By Donna Maurer
Green tea is a hot topic in the skincare world right now, but its health benefits have been known for centuries. The ancient Chinese beverage has been credited with a wide range of health benefits, including improving your immunity, boosting energy levels, increasing focus and memory, and even supporting your metabolism. Some also believe that consuming the beverage regularly could prevent cancer, treat depression, and relieve or eliminate headaches. But, what about using green tea to improve your skin?
Well, it turns out that green tea can do a lot for your skin (1), too. This ancient beverage is loaded with antioxidants that may delay the signs of ageing and prevent sun damage. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, it can help with common skin issues such as psoriasis, rosacea, and even acne. Its ability to flush toxins out of the skin makes it especially useful for preventing blemishes.
And, if that’s not enough, The Journal of the American Medical Association of Dermatology (2) also reports that green tea has anti-carcinogenic possibilities when applied to the skin. Whether you apply green tea to your skin topically or drink it as a beverage, it can do amazing things for your skin! Here’s everything you need to know about the benefits of green tea for skin.
Why You Should Use Green Tea on Your Skin
There are many benefits of using green tea directly on your skin.
Green Tea is Anti-Ageing
Green tea is loaded with nutrients and antioxidants that are beneficial to the skin, including catechins, and vitamins C, B2 and E. These are all beneficial compounds that strengthen the skin, encourage the growth of new skin cells and maintain collagen levels. Vitamin E has the added benefit of being ultra-moisturizing.
The antioxidants found in green tea are incredibly powerful weapons in the anti-ageing battle.
Of all the antioxidants in green tea, catechins are the most powerful. EGCG is a specific type of catechin that has been shown to help dying cells activate again. This especially potent catechin is even stronger in combination with vitamin E or C – when these compounds are combined, this helps to further increase total antioxidant capacity.
Green tea antioxidants work very well to neutralize the free radicals that damage and attack the DNA of skin cells.
The other antioxidants found in green tea may not be as potent, but they still perform a valuable role. They also prevent free radical damage and help cells to heal. They also inhibit collagenase, which is an enzyme that breaks down and reduces collagen. They’re especially beneficial for keeping your skin elastic and firm as you age.
Green Tea Can Protect Your Skin from the Sun
Studies show (3) that the EGCG catechins in green tea can help to prevent sunburn and sun damage, making green tea an effective ingredient in anti-ageing products.
Green Tea Has Powerful Antibacterial Properties
Green tea contains a substance called polyphenols that attack the membranes of bacteria, fighting infections on the skin’s surface. They help to suppress bacterial inflammation, such as in the case of acne, rosacea, and psoriasis.
Green Tea Contains Can Shrink Pores and Blood Vessels
Green tea contains tannins and caffeine, which are both helpful for shrinking blood vessels in the delicate area around the eyes (4).
Tannins are also good for shrinking and tightening the pores because they have astringent properties. These two components also make green tea an effective treatment for dark undereye circles and puffiness around the eyes.
Green Tea Reduces Oil Production
Since green tea contains tannins with astringent properties, it can also reduce oil production (5). That also makes it useful for unclogging the pores and eliminating blackheads.
Green Tea is Good for Your Scalp
A study from 2007 (4) shows that many of the active ingredients found in green tea can help with inflammatory scalp issues, like psoriasis. But, even more than that, green tea also contains active ingredients that can fight chronic dandruff by fighting bacteria, fungus, and dryness.
How Drinking Green Tea is Good for Your Skin
It’s clear that applying green tea directly to your skin has significant benefits for the skin, but it doesn’t end there! Drinking green tea offers some skin benefits as well.
Even More Sun Protection
We’ve already mentioned that green tea can protect the skin from sun damage when applied topically, but the benefits are even more significant (6) when you drink green tea on a daily basis. According to studies, when green tea is consumed orally, it can reduce the inflammation and redness that can come from overexposure to the sun. It also raises the level of benzoic acid in the skin, which is an essential compound for treating issues like eczema. Drinking green tea regularly may also reduce the appearance of age spots and could even prevent some types of skin cancer.
Green Tea is Good for Your Liver
The antioxidants in green tea can not only counteract the free radicals attacking your skin at its surface, but they also counter the effect of the free radicals that are inside your body.
Drinking green tea is good for all of your internal organs, but it’s especially important for your liver (7), which sometimes produces free radicals as it does its job of detoxifying your body. Green tea also gives the enzymes in your liver a boost, protecting it from damage and supporting detoxification. This detoxification process is essential for keeping the skin clear and free of blemishes.
How to Incorporate Green Tea into Your Beauty Regimen
You may be surprised to find out how easy it is to incorporate green tea into your regular beauty regimen. Thanks to all the recent studies showing how beneficial green tea is for the skin, many skincare companies are now incorporating it into their products. You can also make your own skincare products from green tea and other natural ingredients, right in your own kitchen.
Green Tea Toner/Facial Mist
As we’ve already mentioned, the tannins in green tea have astringent properties that reduce oil production and unclog pores. Since it’s also useful for reducing redness and inflammation, it’s an excellent ingredient to include in facial toners and mists. You can buy one off the shelf or make your own by mixing green tea with other ingredients, like lemon juice, honey, witch hazel, vitamin E, tea tree oil, and/or baking soda.
