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Green tea isn't just for sipping on lazy Sunday afternoons. This powerhouse ingredient has made its way into the skincare world as, besides its many health benefits, it's also greatly beneficial for the skin.
From fighting wrinkles to reducing puffiness and redness, green tea is the secret skincare weapon, giving the skin that healthy glow we all yearn for. This is because it's packed with antioxidants and polyphenols that protect and nourish your skin.
And the best part? It's simple and easy to incorporate into your daily beauty routine. In this article, we'll spill all the tea on the benefits of green tea for the skin and how to use it. Ready to get your glow on? Let's dive in!
What Is Green Tea?
Green tea is made from Camellia sinensis leaves and buds and is similar to black and oolong tea. However, green tea is lighter in color and flavor, with a fresher, grassier taste. Green tea is widely consumed around the world and is known for its many health benefits, including improved heart health, weight management, and cancer prevention. Plus, it's great for your skin, but more on that later.
Green tea is rich in polyphenols, which are natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds that protect the body against damage from free radicals. Namely, antioxidants neutralize free radicals, reducing their damaging effects.
Thanks to its healing and protecting properties, green tea has been linked to improved brain function, including enhanced memory and attention, as well as weight management, boosting metabolism and increasing fat oxidation.
Green tea is also a good source of caffeine, providing a natural energy boost and improving alertness. However, it contains less caffeine than coffee and doesn't have the same stimulating effects as coffee – a good alternative for those sensitive to caffeine.
Overall, green tea is a healthy and versatile beverage that can provide numerous health benefits. Whether you drink it hot or iced, use it in cooking or baking, or apply it directly to your skin, green tea is a simple and delicious way to improve your overall health, the health of your skin, and your well-being.
Benefits of Green Tea for Skin
So, besides being a popular beverage that is enjoyed for its flavor and health benefits, green tea has powerful properties that can positively impact the skin. From antioxidant properties to anti-inflammatory effects, here's a comprehensive look at the benefits of green tea for the skin:
Green tea is rich in antioxidants [source], specifically catechins, which are compounds that protect the skin from free radicals damage. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage cells and cause skin aging, such as wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots. By incorporating green tea into your skincare routine, you can reduce the damaging effects of free radicals and maintain a youthful appearance.
Inflammation is the main cause of various skin conditions, including acne, rosacea, and psoriasis. The polyphenols in green tea have anti-inflammatory effects, soothing the skin [source]. This makes it an excellent choice for those with acne-prone or sensitive skin. In fact, green tea has been shown to be as effective as benzoyl peroxide, a common ingredient in acne treatments, in reducing acne breakouts.
Hydrated skin is healthy skin, and green tea can keep your skin's hydration levels optimal. The high levels of B vitamins and vitamin E in green tea can retain moisture in the skin and is a common ingredient in moisturizers for both dry and oily skin. Furthermore, green tea improves skin elasticity, making it look plump and firm.
Dull and tired-looking skin can result from various factors, including sun damage and aging. Green tea can brighten the skin, giving it a more radiant appearance. The polyphenols in green tea inhibit tyrosinase, an enzyme that contributes to the production of melanin, the pigment that causes dark spots and discoloration [source]. By reducing the production of melanin, green tea can lighten the skin.
Sun exposure is a significant contributor to skin aging and can increase the risk of skin cancer. Thanks to its antioxidant content, green tea has a protective effect against UV damage, hindering the sun's adverse effects on the skin. By incorporating green tea into your skincare routine, you reduce the risk of skin cancer and the signs of aging caused by sun exposure.
As we age, our skin naturally loses its firmness and elasticity, leading to wrinkles and sagging. The antioxidant properties of green tea protect the skin from oxidative stress, which can contribute to skin aging. Furthermore, the polyphenols in green tea can halter the breakdown of collagen and elastin, postponing skin aging [source].
Puffy eyes can be a result of a variety of factors, including genetics, lack of sleep, and aging. Green tea reduces puffiness, thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. Also, the caffeine in green tea constricts blood vessels and reduces swelling, making it an effective treatment for puffiness around the eyes.
How to Use Green Tea for Skin
Having a warm (or iced, whatever works for you) cup of green tea per day can already improve your overall health as well as the health and look of your skin. However, to get the most out of it, you can also incorporate green tea into your skincare routine and apply it topically.
DIY green tea face masks are simple to make and affordable, and they are an excellent way to add green tea to your routine. With a few simple steps and ingredients, you can quickly whip up this mask and get your glow back:
DIY Green Tea Face Mask Recipe
This DIY green tea face mask combines ingredients excellent for all skin types, and it can reduce inflammation, brighten the skin, and hydrate it. However, you can easily modify this recipe and use charcoal powder (to target oily skin) or turmeric (to boost the anti-aging effect) instead of Matcha green tea powder.
- 1 green tea bag
- 1-2 tablespoons Matcha powder
- 1 teaspooon honey
- 1 teaspoon aloe vera gel
Preparation and application:
- Simply steep a green tea bag in hot water for 2-3 minutes and let it cool.
- Then, mix a few tablespoons of the cooled tea with Mathca green tea powder with a hand mixer until you get a smooth paste.
- Add the honey and aloe vera gel and blend well.
- Apply the face mask to cleansed skin and leave it on for 10-15 minutes.
You can use this face mask as often as you want. Plus, this batch could be enough for two applications, so keep any leftovers in the fridge for no longer than two days.
