Myth Busted! Is Green Tea Good for the Skin?
Green tea is no stranger to the health world. In fact, green tea has been used as a powerful antioxidant in China for over 4,000 years due to the benefits it’s said to have on both internal and external health (1). Whether it’s treating headaches, keeping the heart healthy, or even lowering cholesterol, there are a plethora of ailments and concerns that can benefit from green tea. Nowadays, one of the most common ways consumers see green tea being used is in skincare. This begs the question: Is green tea good for the skin? And if so, what benefits does the skin experience from incorporating green tea into skincare?
- When it comes to the skin, green tea is known for anything from anti-aging and protecting the skin from free radical damage, to decreasing puffiness and more.
- The active components of green tea are polyphenols, also known as catechins, which give green tea its antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Green tea can be commonly found in many eye creams because it acts as a natural astringent, alleviating puffiness under the ends by shrinking the blood vessels.
You may already have a nice warm cup of tea in the morning, but where else are you getting a green tea intake? Through green tea in skincare, green tea can actually be applied topically to give your skincare an extra umph. Is green tea good for the skin? The short answer is yes! Surprisingly, green tea not only is beneficial for your internal body. It packs a punch in terms of skincare benefits, too.
Most notably, green tea is known for:
- Anti-aging properties/minimizing the appearance of aging
- Reducing signs of sun damage such as hyperpigmentation, rough textured skin, and fine lines
- Soothing the skin by reducing inflammation
- Protecting the skin from free radical damage
- Antioxidant properties
- Reducing excess sebum to prevent clogged pores and acne breakouts
- Decreasing puffiness due to astringent properties
- Brightening the skin/dark spots
- Evening skin tone
- Reducing redness
- Anti-inflammatory properties
- Antimicrobial properties
- Reducing dandruff
How is Green Tea Good for the skin?
The active components of green tea are polyphenols, also known as catechins. These components have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that make green tea beneficial for the skin. In addition to these components, green tea also contains caffeine and tannins, which work by shrinking blood vessels and decreasing puffiness (2). Tannins are naturally astringent compounds, so they act as a sort of natural toner to even out the appearance of skin, shrink pores, and regulate sebum production (3). By regulating sebum production, the tannins in green tea reduce excess sebum to prevent clogged pores and acne breakouts. This is crucial since most products remove excess sebum on the skin’s surface whereas green tea targets oil production directly in the skin cells.
Studies have shown that the polyphenolic compounds from green tea show to protect against carcinogens and help with a variety of skin disorders (4). The major polyphenolic compound in green tea, epigallocatechin-3-gallate, or EGCG for short, has also shown to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties that make it ideal for treating acne (5). Green tea is also packed with vitamin B and vitamin E, which are two vitamins great for skin health as they promote collagen production to firm the skin and maintain elasticity, promote cell regeneration, and hydrate and nourish the skin (3).
Plant extracts have been used for centuries as topical treatments for healing wounds, preventing signs of aging, and addressing certain ailments. Green tea is one of those extracts! Due to the catechins found in green tea, the ingredient is extremely beneficial as an antioxidant by neutralizing free radicals (6).
With the skin consistently being exposed to harmful environmental and chemical agents, such as U.V. rays from the sun, oxidative stress can take place which leads to signs of premature aging. Damage from free radicals is important to prevent, which is why it’s so important to take precautions like wearing SPF. However, ingredients with plant polyphenols have proved to be a valuable asset when it comes to preventing and treating certain issues like free radical damage due to their antioxidant properties (7).
Green tea is one of the most abundant sources of plant polyphenols which makes it a fantastic ingredient in skincare seen on the market today. By neutralizing free radical damage from pollutants in the air, green tea is able to delay signs of aging such as fine lines, wrinkles, or age spots.
Incorporating Green Tea into Skincare
With all of green tea’s amazing properties, it’s no wonder we’ve seen the natural ingredient pop up in more skincare products over the years. Is green tea good for the skin? Yes – but it’s important to know how green tea can work for you and how to incorporate the ingredient into your regimen for the best results.
When it comes to green tea in skincare, the all-natural ingredient is very safe. In general, green tea is suitable for almost all skin types, unless you have a known hypersensitivity to it (2). Plus, green tea is both safe to consume daily and safe to use in a daily skincare routine. When using green tea, using the ingredient along with other antioxidants is best because they work together for the best results.
Green tea has become an extremely popular ingredient found in skincare today. Available in countless formulations, you can find green tea in cleansers, serums, moisturizers, and face masks. Plus, green tea can be commonly found in many eye creams because it acts as a natural astringent, alleviating puffiness under the ends by shrinking the blood vessels (1).
If you’re looking to add green tea into your skincare routine, here are some products you can check out to get started:
- Boscia Green Tea Oil-Free Moisturizer
- Purlisse Matcha Green Tea Antioxidant Sheet Mask
- Green Tea EGCG Concentrate Cream
Written by Selena Ponton