Green Tea Masks and Sheet Masks
“Green tea masks can hydrate and soften the skin. Catechins, which are the main ingredient in green tea, also balance skin moisture and oil,” says K-Beauty experts, Peach & Lily (8). These unique properties make green tea masks and sheet masks the perfect choice for combination skin that needs oil control without over-drying.
Green Tea Scrub
Green Tea Scrubs are easy to find in the skincare aisle, but they’re also very easy to make at home. You can simply use green tea leaves on their own for a very gentle scrub for the face that’s great for acne-prone or clogged skin. To make a green tea body scrub, combine brewed, cooled green tea with sugar or sea salt.
Green Tea Facial Steam
Incorporating a green tea facial steam into your beauty regimen is a great way to give your face an antioxidant boost, soothe irritation, detoxify your pores, and give your skin a shot of hydration. The scent is also very relaxing and calming, so it’s a stress reliever, too!
Simply boil three cups of water and pour into a large pot or bowl. Steep 3 green tea teabags in the hot water for a few minutes. Put your clean face over the bowl and drape a towel over your head to keep the steam in. The water should be steaming, but not hot enough to be uncomfortable. Steam your face for about 10 minutes.
Green Tea Baths
You can get all of the detoxifying and antioxidant properties of green tea on your body skin by soaking in a green tea bath. All you have to do is begin filling the tub and add five or more teabags when the tub is half full. Stir the water slowly as the tub fills the rest of the way. You can add Epsom salts to your green tea bath if you want to soothe away your aches and pains.
Green Tea Moisturizer and Body Lotion
Using a moisturizer or body lotion that contains green tea is excellent for anti-ageing. The B vitamins found in green tea can improve your skin’s elasticity by boosting collagen production. Green tea is also rich in Vitamin E, which promotes the regeneration of cells and provides hydration and nourishment to the skin.
You can find a wide variety of moisturizers and lotions that contain green tea at your local store, or you can make one at home with natural ingredients. Simply combine a tablespoon of aloe vera gel with a couple of ounces of pomegranate juice. Stir well and add four ounces of chilled, brewed green tea plus a half teaspoon of cornstarch for thickening. Warm the mixture in your microwave for about a minute. Stir the mixture well and allow it to cool. Store it in a clean jar.
Green Tea as an Acne Treatment
Acne is one of the most common skin issues people face, and it can sometimes be hard to treat. In many cases, doctors will prescribe topical creams or oral antibiotics to target stubborn acne. Unfortunately, these treatments come with problems of their own, including drying out the skin and causing redness and irritation, which really isn’t any better than the acne they’re designed to treat.
As we discussed above, green tea is a very effective way to treat acne (9) because of its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory capabilities. Studies have shown that using green tea lotion on the skin twice a day can clear acne by as much as 60%. It also helps to unclog the pores and remove excess oil, which are leading contributors to breakouts.
Green tea face washes, toners, masks, and lotions are all excellent choices for those suffering from breakouts. You can also make your own gentle green tea facial mist at home by brewing a strong cup of green tea and allowing it to cool. Put the mist in a spray bottle and use it after you wash your face every morning and night. To get the most from its antibacterial properties, allow the mist to air dry on your face before you move on to the rest of your skincare routine.
What to Look for When Buying Green Tea Skin Care Products Online
When shopping for green tea skincare products online, choose products that are as natural as possible. Look for short ingredient lists with ingredient names you recognize and avoid anything with a lot of chemicals. It’s also best to steer clear of products that contain fragrance that could be irritating to the skin.
1. Can you use green tea teabags on your eyes?
Yes, green tea teabags can be placed on the eyes for short periods of time. The tannins in green tea are helpful for dark circles and puffiness, while the caffeine shrinks the blood vessels, tightens the skin, and reduces swelling. Alternatively, you can use an eye cream containing green tea extract which will have a similar effect.
2. Does green tea facial steam have any benefits for the skin?
Yes, green tea facial steam is excellent for the skin because it’s rich in antioxidants, soothes irritation, clears the pores, and hydrates the skin.
3. Can green tea help with hyperpigmentation?
Yes, there is some research that shows that green tea may improve hyperpigmentation (10). It could help to lighten dark spots, and it’s gentler than most other skin lightening products.
4. Which green tea is best for the skin?
Whole leaf organic green tea is best for your skin and health. Choose a high-quality green tea that is pure and free of any additives.
Green tea offers a treasure trove of nutrients and antioxidants that are good for the skin. Not only is it good for anti-ageing, but it is also anti-inflammatory and antibacterial, which is extremely helpful for those suffering from acne. Green tea also has anti-carcinogenic properties and can protect your skin from sun damage. Green tea can be incorporated into your skincare routine easily. Green tea offers so many benefits for the skin that everyone should consider including it in their beauty regimen.
As an experienced content creator, Donna has covered numerous topics related to the beauty industry. She is a former writer for an esthetician and skin spa and she can often be found researching the latest skincare products and tutorials. Donna loves sharing new routines and treatments that worked for her in the hopes that others will find similar, positive results.