Brewing for Beauty:
How to Enjoy Green Tea Skin Benefits
Most people are aware of the health benefits associated with green tea. However, did you also know that this brew is just as incredible for your skin? In fact, green tea is quickly becoming the must-have ingredient for beauty experts everywhere.
Before you brew yourself a cup, though, you may want to learn more about the benefits of green tea for skin. This will allow you to use the ingredient more effectively and treat exactly what ails you. Here is what you need to know:
What Does Green Tea Do For Your Skin?
Let’s get started by understanding exactly how green tea can promote better skin.
May Protect from Skin Cancer
Melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer are some of the most common types of cancers worldwide. It is estimated that over a million new cases are reported each year. As you know, UV radiation of the sun is responsible for most of these cases.
This is why it is a relief to learn that green tea could be an important component in preventing skin cancers. It is present in the tea leaves and is known as ECGC. It is responsible for what is known as skin photoprotection.
Research shows that ECGC works to inhibit the carcinogenic effects of UV radiation. This evidence has been replicated in laboratory and real-life conditions as well.
This isn’t the only way green tea can help to treat skin cancer, however. Experts have found that components in green tea can also help with DNA repair. Since the onset of this medical condition is often activated by UV-related DNA damage, this is a powerful prevention method.
Most people spend an enormous amount of money trying to turn back the clock on their skin. Once again, green tea could be the answer to this issue. One of the ways green tea can reduce the signs of aging is through sun protection.
Exposure to the sun can damage elastin fibers, causing the skin to sag, stretch, and lose its elasticity. The photoprotective ingredients of green tea help to counteract this.
Another downside of aging is that your skin begins to dry out. As a result, with time, dry skin can develop wrinkles and cause an uneven texture in your skin. Fortunately, it was discovered that green tea cuts down on transepidermal water loss and helps to keep the skin moisturized for longer.
Then there is the fact that green tea is chock full of antioxidants as well. In particular, these components help to maintain the elasticity of the skin. Thus, the positive impact of green tea on face tissues could work to keep your skin suppler for a longer period of time.
May Prevent Acne
Acne is something both men and women of all ages suffer from. One of the main causes of acne is an overproduction of sebum. This sebum blocks pores in the skin, causing a build-up of oil, bacteria, and other substances. The result is acne either on the surface or deep within the skin.
Now, green tea contains components known as polyphenols. Experiments show that polyphenols are great at reducing sebum secretions by the skin. This, combined with the anti-inflammatory effects of green tea can help to keep acne at bay.
It has also been found that green tea extracts are good for treating acne that has already appeared on your skin. When applied on a regular basis, green tea has been proven to reduce the number of pustules and papules present.
Can Reduce Eye Puffiness
A common complaint among men and women is puffy eyes. This is often due to a buildup of fluid around the eyes or inflammation. Green tea can help counteract this effect thanks to the anti-inflammatory effect of the leaves. Since this is a natural component, it is generally considered safe to use around the sensitive eye area.
Edible vs. Topical Green Tea
Now that you are aware of the advantages of green tea for skin care, your next question may involve how to use green tea for this purpose. In particular, should you consume green tea or apply it directly to your skin?
Well, the good news is that experiments with green tea have considered the brew, extracts, and topical agents. It has been discovered that each of these components has its own benefits for treating your skin.
The main advantage of green tea extracts and beverages is that you are treating your skin from the inside out. In short, you are fundamentally changing some element that is responsible for the health and appearance of your skin. Thus, these changes are more likely to be apparent and will last longer as well.
It should also be noted that green tea extracts tend to have a more concentrated dose of the positive ingredients of the leaves. So, if you want to see faster results or treat certain symptoms more aggressively, then the extract may have better results.
Green tea topical agents certainly have their place in your skincare routine. This is especially true if you are attempting to treat acne. Thus, there are numerous green tea lotions, agents, and masks that can improve your complexion, especially when used on a regular basis.
DIY Green Tea Skin Care Treatments
The good news is that you don’t actually have to buy over-the-counter products to experience green tea's benefits on your face. You can mix up your own treatments at home. Here are some of the best “recipes” to consider:
Green Tea Mask
Since this treatment allows the leaves to sit on your face for a while, there are a number of benefits you can enjoy with a green tea face mask. Here is how you can make it yourself.
•1 tbsp of green tea
•1 tbsp baking soda
•1 tbsp honey
Combine all the ingredients until they have been mixed together well. If the paste seems too thick, you can add a few drops of water. Next, cleanse your face and apply the mask, gently massaging it into your pores. Leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes and then wash off.
This mask can be applied one to three times a week, depending on your skin type.
Green Tea Scrub
You can use the scrub to dislodge dead skin cells and other impurities from your face. At the same time, the green tea will help to soothe and prevent further breakouts.
•1 tbsp dried green tea leaves 2-4 tea bags depending on size of tea bag
•1 cup (200 g) organic white sugar or brown sugar (opt for a softer sugar)
•1/2 cup (112 g) extra virgin olive oil
•2 tbsp honey
Combine all the ingredients and place the mixture in an airtight container. Use a tablespoon of the scrub at a time and gently work it into your skin. Wash it off with cool water. It is best to use this scrub no more than once or twice a week.
Green Tea Toner
This can act as a soothing or cooling toner. It can also be used to reduce the appearance of pores on your face.
•¼ cup cooled green tea
•2 tbsp cucumber juice
•1 tbsp aloe vera gel
Blend all the ingredients together and put it in a spray bottle. Spritz it on your face. You can leave this solution on till it dries off.
Green Tea Eye Treatment
A green tea bag on your face, especially around the eyes can help bring any puffiness or swelling down.
•2 green teabags
Allow the teabags to sit in the water for a few minutes. Then, remove them and squeeze the excess liquid out. Keep the bags in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes. Then, place them over your eyes for about half an hour or so.
Tips for Selecting Green Tea Skin Care Products
If you are planning on using topical products, there are a few things you need to know first. To begin with, it is important to check whether the product contains real green tea. Remember, extract and tea leaves are the best options.
Furthermore, research just how much green tea is actually in the product. In many instances, topical agents have trace amounts in them. Unfortunately, such low amounts will not have any benefits for your skin. So, look for products with higher green tea content.
What You Should Know Before Using Green Tea on Your Face
Since green tea is rather mild and all-natural, it is unlikely to have any side effects. Nevertheless, you should still be careful. If you have sensitive skin, you may want to visit a dermatologist beforehand to see if this tea is suitable for you.
If you don’t want to go through this, always test treatments and products on your skin beforehand. You may want to spot test on your arm or some other area other than your face. If you notice any issues, avoid using it on your skin in the future.
Finally, make sure to limit how much green tea you consume as well. If you are consuming extracts, always follow the instructions and medical advice associated with it. In case you drink green tea, stick to around two to three cups a day.
These are all the benefits of using green tea as a treatment for your skin. Now, all that’s left to do is to go ahead and give them a try.
Dr. Dheena Sadik
Consultant Nutritionist and Dietician
Dr. Dheena Sadik is a consultant Nutritionist and Dietician. She has over a decade of experience in the health and fitness industry. However, her love for tea began long before she understood the health benefits of tea. Growing up in Sri Lanka, Dheena had the privilege of being surrounded by the world-famous Ceylon tea. This is what got her started on her exploration of the various types of tea. She has now extensively tasted and examined teas from all over the world.