Tag Archives: tea

Rosacea- Debunking The Myths

10 Apr

You may notice one day

that your post-exercise flush on the cheeks won’t go away. Or perhaps you notice little red bumps that look like acne pimples. If you are in your 30s or older and have fair skin, you may have rosacea.

Rosacea is a chronic skin disorder that affects approximately 1 out of 20 Americans, usually between the ages of 30 and 60.


  • Mostly affects the face or eyes
  • Persistent flushing
  • Visible blood vessels
  • Ruddiness
  • Pimples
  • Irritated eyes that, if untreated, become worse over time.

Currently, there is no cure for rosacea, but with proper treatment and awareness of triggers, symptoms can be controlled and the disease kept in check.Once you are properly diagnosed, your physician may prescribe a topical or oral treatment to address the redness, bumps and skin inflammation associated with rosacea.

Many dermatologiss also recommend laser and intense pulse light treatments to reduce redness and broken blood vessels. These new therapy options are considered safe and can visibly improve skin tone and texture.


There are also things you can do on a daily basis to help control the symptoms of rosacea.

1. Be aware of factors that trigger your flare-ups. Triggers include sudden temperature changes, hot baths, exercise, alcohol consumption, spicy food, sun exposure, stress and harsh cosmetics.

2. Choose gentle skincare products that do not contain alcohol, harsh detergents or abrasive ingredients.

  • Products with calming ingredients such as JUARA Tamarind Tea Hydrating Toner and JUARA Clove and Turmeric Serum help soothe skin and keep it hydrated.
    • Rice Bran Extract, a key ingredient in the toner, provides calming benefits and minimizes redness in the skin.
    • Green Tea, Black Tea, and White Tea, when combined, calm the skin and deliver a bundle of healthy antioxidants.
    • Turmeric, a super-ingredient, brightens and evens out complexion while providing free radical protection.
  • Concealers with a green tint  neutralize redness in the skin and can be worn underneath regular foundation.
  • Since sun exposure is considered a trigger factor, daily sun protection is key. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher, such as Suntegrity Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen, and wear a hat and protective clothing outdoors.



Skin Facts: Coffee or Tea? I’ll Take it All! – Lauren Lang

9 Sep

(function(d, s, id) {
var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];
if (d.getElementById(id)) return;
js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id;
js.src = “//connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js#xfbml=1”;
fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);
}(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’));

Coffee or Tea?

Oh, which do I choose… Can I have both?

Ever thought about putting coffee and tea on your face and body? My usual form of coffee or tea intake comes in the style of iced coffees and teas, adding to the 400million cups that are drank per day in the states. Although I might think twice (or thrice) about splashing a bit of that (possibly overpriced) latte or tea on my face before breakfast or bed, I wouldn’t rule out some pretty potent ingredients they contain to put on my skin!

COFFEE: Coffee has been used in other cultures, particularly in Indonesian body scrubs, for a number of years. For example, ‘Boreh’ (a combination scrub of coffee grounds mixed with spices) was developed by farmers in Bali to stimulate circulation and warm the skin; great after a hard day of work, or if you’re feeling the chills. Recent developments have seen the use ofcaffeine (a powerful antioxidant) in products such as eye crèmes and other cellulite appearance reducing body cremes.

Benefits of caffeine can give us a more youthful, healthy look! Here are some ways how:

– Increasing circulation: Helps reduce bags under the eyes in eye cremes, and stimulates healthy blood flow in body scrubs, helping remove toxins. Our Invigorating Coffee Scrub, also stimulates circulation in the skin whilst offering some tightening benefits for younger looking skin. Smell AND feel good – why not!
– Anti-inflammatory & diuretic effect: Good for creams that claim to reduce the appearance of cellulite (because sorry ladies, no amount of skin cream alone can break down this type of fat cells…)
– Helps constricts blood vessels which can reduce the appearance of dark circles under the eyes, and can also give the skin a smooth, glowing appearance.
– Contains antioxidants, which also help reducing toxins in the skin

