If you’re an avid tea lover like me then you probably love drinking green tea on a regular basis. It gives you the same amount of energy as coffee, yet is much higher in antioxidants. But have you ever thought about how it might affect your acne?
Tea has been used as a herbal medicine for centuries. Its popularity is still peaking. Every article nowadays seems to be talking about the endless list of benefits that come from drinking green tea. It’s said to help with many illnesses and conditions. The question is – is acne one of them?
The research regarding this question is still limited. There is a lot of anecdotal evidence to support the claim that green tea does have a positive effect on acne, but that is yet to be proven.
What we do know so far is that green tea is a major source of polyphenols – antioxidants that can be usually found in food. Antioxidants help protect the skin from the damage of free radicals. They deactivate these radicals which are also known as oxidant radicals. Along with other polyphenolic components, they help lower inflammation in your body, which is one of the main causes of acne. People with high levels of inflammation are more acne-prone than others.
This antioxidant also has the power of balancing out your hormones, which is amazing news for those who suffer from hormonal acne.
You might be wondering how exactly does green tea influence hormones? It works by lowering the androgen levels in your body, which naturally become higher than they should during adolescence or because of some lifestyle factors and medical conditions. It makes the body produce more IGFBP-3 (insulin-like growth factor binding protein 3), a type of protein that binds with IGF-1. In addition, it can also block IGF-1 receptors, resulting in less acne. Imbalanced hormones lead to excess production of sebum which in turn causes clogged pores.
Another thing that leads to excess sebum and congestion is high blood sugar levels. Studies have shown that green tea improves insulin resistance, which is one major cause of acne, often intensified with a bad diet. Regular intake of green tea can reduce blood sugar levels, and thereby reduce the amount of acne you have.
Green tea is also known for its antibacterial benefits. Some studies show that it can work on a few acne-causing bacteria.
One of the easiest ways to implement green tea in your skincare routine is by drinking a few cups per day. You can either use tea bags or tea leaves. Place a green tea bag in your cup and put some boiled water in it. The ideal boiling temperature is above 80 degrees Celsius. Don’t let it steep for more than 5 minutes and remove the bag once those 5 minutes have passed. Let the tea cool down and enjoy your nutritious cup of green tea. If you want to spice it up (or survive your first sip), try adding in some lemon juice or a natural sweetener like honey.
There is no universal measure for how many cups you should have per day. If you’re new to green tea, start with one cup per day and then work your way up to 3 cups if you want. Like any other treatment, you shouldn’t overdo it, since excess caffeine can have an adverse effect on acne.
Green tea bags can work magic on your skin. So, the next time you enjoy a warm cup of green tea make sure you save those bags for later. Wait for them to cool down and strain them on a cotton pad. You can also use them directly on your face if you’re slightly more daring. This natural toner will help reduce redness and excess sebum.
Adding a green tea mask to your skincare routine a couple of times a week can really help treat acne. Here are a couple of easy DIY masks you can try at home.
Mix a tablespoon of leafy green tea with a few drops of water so that you create a paste. Put the mixture on your skin and leave it on for around 20 minutes before washing it off. You can also use this mixture as an exfoliator. Gently massage it on your skin and wash it off.
Empty out the contents of a green tea bag. Mix it with a pinch of turmeric powder, a drop or two of coconut milk and a tablespoon of pure organic honey to keep it all together. Apply the mask on your face and leave it on for 20 minutes to half an hour. Wash it off thoroughly.
Combine one tablespoon of green tea with one tablespoon of baking soda and one tablespoon of maple syrup. Put the mixture on your face and leave it on for half an hour before washing it off.
In order to make this antioxidant-rich mask, you will need one tablespoon of organic matcha powder and some water so that you create a paste. You can also use a few drops of almond oil for extra hydration.
Stir all the ingredients in a bowl and carefully apply it on your face, avoiding the hairline and eye area. Let it sit for around 30 minutes or so and then remove it using water or a soaked flannel. You can also exfoliate the skin by gently massaging the mask while you’re removing it. The matcha mask is amazing and quite the time-saver since you get two treatments out of it. Your skin will feel smoother and rejuvenated as a result.
These masks are appropriate for all skin types. They will calm down the redness, remove excess sebum, dead skin cells and treat the acne-causing bacteria. You’ll be left with brighter, clearer and more youthful looking complexion.
Acne isn’t only problematic on its own - mistreatment of breakouts can lead to permanent acne scars. Scars are harder to treat than acne and the treatment takes longer to work. Which is exactly why it’s better to prevent them from happening in the first place. ECGC reduces inflammation in the body and also has antibacterial properties which can result in reduced chances of future scarring.
Not only does excessive sun exposure lead to premature aging, but it also increases the risk of skin cancer. Additionally, it can also lead to hyperpigmentation which is a result of UV rays. Since the skin builds up melanin in a certain area in order to protect against the damage done by UV rays, this can cause certain areas to become darker than the rest, leading to the appearance of dark spots.
Because we want to avoid all of that, green tea is an excellent option if you want to protect your skin against the risky effects of sun exposure. Phenols, as I’ve already mentioned, are very potent in green tea and they can help repair the damage caused by excessive sun exposure. Besides, regular use of green tea can also protect against sunburn. This is not to say that it can replace sunscreen, though. Make sure you apply sunscreen 20 minutes before exposing your skin to the sun so you can prevent the damage we’ve already discussed.
Green tea, like every other acne treatment, isn’t a miracle worker. It requires patience and persistence in order for you to notice an improvement in your skin tone.
More research is required so we can determine just how big of a role green tea has in keeping the skin clear. One thing is for sure, unless you’re pregnant or breastfeeding chances are you will benefit from including more green tea in your diet or from trying out these natural home remedies.
So, even though drinking a few cups of green tea a day won’t solve your acne problems immediately, it does have positive effects in the long run, and you will likely benefit from those antioxidants in multiple ways. The best way to ensure that you’re making the most out of green tea is to combine it with a well-planned skincare routine, a wholesome healthy diet, exercise, and a regular sleeping pattern.
Green tea has certain powerful ingredients that have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antioxidant properties valuable for the skin. Even though green tea on its own isn’t very effective at treating acne, it has some beneficial properties that help the skin’s overall appearance. Make sure you do a patch test before applying green tea on your face. Your body can always use a few extra antioxidants (or a little extra caffeine), so giving this alternative acne treatment a go should be a no-brainer!