A steaming cup of green tea can be many things: your early morning pick-me-up, a way to keep the weight in check, or a small effort to maintain heart health. There’s more! Green tea also promises a powerful dose of goodness to rejuvenate your skin, leaving it smooth, bright, and acne-free.
Green tea basics
Fresh leaves and buds of the Camellia sinensis plant are lightly steamed and then dried to produce green tea. The gentle process prevents browning and oxidation of the leaves. It also gives the tea its characteristic colour.
What makes green tea great? It is chockful of catechins. These plant-based compounds (or polyphenols) are packed with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties. Particularly notable is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a polyphenol that is abundant in green tea.
Research highlights EGCG’s ability to lower the production of sebum, an oily substance that is linked to acne breakouts. Studies also indicate that green tea could minimise acne lesions, redness, and the spread of acne-causing bacteria.
How green tea tackles acne
1. Skin protection
Pollution, sun exposure, smoking, and poor eating habits stress out the skin, resulting in free radicals. Very simply, free radicals are atoms with an odd number of electrons. Also known as oxidant radicals, these atoms are unstable. To become stable, they try to draw electrons from other molecules, thereby inflicting damage on the skin.
Green tea is full of antioxidants that inhibit the action of free radicals. EGCG is particularly effective in this respect. It rejuvenates dull and tired-looking skin, and returns your healthy glow. Your favourite morning brew also contains Vitamin E, which hydrates the skin and supports cell regeneration.
2. Sebum reduction
Acne breakouts occur when your pores get blocked with sebum and dead skin cells. Sebum is secreted by the sebaceous glands. If you have oily skin, then your glands might be producing too much sebum. This over-production could be driven by several things, including hormones.
Androgen is a hormone that triggers the sebaceous glands to secrete excess sebum. When you apply green tea topically, the EGCG in it lowers the androgen levels. Here, green tea does not merely remove oil from the surface of the skin. It goes one step further and attacks the root cause.
3. Soothing effect
Some studies suggest that green tea helps to counter inflammation when acne lesions get infected. Your acne may not vanish completely because of green tea, but it could bring down the inflammation and pain.
The catechins in green tea also have antibacterial effects. Green tea helps eliminate the P. acnes bacteria, which is a leading cause of acne. However, further research is needed to assess its actual impact on acne-related breakouts.
Using green tea for acne
The wonderful thing about applying green tea is that it has no real side effects. If you have very dry, hypersensitive, or otherwise compromised skin, then you should be a little cautious when using it for the first time. However, most people can use this ingredient on a daily basis, regardless of skin type.
There are many ways to incorporate natural ingredients like green tea into your skincare routine. Here are a couple of easy options:
- The next time you prepare green tea, brew a little extra as a special treat for your skin. Once it cools, pour the liquid into an empty spray bottle. Spray this over your face a couple of times a week. Leave on for 10 minutes and then rinse off with cool water.
- You could also use combine moistened green tea leaves with aloe vera gel or honey. Apply this like a face mask. Let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes, and then wash off thoroughly.
- Consuming freshly brewed green tea could also ease your acne symptoms from the inside out. Drink up two or three times a day and watch the tea work its magic.
Green power your skincare
What’s the easiest way to work green tea into your daily routine? Zero in on a high-performance product like Clearica Anti-Acne Cream.
This lightweight cream counts green tea among its active ingredients. And it fights acne on multiple levels: by cleaning clogged pores, reducing inflammation, eliminating acne-causing bacteria, preventing acne spread, and rejuvenating the skin. (Whew!)
Massage it in after cleansing and toning the skin, and follow up with your favourite moisturising lotion. Then wait for those green tea catechins to spring into action! Gorgeous skin will be waiting for you on the other side.