabeauty.com
Written & Photographed by Amy Chang, founder + editor
(Check out this video on how caffeine affects you! It’s so interesting!)