DIY green tea toner is another simple and effective way to incorporate green tea into your skincare routine. To make and use your DIY toner with green tea, follow these steps:
DIY Green Tea Toner Recipe
For this recipe, you'll only need green tea and aloe vera gel, perfect for any skin type and concern. But, if you feel especially creative, feel free to add other ingredients, like rice water for oily skin, rose water for anti-aging, witch hazel for acne, or almond milk for dry skin.
- 1 cup green tea
- 2 teaspoons aloe vera gel
Preparation and application:
- Again, steep the green tea bag in hot water for about 30 minutes and let it cool.
- Then, pour the cooled green tea into a spray bottle.
- Add the aloe vera gel, as well as other ingredients if using, like 1 tablespoon of witch hazel, 3 tablespoons of rice water, rose water, or almond milk.
- Shake well before use and apply it to your skin as a toner.
- Use after you've cleansed your face and before applying your moisturizer.
If you don't have a spray bottle at hand, use any other kind of bottle and apply the product with a cotton pad. Store refrigerated for no longer than two weeks.
Believe it or not, you can make a facial oil with green tea leaves – an excellent way to replenish your favorite oil, like olive oil, sweet almond oil, or jojoba oil, with the benefits of green tea. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to make it:
DIY Green Tea-Infused Oil Recipe
By making this oil, you'll get a high concentration of green tea extract, which can provide a potent dose of antioxidants and polyphenols. Incorporating green tea-infused oil into your skincare routine is great for targeting specific skin concerns, such as aging or sun damage.
- 2 cups dried green tea leaves
- ½ cup dried mint leaves
- 1 ½ cup olive oil
- Pour 2 cups of green tea leaves into a bigger glass jar with a lid.
- Top it with 1 ½ cup of organic olive oil, or any other oil of your choice; you can, for example, use jojoba oil for oily skin. Make sure that the tea leaves are completely covered.
- Let it infuse for a month or a month and a half, shaking the jar occasionally so that the leaves are covered with oil the whole time; add more oil if needed.
- Then strain the mixture using a cheesecloth or funnel strainer.
- Use it in the evenings as a cleanser or makeup remover. Or use it as a moisturizer and apply it as the last step in your skincare routine.
In this recipe, we combine mint leaves with green tea leaves, for added anti-inflammatory and soothing properties. However, you can opt to make it only with green tea leaves.
And finally, make a green tea bath so you can treat your whole body to the fantastic benefits of green tea for skin. A relaxing green tea bath will calm and soothe your skin if you have rosacea or eczema anywhere on your body.
DIY Green Tea Bath Recipe
So, the simplest way to make a green tea bath is just to add greent tea and bath salts to your bath water. However, if you have any inflammatory skin condition, or if your skin is simply dry and flakey, you can make an oatmeal bath and just add green tea to it. Here's how:
- 1 cup colloidal oatmeal (finely ground oats)
- 4-6 green tea bags
- ½ cup bath salts
- First, prepare the green tea by steeping the green tea bags in a pot of boiling water for 5-10 minutes. Remove the tea bags from the water and let the tea cool to room temperature.
- Then start pouring water into your bathtub and slowly add colloidal oatmeal (finely ground oats) and the salt and stir to disperse the ingredients evenly.
- Next, pour the cooled tea into the bathtub and mix it into the water.
- Soak in the green tea bath for 15-20 minutes or as long as the water feels pleasant.
To make your bath more relaxing, you can add a few drops the aromatic lavender essential oil to it, or any other oil that will soothe your skin, like peppermint oil, sweet almond oil, and others.
As you can see, green tea can provide numerous benefits for your skin, including reducing inflammation, brightening the skin, healing, anti-aging, and protecting. So, whether you have specific skin concerns or simply want to improve the overall health and appearance of your skin, incorporating green tea into your skincare routine is a simple and effective way to do so.
So, unleash your creative self and make a green tea face mask, a DIY green tea face toner, oils, or baths, and enjoy all the skin benefits green tea has to offer. Plus, you can treat your body and your skin to a daily cup of green tea, iced or steaming hot!
Does green tea improve skin?
Yes, green tea is jam-packed with vitamins and antioxidants that protect, repair, brighten, and hydrate the skin. The polyphenolic compounds in this powerhouse ingredient protect the skin from damage, postponing aging. Also, vitamins B and E keep the skin well-hydrated, plump, and soft.
Can we apply green tea directly on the face?
Yes, you can apply cooled green tea directly to your skin as a toner, so after cleansing and before other steps in your skincare routine. Or, you can mix it with other ingredients, like aloe vera gel and Matcha powder, and create a DIY green tea face mask.
Does green tea bring glowing skin?
Green tea has skin-brightening properties, bringing dull and tired skin back to life. Also, it can help with hyperpigmentation as it inhibits certain enzymes in the skin that contribute to the formation of dark spots and skin discoloration.
How to use green tea for the skin?
There are various ways you can incorporate green tea into your skincare routine, and use it as a toner, add it to your DIY face masks, make a green tea-infused facial oil, or add it to your baths.
Is it better to drink green tea or apply it to your face?
Drinking green tea daily will improve your overall health as well as the health of your skin. However, green tea is an active ingredient in many cosmetic products, so applying it to your face, in the form of toner, for example, also offers many fantastic skin benefits.