We are all aware of the benefits of drinking green tea. This drink has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antiaging properties and is said to help prevent cancer and tooth decay. Because of all its beneficial properties, Green Tea has become a very popular ingredient in skincare products too, but does it work as well when applied topically on the skin?
What is Green Tea?
Green tea is produced from the Camellia Sinesis plant, which is an evergreen shrub. From the same plant, black tea and oolong tea are obtained too, but with different processes. Green Tea is obtained from the steaming and drying of the Camellia Sinesis leaves and originated in China, although today it is widespread in the West too.
Green Tea has antiaging properties
Green Tea is very high in polyphenols (and in particular in Epigallocatechin-3-gallate which is considered to be 200 times more effective than Vitamin E), a group of antioxidants that fights free radicals, one of the main causes of aging. In addition, polyphenols also have anti-inflammatory properties. Skin inflammation is another factor that contributes to skin aging so reducing it will help keep skin looking younger for longer.
Green Tea helps reduce damage caused by sun exposure
Studies also suggest that “green tea polyphenols are photoprotective” and that their topical application can help reduce inflammation and redness caused by sun exposure. Another study, performed in 2003, has found that the polyphenols in green tea prevent UVB-induced oxidative stress (which can cause cancer) and the depletion of antioxidant enzymes. In addition, epigallocatechin-3-gallate can also prevent collagen breakdown. That’s why, even though green tea is not a substitute for sunscreen, it is still a good idea to incorporate it in your skincare routine.
Green Tea is an effective treatment for acne
A 2009 study has shown that a 2% Green Tea Lotion is an effective treatment for mild to moderate acne. The lotion was applied twice a day for 6 weeks on 20 patients. The scientists found that “the mean total lesion count decreased from 24 before the treatment to 10 after 6 weeks after treatment, a reduction of 58.33%” and concluded that “topical 2% green tea lotion is an effective, cost-effective treatment for mild-to-moderate acne vulgaris”.
The Bottom Line
Overall, Green Tea is an effective ingredient that has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-acne properties and also helps prevent damage caused by the sun’s UV rays. That’s why it is a good idea to incorporate it both in your diet and in your skincare routine. But make sure that your skincare products look brown. As dermatologist Dr Baumann explains: “if they don’t, it means they don’t contain enough green tea to be effective”
Do you use skincare products with Green Tea? Or do you prefer to drink it?