Actress and supermodel Miranda Kerr has a skincare secret she swears is the key to her ageless, glowing complexion.
Supermodel and actress Miranda Kerr has a skincare secret that replenishes lost collagen.
After visiting Miranda in New York City a few years ago with my wife, I can tell you she looks just as amazing in person as she does in pictures.
Her skin is radiant and she beams with good health.
And she credits her peaches and cream complexion to green tea.
The former Victoria’s Secret model uses green tea leaves as an ingredient in a facial steam bath. She places the leaves in a bowl and pours boiling water over them. After covering her head with a towel, she allows the antioxidants in the tea to penetrate the outer layers of her skin.
Now, green tea has been considered a superfood for thousands of years. Its reputation for treating and preventing cancer, heart disease and weight loss is well-documented and widely respected.
But there is another tea that has all the benefits of green tea — and then some. I’m talking about white tea. It’s rarer and more treasured than green tea.
Both green and white teas come from the Camellia sinensis plant. But the leaves and buds of white tea are picked before they’re fully open — when they’re still covered in fine white hairs. That’s where this tea gets its name.
White tea is produced by gently steaming these immature buds. Because it’s the least processed of any tea, white tea contains even more of the powerful catechin antioxidants than green tea. Those catechins fight the free radicals that develop when you get too much sun, are stressed out or eat a poor diet.
But white tea works in another way to prevent and reverse the skin damage that can make you look older than your years.
White tea can slow the breakdown of collagen and elastin.
When you’re young, collagen and elastin break down all the time. Certain enzymes called “matrix metalloproteinases” (MMP) accelerate the breakdown. But at the same time, you’re also building up collagen and elastin to replace the damage done by MMP.
In other words, you constantly replenish your skin’s foundation.
As you get older, MMP breaks down collagen and elastin faster than you can replace it. Eventually you see sagging skin and wrinkles.
But white tea blocks MMP. Researchers found white tea inhibits MMP’s destructive action better than 20 other plant extracts tested.1
In fact, white tea is three to six times more effective than green tea at protecting collagen and elastin.
I’ve been so impressed with what this simple tea can do that I’ve added it to my skin-repairing serum.
Increase Collagen Production in Your Skin
A steaming tea facial is a great way to improve your skin. But for even more collagen-boosting benefits, I recommend going even further. Here’s what I tell my patients:
- Cleanse with rose hip oil. Another one of Miranda Kerr’s skin secrets is cleaning her face with rose hip oil. Rose hip oil contains retinoic acid. It can help tighten skin and improve elasticity. It also helps reverse collagen damage. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, daily use of retinoic acid increased collagen production by 80%.2
- Tone your skin with CoQ10. Most people think of CoQ10 as a supplement you take orally. But you can also use it topically. You see, CoQ10 is a small molecule that easily penetrates the skin’s surface. It gets down to the living layers of the epidermis and absorbs quickly into your skin cells.A Japanese study found that applying CoQ10 to skin cells boosts production of a special type of collagen that connects your skin’s outermost epidermis layer to its deeper dermis. It anchors your skin so it doesn’t sag. It can also visibly reduce crow’s feet and wrinkles.
- First comes tea, then comes coffee. In Uganda, Coffea arabica (Coffea arabica L.) plants cling to the mountains. The oil from the coffee beans helps reverse the breakdown of collagen. When Brazilian scientists tested the oil on human skin samples, they found it almost doubled collagen production.3The oil helps form new connective tissue to smooth wrinkles. It restores the young firmness and flexibility of your skin.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD, CNS
1. Thring TS, et al. “Anti-collagenase, anti-elastase and anti-oxidant activities of extracts from 21 plants.” BMC Complement Altern Med. 2009;9:27
2. Griffiths, CE, et al. “Restoration of collagen formation in photodamaged human skin by tretinoin (retinoic acid).” N Engl J Med. 1993;329(8):530-535.
3. Velazquez Pereda Mdel C, et al. “Effect of green Coffea arabica L. seed oil on extracellular matrix components and water-channel expression in in vitro and ex vivo human skin models.” J Cosmet Dermatol. 2009;8(1):56-62.