Now on to my British favorite – TEA: You guys have ‘Lipton’, us Brits have ‘Tetley’, Tea was first originated in China and has been said to date back to the 10th century BC! Tea can be much more beneficial for your skin than you might think. Green tea contains powerful polyphenolic antioxidants called catechins, which have been proven to fight viruses, slow aging, and have a beneficial effect on health.  Some benefits of tea on the skin include the following, all which make skin look more youthful:

– Antioxidant protection: the catechins and vitamin c in a lot of green tea can help fight free radicals (which can lead to faster skin aging). Our Tamarind Tea Hydrating Toner contains all black, green, and white teas.
– Tones skin/refines pores: You can even use real tea for this – an Indonesian traditional secret handed down from mother-to-daughter till today: After cleansing and rinsing, splash your face with your leftover tea (at room temperature, please!) to tone and brighten skin.
– Rejuvenates skin cells: Gives skin a brighter, healthier look. Some studies show it even extends the life span of the skin cells as they near the end of their life cycle; doesn’t do a miracle job on your face overnight, but every little thing counts!
– And don’t forget Kombucha, a fermented sweet black tea with organic compounds that help slow down your skin’s aging process, keeping it plumper and smoother for longer! Read about this fun beverage here and about all its health benefits. Also, the main anti-aging ingredient in Kombucha can also be found in our Sweet Black Tea & Rice Facial Moisturizer, the oil-free version, and our Sweet Black Tea Eye Creme.

So next time you’re feeling a little under the weather, or fancy treating your skin and body to some naturalness, remember that your daily dose of coffee and tea can do more for you wake you up from that sleepy state!

For more coffee and tea facts visit: http://www.bellybytes.com/foodfacts/coffee_tea_facts.html

And if you like cool coffee foam art, this is a fun site! http://www.womansday.com/Articles/Food-Recipes/Cool-Cappuccino-Foam-Art.html

Getting Creative with Kombucha – Metta Murdaya

25 Jan

One of my New Year’s resolutions was to not only eat healthier, but to drink healthier. No, this isn’t something that means adding fresh fruits to the martini or drinking more bloody marys, justifying its health benefits to lycopene-laden tomato juice. I suppose one could, but I’m talking about kicking out the soda and upping my intake of homemade Kombucha. For those of you not familiar with this health tonic that’s been known to do everything from curb the munchies, improve your digestion and immune system, give you more energy, and even help with migranes, check out this article. Or for a more scientific breakdown of Kombucha, see this. I’ve offered some untraditional ways to gourmet-ify this tangy treat, and I have a few more to add.

For beginners: Mix with any of the following (or mix it up!) You can add this to Kombucha from the store or from a homeade batch. Just make sure you don’t mix the mixers below in the brewing container with the scoby! Mix with Kombucha in a separate container.

To sweeten the drink and make it fruity, add one or a blend of the following:
– Apple, Cranberry, White Grape juice

To keep the flavor but add a twist, add to the Kombucha:
– Coconut Water (yes, believe it!) to make it milder and a little more round, plus it has great electrolytes!
– Sliced Ginger: To give it a heaty, spicy, exotic touch. Cinnamon – never tried personally, but I hear it’s good.

For a little more gourmet flavor, mix 1/2 to 2/3 container (or glass) of Kombucha with:
– Chamomile Tea sweetened with Elderflower Syrup. (Ikea has a nice, cheap one that’s tasty): Makes it ‘pretty’ tasting. Sounds odd, but the light floral notes and sweetness will make you smile, really!
– Chai tea & sugar:  Makes it spicy and aromatic, but still oh so delicious!
-Lemonade + Tea: Kind of like a super-healthy Arnold Palmer with a fizzy tang. Refreshing, indeed!

