Tea is one of the most popular drinks on the planet, but many people end up throwing out their tea bags when they’re finished with their morning cup. If they knew how many cosmetic benefits they could potentially get from saving their tea bags, they wouldn’t be so quick to toss them in the trash.
Used tea bags can be rested on your eyes to reduce dark circles, reduce puffiness, and reduce irritation. The active ingredient in tea bags that helps to rejuvenate the eyes is caffeine. Tea also contains antimicrobial agents that can help fight eye infections.
Tea bags are easy enough to compost or toss, but before you do, try adding them to your beauty arsenal first. There are even more benefits to choosing tea bags for eye care over other eye products. Read on to learn more about these advantages and why you should put used tea bags on your eyes.
This post may contain affiliate links. My full disclosure policy is sort of boring, but you can find it here.
Why Put Tea Bags on Your Eyes?
There are tons of life hack articles on the Internet about household items to recycle around your house, and tea bags usually make the list. Even after they’ve already been used to make tea, these pouches of steeped wet tea are useful for everything from gardening supplements to staining furniture. But what about when it comes to putting tea bags on your eyes?
The area where tea bags really shine is in home spa treatments. Putting tea bags on your eyes can have the following cosmetic benefits:
- Reduces dark circles: Some people are genetically predisposed to having darker circles under their eyes, and others develop dark circles as the result of staying up too late or working too hard. Placing tea bags on your eyes helps reduce this darkness and makes you look more well-rested (even if you aren’t).
- Reduces puffiness: Whether you’ve been on a crying jag over a sad movie and you want to freshen up or you just have a case of hay fever, tea bags help smooth and soothe the thin skin around the eyes.
- Reduces irritation: If your eyes are red and irritated from long hours of computer use, swimming in the pool, doing yard work, or other activities that make the eyes red and irritated, tea bags help to soothe any mild pain and discomfort.
Like any cosmetic treatment, tea bags are more effective if you use them consistently. So try putting your leftover tea bags on your eyes each morning after you drink your tea to see long-term results faster.
How Do Used Tea Bags Help Your Eyes?
The ingredient in tea bags that beautifies your eyes is also the same ingredient that people drink tea for in the first place – caffeine. Along with waking you up in the morning, caffeine is also responsible for constricting blood vessels. This vascular activity is what reduces inflammation and redness around the eyes.
Since caffeine is the desired ingredient in eye treatments, caffeinated teas (such as black tea and green tea) are more popular for tea bag treatments than herbal teas. However, some herbal tea bags which contain no caffeine may contain other ingredients which reduce inflammation, such as the following:
- Chamomile: Chamomile is a member of the daisy family that contains anti-inflammatory properties. Herbal teas made from this ingredient are typically used to promote calm.
- Rooibos: Rooibos is a South African plant that resembles an upside-down broom. The reddish bark of this plant is used to create rooibos tea, an herbal tea with a high level of antioxidants.
- Witch hazel: Witch hazel (also known as winterbloom) is a plant with astringent qualities used to soothe skin irritations. It can also be used to reduce facial blemishes and discoloration.
Whether you use traditional tea bags or herbal tea bags as an eye treatment, both can be very effective in reducing the visible symptoms of sleep deprivation, crying, exhaustion, and anything else that might make your eyes look tired or puffy.
Tea Bags Can Be Used for Eye Infections
Along with being useful for improving the cosmetic appearance around the eyes, used tea bags can also be used to help soothe your eyes if you’re dealing with infections of the eye. Here are some common infections of the eye that you might run across in daily life:
- Conjunctivitis: Conjunctivitis is a bacterial or viral infection that is often contagious. Commonly known as “pink eye”, conjunctivitis can cause your eye to become red, painful, and swollen.
- Keratitis: Keratitis is a swelling and inflammation of the cornea that can be caused by using contact lenses. Keratitis can be related to either a virus, bacterial infection, or an injury to the cornea.
- Blepharitis: Blepharitis is an infection of the folds of the eyelids which can lead to swelling, pain, and a burning sensation whenever you rub your eyes or blink.
Tea bags contain antimicrobial chemicals known as catechins polyphenols. These plant-based chemicals damage the cell wall of bacteria and help to beat down bacterial infections.
Because of this antimicrobial property, tea bags are great to place over your eyes when you’re dealing with a bacterial infection. Just be sure to throw the tea bags out afterwards and wash your hands to prevent the spread of disease.
How to Use Tea Bags on Your Eyes
Using tea bags on your eyes is a simple process regardless of which type of tea you decide to use. To use tea bags on your eyes, use this process for best results:
- Steep the tea in hot water as you normally do when you’re making a cup of tea. Reserve the steeped tea bags.
- Once the tea bags have cooled but are still relatively damp, lay back in a reclined position and rest the damp tea bags over your eyes.
- Leave the tea bags on your eyes for 15-30 minutes. Pressing down on the tea bags over your eyes gently with your fingertips can help improve contact between the tea bags and the skin of your eyes.
- Discard the used tea bags in the trash.
If you’re prone to dark circles under your eyes or just a generally puffy look, using this tea bag treatment a few times a week can lead to noticeably fresher skin and a more rested look over time. This treatment isn’t just convenient, it’s much cheaper than expensive commercial eye creams designed to reduce dark and puffy eyes.
Tea Bags Can Help You Look Relaxed and Rested
Tea is known around the world for helping people rest after a long day, but now you know that tea can help you look more rested, too. Try some used tea bags after your next cup of tea for a super easy spa treatment right at your own kitchen table! While you’re at it, why not try adding tea to your beauty regimen as a toner, since tea is good for your skin as well.