Australian Tea Masters’ Sharyn Johnston Debuts Teager Balm, Talks Tea-Infused Opportunity

From tea leader Sharyn Johnston’s vantage point, there’s a big surge in the demand for herbal wellness blends and innovations with skincare and cosmetic products that contain tea.

Johnston is the founder of Australian Tea Masters – the largest and most accredited tea blending business in Australia – and she just launched her own skincare product called Teager Balm, which can be used on skin for pain relief. The balm begins with a vegan base that's made from some of the world’s best butters and waxes. Then, 10 essential oils and Australian botanicals are added, in addition to organic Camellia sinensis extract.

The balm can be used for joint pain on a regular basis or for minor soreness after a long workout or a busy day.

“With demand for natural products and ingredients driving the growth in tea, we are also seeing a surge in demand for herbal and wellness blends, and vast innovations in the sector of tea-containing products,” explains Johnston. “In particular, people are looking for teas and herbal products that can help to support relaxation, good health and general wellbeing. Overall, consumers want to live healthier and more natural lives.”

Teager Balm Sharyn Johnston Australian Tea Masters
(Photo: Courtesy of Teager Balm / Australian Tea Masters)

As for personal care, Johnston finds tea to be the ideal ingredient for the skincare and cosmetics category, due to its anti-aging compounds and potent antioxidants. “It is very safe for almost all skin types and has a nourishing effect on the skin,” she says. “This makes green tea an incredibly attractive inclusion. It is also compatible with vegan formulations. It is particularly marketable to those searching for ‘clean beauty.’”

According to Johnston, the western market represents new and fertile ground for green tea extract inclusions in cosmetics, something that has proven to be popular in the Japanese and Korean markets for many years. Further, she says hair care products like shampoos and conditioners can benefit greatly from the addition of green tea extract, which are formulated to help regenerate the hair and scalp.

“We believe it’s a fantastic opportunity for tea,” says Johnston. “While there are quite a few products containing tea in the skincare industry already, many haven’t occupied high market visibility in the western market. We believe this leaves room for opportunities in niche brand development. The earlier brands have already laid the foundations for tea to be considered as a legitimate skincare ingredient. We are seeing more and more instances of Camellia sinensis being used by major cosmetic companies.”

Teager Balm Sharyn Johnston Australian Tea Masters
Manufacturing Teager Balm in Geelong Australia
  (Photo: Courtesy of Teager Balm / Australian Tea Masters)

Johnston points out that tea-based skincare products can also be offered in tea shops, which gives brands an entirely new way to leverage existing customer interest in tea. “Consumers are on the lookout for new ways to look after the health of their body and skin that aren’t harsh or reliant on synthetic chemicals – tea extracts definitely fit the bill,” she explains.

By adding such a simple ingredient – green tea extract or tea – to a product, that product greatly increases its consumer benefits, says Johnston. “It is for this reason that we’ve included it in Teager Balm. We will also soon launch another range of exciting new products in the coming month focused on wellness. So, for us, this is just the beginning.”

Australian Tea Masters is also working on a social enterprise project with an Australian indigenous company, to develop a unique lip balm that contains tea extract and Australian botanicals. The venture will help support mental health in remote indigenous areas of Australia.

“We have also completed product trials and will begin manufacturing further Teager balm varieties shortly, including Teager Sleep and Teager Alert,” notes Johnston. “We really want to use tea in as many products as we can, as it helps not only the consumer, but the tea industry as a whole.”

Teager Balm Sharyn Johnston Australian Tea Masters
(Photo: Courtesy of Teager Balm / Australian Tea Masters)

What issues or considerations should tea businesses think about, if they want to get into the market of tea-infused skincare and cosmetic products? Johnston says start by assessing the local demand is for a particular beauty or skincare product – is there an opportunity? “For general products containing tea, the market is already quite saturated, so care must be taken in how the benefits are promoted,” she reveals. “Not to forget, the packaging is also so important.”

Johnston says there are so many simple ways to start using tea in the beauty and wellness sector. “You can use tea in bath salts, in soaps, you can use the extract in scrubs, simple moisturizers, candles, face masks and, of course, you can create your own balms,” she concludes. “Many of these can be created within small shops and boutique businesses. We’re seeing more and more fashion shops having their own beauty/wellness products and selling their own range of teas and herbals, so there are many opportunities. It’s incredible how often creating an add-on seller can become one of your best sellers.”

To learn more about the new Teager Balm, visit To learn about Australian Tea Masters, visit

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