In our quest to find the best tea for skincare, we’ve developed two herbal tea recipes using a combination of herbs for liver support, including burdock root and dandelion root, and herbs that help strengthen the skin’s connective tissues, including horsetail and gotu kola.
At Make & Mary, we fully embrace the rituals that surround skincare. From soaking in a steaming bath to applying a hydrating serum, our favorite skincare routines involve slowing down and pampering ourselves, even if only for a minute. We’ve found that our skincare rituals feel even more special when accompanied with a steaming mug of chai tea in winter or a refreshing herbal infusion in summer. Naturally, we started wondering about the best teas for skincare, and with time we’ve developed two recipes that combine the best herbs for skin with the best herbs for the liver, our body’s most powerful detox organ.
Liver Support for Glowing Skin
When blending an herbal tea to support your skin, one approach is to target your liver. Herbs for this scenario will help stimulate your liver to better flush toxins from your body. When these toxins build up, they can affect your body in many ways. Topically you may experience dull skin, acne, and more serious skin conditions, like eczema. 
When crafting an herbal tea for liver support, we lean toward moderately pungent spices, including ginger, black pepper, and cardamom along with liver-protecting herbs, such as dandelion root and burdock root. Fun fact: Herbs and spices that help protect the liver are called “hypatoprotective.”
If you don’t have the herbs called for in the recipes below, then we recommend checking your local apothecary or natural foods store first. If they don’t have what you’re looking for, then our go-to online source for dried herbs is Mountain Rose Herbs, a company based out of Eugene, Oregon, that does an excellent job providing organic and ethically sourced herbs and spices.
Chai Tea for Liver Support (yield: 2 servings)
Next time you sit down for spa night, make yourself a cup of this comforting herbal chai to nourish your skin from the inside out. The all-star herbs in this recipe are dandelion root and burdock root – two of the best -and easiest to find – herbs for liver support.
3 cups water
10 cardamom pods10 black peppercorns
1 Tbsp. dandelion root (Taraxacum officinale)
1 Tbsp. burdock root (Arctium lappa)
1 Tbsp. fresh ginger root, finely chopped
½ cinnamon stick
1 star anise
2 Tbsp. black tea (optional)
1/2 cup milk of your choice
Honey, to taste
- Add water to a small pan and bring to boil.
- Combine cardamom pods, peppercorns, and cloves in a mortar and pestle – smash them a few times to open the cardamom pods.
- When water is boiling, add all herbs and spices except black tea. Reduce heat, cover, and let simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add black tea, recover, and let simmer for another 3 to 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add the milk of your choice. Strain through a fine mesh strainer, then add honey to taste.
Contraindications: Dandelion root is also a strong diuretic, so be careful if taking medications that interact with diuretics.
Mineral-Rich Infusions for Skin Support
When making herbal tea blends for skincare, another approach is to combine mineral- and vitamin-rich herbs with botanicals that help reduce stress (a common cause of outbreaks). Horsetail shines in this category because it’s particularly rich in silica, a mineral that strengthens collagen, keratin, elastin, and other forms of connective tissue. Oatstraw and nettle also provide healthy doses of beneficial silica.
Gotu Kola is another fantastic
herb for skincare. This Ayurvedic favorite repairs collagen, strengthens
capillaries, and enhances circulation both inside and outside of the body. Even
better, gotu kola is what’s known as an “adaptogen” – a class of herbs that help
the body adapt to stress, a popular cause of unwanted blemishes. Holy basil,
also known as tulsi, is another delicious adaptogen that can help soothe nerves.
Super Infusion for Naturally Glowing Skin (Yield: 2 servings)
Herbal infusions are different than herbal teas because they require more plant material and a longer steep time – often overnight. The benefit of making an herbal infusion is that the extra plant material and longer steep time combine for a stronger finished product that contains more minerals, vitamins, and other beneficial constituents.
4 Tbsp. horsetail (Equisetum arvense)
4 Tbsp. oatstraw (Avena sativa)
4 Tbsp. gotu kola (Centella asiatica)
4 Tbsp. holy basil (Ocimum spp.)
2 Tbsp. lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)
2 Tbsp. calendula petals (Calendula officinalis)
- Combine all herbs in a quart-sized canning jar.
- Fill the jar to the top with boiling water, then cover and let steep for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
- Straight the herbs and enjoy within 3 days.
If you enjoy this super infusion, then consider mixing a bigger batch and a time and then steeping a fresh quart every few days.
Contraindications: Gotu kola and holy basil should not be
used during pregnancy without a practitioner’s supervision. Horsetail is
contraindicated for anyone with edema due to impaired heart or kidney function.
 Maria Noel Groves, Body into Balance (Storey Publishing, 2016) Pgs 217 – 225  Physician’s Desk Reference for Herbal Medicines (Thomson Healthcare Inc, 2007)
 Physician’s Desk Reference for Herbal Medicines (Thomson Healthcare Inc, 2007)
 Paul Pitchford, Healing with Whole Foods (North Atlantic Books, 2002) Pg 320.
 Maria Noel Groves, Body into Balance (Storey Publishing, 2016) Pg. 95
 Maria Noel Groves, Body into Balance (Storey Publishing, 2016) Pgs 217 – 225