These days, I don’t play games when it comes to sun exposure. I won’t leave home without my big, floppy hat and absurdly oversized sunglasses, not to mention practically bathing in broad-spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen. Living in South Florida, I worry about skin cancer…and I’m not gonna lie, I worry about wrinkles, too. (Oh, how I wish I’d had these concerns when I was young, dumb, wearing only baby oil and a skimpy bikini to the beach!) Fortunately, it turns out that staying as “white” as possible isn’t the only way I can fight the aging effects of the sun. White tea was just featured on my favorite TV doctor show as a way to reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
This is fabulous news. I’ve always loved the delicate, crisp flavor of whites, especially peony tea. It’s not really that surprising to me that white teas taste so good—their use dates back to ancient China, where the top grayish green leaves and silvery leaf buds of peonies were reserved for royalty. But their association with anti-aging was indeed an unexpected development. We can thank the high levels of antioxidants combined with a moderate amount of caffeine for the “plumping” effect it can have on skin, fluffing out unwelcome lines and giving a more youthful glow to your complexion.
White tea has about 10% of the caffeine that’s in your typical cup of coffee. I can tolerate a decent shot of java and lower levels of caffeine throughout the day, so I usually start my day with my latte and sip tea at my desk. I’m definitely going to go white instead of green or black for some of my daytime guzzling.
I wish I could go back in time, reach the bikini-clad Anita of the 1980s by her baby oil-greased shoulders and shake some sense into her…but fortunately, my annual skin screens have all turned out fine. And as they say about this life we’re in…it’s a journey.