Happy Chinese New Year! Gongxi fa cai! It is now the year of the Snake (which started on the 10th).
Because it is Chinese New Year (we celebrate it for two weeks to a month), I wrote this month’s Eco Living article on green and white tea in cosmetics. I have included two hair and skin care recipes. One is an infusion (strong tea), which can be used in many different skin and hair care products, such as toners and hair rinses. The other is a clay based mask that is made with the infusion. It is simple but pure bliss!
Writing about green and white tea was inspired by my first trip to China many years ago. During my trip I visited the Dragon Well tea plantation in Hangzhou. Dragon Well green tea is one of the most famous and highest quality teas. The tea there is very special; when I visited the plantation, they told us that the highest grade of Dragon Well tea was only sold in China and that they did not export it outside of the country (so anything sold in the US and other countries is the second highest grade and lower grades; or at least that was how it was 10 years ago, not sure about now). Dragon Well first grade tea is a national gift (so Chinese leaders/diplomats give this tea to leaders and diplomats of other countries). While we were there, some of the employees at the plantation told us about the benefits of green tea in skin care. So when I was thinking of what to write this year for Chinese New Year, I thought about my trip and the use of green tea in cosmetics. :)
A funny story: after my family visited the Dragon Well tea plantation and bought some of the first grade tea (we couldn’t resist, it really was the best green tea I have ever tried), the tour guide took us to a nearby shop in the area that sold tea and other gifts. At the store, I bought a jasmine scented green tea (a mix of rolled jasmine flowers with green tea). When the tour guide saw what I had brought, she made a face and commented it wasn’t that good quality, but I shrugged since I had already bought it. To me, it smelled good and was inexpensive, and I figured if it wasn’t that good I could still use it for skin care. After I got back home, I tried a cup, and that cheap tea was better than any of the jasmine green teas I had tried here in the U.S!
I hope to revisit China again one day (when health and finances allow). I'd like to revisit some of the same places I saw last time, but also visit some new places too. I've heard from others that have visited it within the past few years how much it has changed so it will be interesting to see how much the same or how different it is.
Another post about the green and white tea article, with more info on green and white tea in skin care, on Earth Alkemie's blog, my business blog.