Where to get Kombucha? If you’re not a home brewer, get some at Whole Foods, most health food stores, and many a supermarket in the natural drinks section. The pros of making it at home is the cost is 6 tea bags and a cup of sugar for a gallon of brew, whereas at the store, a 12oz bottle can cost upwards of $4.99. But most people just don’t drink that much Kombucha in a week, the store-bought are great for convenience and variety. 2 brands I like:

Synergy – One of the best known brands. Pulls no punches, this Kombucha is pretty flavorful and tangy. Maybe too tangy for home-brewers, like it’s ‘overdone,’ but you’ll feel the effects. I when I get the muchies, a swig of this powerful stuff will curb that craving. Lots of good flavors too.
Kombucha Wonder Drink – blended with green tea, this is a milder tasting Kombucha. It’s smoother/easier to drink, might be a good  Kombucha for those who want a more palate-friendly version.

There are many other brands out there, Carpe Diem, Honest Kombucha (from Honest Tea,) Katalyst, etc… I say experiment and compare! I’m still experimenting with my own batch; right now, I’m playing with maple syrup to add to the mix somehow… Of course, I still love Kombucha straight, and drink some everyday, but this is great when you have a large batch and want to have some variety – especially great for guests! Talk about a conversation beverage…

Anyone have any suggestions too? Let’s get creative!

Ginger – Whacked, Shaken or Stirred? – Metta Murdaya

10 Dec

When I get the signs of a cold, have an upset tummy, or just need a little soothing but zingy pick-me-up drink, I drink ginger tea. Ginger is a wonder ingredient common in Asian food, beverages, and beauty treatments because of its great medicinal properties. In Indonesia, we consider it a ‘heaty’ ingredient that warms you up (great when you have a cold), helps digestion with its anti-bacterial properties, and can also be used in body-wraps used in spa treatments. When you’re done with these treatments, ginger tea mixed with palm sugar is also served as a traditional beverage. But I want to know – why does the ginger tea in Indonesia just taste so much more fragrant and richer than when I make it at home in NY?

I‘m in Indonesia now, and I learned an Indonesian secret in how they make their ginger tea super aromatic and delicious, so if you’re a ginger tea fan, listen up.
Normally, I make ginger tea by slicing ginger and boiling it in water, but the secret for really bringing out the aroma and depth of the flavor is to cook and whack it. That’s right. Cook and whack it! First, you have to pan-sear the whole (or large chunks of) ginger until parts of the skin are black. Don’t use oil; you’re basically just roasting the skin in a dry pan. Now peel the ginger skin off the best you can. Then, instead of slicing it into bits, whack the whole ginger chunk until it’s smashed near flat, like when you smash a garlic clove with the side of a knife. Then boil away in a saucepan covering the ginger with only a few inches of water. I personally err on the side of strong tea that I can always weaken with more water if needed. Sweeten with honey, sugar, or palm sugar – which tastes like a combination of flowers and brown sugar with a tiny pinch of salt. Delicious.
My theory is that the pan cooking heats the ginger to release the aroma more, and whacking it brings out the juices, but whatever the reason, it works.

Here’s another fun, inexpensive use of ginger in a beverage that I concocted: For a JUARA event at Fashion Week in NY this year, we made JUARA cocktails. One of them was a ginger tea cocktail in which I sliced a whole ginger (very thinly, no smashing needed) and put it in a full bottle of vodka (minus the volume of the ginger.) Leave 3 days, and voila – you have an instant ginger vodka infusion. It looks really pretty with the ginger slices floating, and tastes oh-so-spicy good. Chill and mix with tea, and you’ve got a ginger-tea cocktail. I also like mixing ginger slices in my Kombucha for a little variety, and am looking for other fun uses in drinks!

At JUARA, we use it in our oil-free Sweet Black Tea & Ginger Mattefying Moisturizer, where the ginger works as an oil-control/anti-shine ingredient, so if you want to try that out, check it out here.

Anyone have any creative uses for ginger in beverages, food, or beauty treatments?

Easy ways to stay sun safe (from excuses we always make!) – Metta Murdaya

13 Jun
bad sunburn

This JUARA Girl was bad bad bad! Never do this.

