Friday, August 16, 2013

Product of the Week: A $3-6 Acne fix.

How to clear acne? Aloe cooling gel. Who knew? Of course it soothes burns and dry skin, and it's in practically every skin care product out there, but I had never thought to put it on my face until I saw my brilliant Chinese student doing exactly this yesterday. Then she showed me the "before" pictures on her iPhone, and I was surprised how clear her face had become since the photos. "Three days," she said when I asked her how long it would take to work. I had figured about a week.

So I put it on yesterday before bed. This morning, my face had gone from red and itchy and raw to white, and clearing and fresh. Still, I had stress and heat acne, so I reapplied twice today. Excited to see the results tomorrow on Day 2. Much improvement already!

This is the jar we've been using. It's Korean and you can order it on Amazon for about $6, but honestly, we have many similar products in the USA, so I'm guessing your after-sun cooling gel with Aloe will also work. Check the percentage of Aloe.

Let me know if it works for you or your teens!

Saturday, August 03, 2013

"The Secrets of Chinese Green Tea."

This past June, my mother, Richy and I sat down to learn about the National green tea of China, in Hangzhou, China at the National Tea Museum. The country chose the "Dragon Well" tea to be the national tea, and it is also called Longjing tea, which if picked during the month of March or early April, (the highest standard) is called "Emperor's tea" and can cost up to $1,000.00 USD per kilo.

I learned about how the Chinese pick tea during different months to improve taste and benefits. For example, the most desirable (and expensive) green tea leaves are picked in the month of March, the next best in April, then May, and all the way through early fall when picking stops.

We were able to sample the tea from May during our free tea ceremony, and we purchased Emperor tea from April afterwards.

Steps to make Proper Green Tea:

1. Use hot water (not boiling water).
2. Put one pinch of green tea leaves in a glass or mug. (Use two fingers and thumb for a pinch.)
3. Put one inch of hot water in the glass or mug.
4. Steam your eyes (open) for thirty seconds on each eye by holding eye over glass. According to our tea expert, this is good for your eyes and skin near eyes. Apparently, the steam brightens your eyes and the antioxidants/vitamins are good for them.
5. Add more hot water until your glass is full. Let steep/sit for up to two minutes before you drink.
6. It is beneficial to "eat" the tea leaves that are loose in your glass. In China, people say "eat your tea" instead of "drink your tea" for this exact reason.

Green tea can help cleanse your body. For example, our tea expert put rice in water in a clear glass and added iodine. The rice soaked up the iodine and the water turned brown. After adding a pinch of green tea leaves, the water cleared to clear again. (The rice was still brown.) This is the green tea working in your body against foreign chemicals. To clear the rice so that the water was clear and the rice was white, she put a condensed green tea tablet (also sold there) in the water and the tablet cleared the rice and the water quickly. It was unbelievable! Drink up!