How to Use Green Tea for Skin Care + Benefits

Green tea is no stranger in the world of skincare products. Even though it may look like just another trend, there is a very good reason for using green tea in cosmetics. From preventing photoaging, reducing crows’ feet to treating skin problems, green tea seems to be an answer to many skin problems. The best part? You can enjoy the benefits with DIY skincare products too.

What is green tea?

Green tea is made from a Camellia sinensis plant. It’s produced in many countries around the world. It has a unique fresh flavor with grassy, toasty, smokey, sweet or vegetable notes. Green tea is considered one of the healthiest drinks in the world and linked to many health benefits. Today, its big health potential made it one of the most important research subjects around the world.

Green tea contains catechins, L-theanine, caffeine, minerals and vitamins. It contains many other compounds too, but catechins are the ones that may provide the most interesting benefits. They count for around 30% of the dry leaf weight.  The most abundant catechin in green tea is EGCG, and it’s not present in any other plant in the world in the same amounts as in green tea. Even other types like oolong or black tea will have a slightly or significantly lower levels of EGCg than green tea. These antioxidants may help protect against free radical damage and provide many benefits for skin health.

Fresh green tea leaf

Fresh green tea leaf

Why is green tea good for skin?

Green tea may have different benefits for skin – from protecting it to helping it heal and promoting healthy aging[1]. You can enjoy the benefits by both drinking green tea or applying it topically on skin.

  1. Sun protection
    Research showed that green tea may provide protection against UV rays[2] and protect against skin aging caused by sun and increase the level of collagen[3]. UV rays may cause freckles, wrinkles, and cancers. A study published in Nutrients, a journal focusing on human nutrition, reported that natural antioxidants may be a healthier option for UV protection than regular sunscreens,[4] mentioning green tea as a good source of antioxidants.
  2. Skin cancer
    Research showed that not only drinking green tea may help in preventing cancer, but using it topically will have anti tumor benefits too[5]. However, with cancer, more research is needed to see in which way green tea actually helps.
  3. Hair loss
    Tea may be beneficial for treating alopecia. Study on animals showed that drinking green tea regularly for 6 months may help with hair regrowth[6]. Polyphenols in green tea have anti-inflammatory properties that may help not only with soothing the skin, but reducing other inflammation too.
  4. Better complexion
    Antioxidants in green tea may provide skin restorative properties and brightening effect[7]. Research showed they are “100 times more effective than Vitamin C and 25 times better than Vitamin D in protecting cells[8].
  5. Treating dermatitis
    Applied topically, green tea may help with treating some skin problems like dermatitis, without and side effect or toxicity[9]. It may be used for cleaning acne too, the most common skin problem[10] and reducing dandruff. Both drinking and applying it topically may provide benefits for skin problems.
  6. Protection against environmental toxins
    Chinese study showed that green tea may provide detoxifying effect against toxins from environment, Weather it’s smoking, mycotoxins, pesticides or arsenic, polyphenols from green tea may help flush those toxins out of the body[11].
  7. Moisturizing skin
    A golden rule in skin care is to always keep skin hydrated. Green tea may help with skin hydration and moisture retention[12]. Study showed that green tea has better moisturizing effect on dry skin of elderly people too, better than Vitamin E.[13]

Best green teas to try

There are thousands of different green teas in the world, on every continent except Antartica. The most popular ones come from China and Japan. The main difference between them is in the kill green“ step, an important step that preserves the color, flavor and nutrients in green tea. Some teas contain more polyphenols than others, and may be a better choice for dealing with skin problems.

Usually, those with a stronger flavor, more intense color and less nutty and more grassy or smokey flavor are likely to have more catechins. However, this is not a general rule, and it’s impossible to know the exact amount of catechins in each tea without testing it.

The best and most popular green teas to try are:

Teas from later harvests or teas made with more mature leaves, roasted teas or those than contain a lot of stalks will have less catechins than teas made from younger leaves and buds.

How to use green tea for skincare?

Applied topically, green tea may have many benefits for the skin. Research showed that catechins may reduce the appearance of crows’ feet[14] in only 8 days, when applied two times per day. These 4 easy DIY recipes may open the world of green tea skin care for you. The best of all? You can make your own organic, safe and simple, but effective products in a matter of minutes.

Green tea hair rinse

Green tea hair rinse may be used for reducing dandruff and promoting skin growth. It’s easy to make and can be used after shampooing or conditioning. To make a green tea hair rinse, brew about 2-3 tablespoons of green tea in a large pitcher for 20-30 minutes. Strain and let it cool to a room temperature. Use it after shampooing.

Warning: Do not use other teas as they may stain your hair.

Green tea face mask

Mix 2 tablespoons of plain solid yogurt with 1 teaspoon of matcha tea powder and one teaspoon of honey. Preferably choose only organic ingredients. Mix well and apply to the skin. Avoid eyes. Wash after 10 minutes. If you don’t have matcha tea powder, use 2 teaspoons of loose leaf green tea and make a fine power with pestle and mortar.

Green tea bath

A great way to use any leftover leaves is in a green tea bath. Instead of throwing them away, start collecting any used up leaves. Make sure they full dry to prevent mold. Fill big tea filters with dry leaves and place in a tub with hot water. For a better effect, use fresh green tea leaves.

Green tea scrub

You can use green tea for making a scrub in two ways – with brewing it first, or with crusting it with pestle and mortar. Or, you can use both for one scrub. Mix 1 teaspoon of honey, 1 teaspoon of strongly brewed green tea, 2 teaspoons of brown sugar, a teaspoon of coconut oil. Mix all ingredients and use for body and face.

Dislaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It’s not intended to replace medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Every person is different and may react to different herbs and teas differently. Never use teas or herbs to treat serious medical conditions on your own. Always seek professional medical advice before choosing home remedies.

References

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6571865/

[2] https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/diet/tea-fact-sheet

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6412948/

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6412948/

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6412948/

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2576011/

[7] https://www.researchgate.net/publication/281194168_Tea_Polyphenols_for_Skin_Care

[8] https://www.researchgate.net/publication/281194168_Tea_Polyphenols_for_Skin_Care

[9] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3834413/

[10] https://www.researchgate.net/publication/281194168_Tea_Polyphenols_for_Skin_Care

[11] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5124528/

[12] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5796122/

[13] https://www.researchgate.net/publication/324702422_Green_tea_moisturizer_improves_skin_hydration_in_elderly

[14] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6412948/

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