Despite all we know about UV protection and taking care of your skin from the sun’s damaging rays, we all goof up and get burned. I admit, (see pic) that I did. On one vacation a while ago, I got a pretty horrific burn,  so I implore to you – don’t lose to bad judgment like I did, and fall for the (common) excuses people make to procrastinate putting on protection. Have you fallen victim or used any of these excuses? Well don’t. If a picture tells a thousand words, may the photo of me here be that one. Ouch.

“I’m only in the sun for like, 2 hours. No biggie” Wrong. I was only out in the sun for 2 hours too when I got this burn.

“It’s cloudy out.  I don’t need protection, I won’t burn.” Wrong. UV rays still pass through the atmosphere, rain or shine. Plus, burning isn’t the first sign of sun damage, it’s usually the 3-alarm fire point as the damage started much earlier.

“I already got the tan, I won’t burn.” or “My skin is darker, I won’t burn.” But you’re still getting the same amount of damage whether you burn or not! And yes, you still can burn! (Had enough of my ‘you can burn!’ jingle yet?)

“I’ll have another drink on the beach, please…” Sounds like the dream vacation, but be careful with that one – if you get burned, dehydration commonly comes with it. When you drink alcohol, you can become dehydrated and it can exacerbate the sunburn. I was at a wedding the evening before, and was dehydrated the next afternoon when I went to the beach. Plus, I was in the water for almost 2 hours – a double whammy of UV rays + dehydration seriously leaving me open to bake – an added risk for beach swimmers.

So – help yourself protect yourself. Many of us DO apply sunblock – just not enough, nor often enough. So here are some tips to keep you on your sun protection game more easily:

1. Carry a small tube of sunblock in your purse in an often visited pocket so you have no excuse not to apply, or reapply every few hours. Get a higher SPF than you think you need, because chances are, you’re not applying enough so your SPF won’t be as effective for as long as you think it is. (Ie: Too little of the SPF 50 might work more like an SPF 30… Too little SPF 15, and it might not work at all…) My personal favorite sunscreen brand: La Roche Posay. Also, they’re having a “Save our Skin” campaign, raising awareness about sun protection and reducing skin cancer here. Join the cause of SOS from La Roche-Posay, and they will make a donation, and to organizations  like the the Women’s Dermatologic Society (WDS) and The Skin Cancer Foundation, that also educate the public regarding proper sun safe behavior.

2. Wear a hat, or carry one with you when you go in the sun. Too bulky? Check these rollable visors out, poppable in your bag and they’re not cheesy! Not a replacement for sunscreen, but it’s convenient added protection with fashionable benefits.

3. For you product junkies out there, try different sunscreens that you know are good and keep them in often visited locations – and keep sampling! It makes applying sunblock fun, like you’re shopping for your favorite sunscreen! (Did I like the one in the office better, or the one at home? Hmm, need to try again, and again…) I flip between my Garnier, La Roche Posay, and ROC, compare scent, texture, feel, it’s fun.

4. Take the remembering out of reapplying – set daily alarms on your phone/blackberry/iphone for several times a day to remind you to put on sunscreen. You can get creative with your messages, “For eternal youth, reapply sunscreen NOW!” And with that tube in your bag, should be no problem. Or do it via post-it notes in places you visit often before leaving a building (medicine cabinet at home, office computer, work locker, etc.) You can also make fun notes for your friends/family that way too

5. Pass this to a friend – make a pact when with friends to commit to helping each other stay protected! When you reapply that you email/text/call them to remind them to do the same. Don’t you all want to stay youthful looking?

Note: Beachgoers need to reapply more often, especially if you go into the water. And for every colorful alcoholic drink you have, make sure to drink several glasses of water to rehydrate!

Side note: I also get asked “Do you have anything that can help my burn?”  The answer is YES – The Tamarind Tea Hydrating Toner is an excellent cooling and hydrating, (oil free!) serum to soothe and calm burns). That was my savior!

Any tips you have to make staying sun-safe fun?