Green tea has numerous benefits to health, including being great for the skin.
But First, an Introduction to the Plant
Green tea is derived from Camellia sinensis, a tea plant native to Asia. Fun fact-- this same plant produces black tea. The difference in processing gives two types of tea. To get green tea, the leaves are picked, rapidly heated or steamed (this prevents fermentation), then rolled and heated again. As for black tea, the leaves are picked, allowed to lose a little moisture, rolled, and left to ferment a bit. After this, they're heated again.
Apart from these two kinds of tea, the Camellia sinensis plant also produces oolong, white, and other types of tea. It's cultivated in subtropical and tropical regions. The shrub is evergreen and is usually trimmed to about 6 ½ feet. Its flowers are yellow-white with 7–8 petals.
Green Tea's Internal Health Benefits
This tea contains potent antioxidants called catechins. These agents protect cells and DNA from damage by free radicals, which speed up aging. Some scientific studies show that green tea helps reduce the severity of heart diseases, lowers blood pressure, encourages weight loss, and lowers LDL (bad cholesterol) levels. Other smaller studies have indicated that this tea may help in balancing blood sugar levels. Also, green tea's caffeine content is considered a factor in increasing mental alertness.
Green Tea's Wonders For the Skin
Recent studies have focused on the potential benefits of topical application of green tea to the skin.
Protection: Due to high levels of antioxidants, this tea helps protect your skin from environmental stressors.
Anti-aging: These same antioxidants aid in keeping your skin looking youthful for longer. Some evidence also suggests that green tea firms and tightens your skin's look.
With its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties, a green tea face mask can help benefit your skin in a variety of ways. Not only can it protect your skin from premature aging, UV damage, redness, and irritation, but it also has the ability to fight off bacteria that can lead to acne breakouts.
Mixing up a DIY green tea face mask is easy to do. Chances are, you already have many of the necessary ingredients and items in your kitchen.
To get started, you’ll need the following:
1 tbsp. of green tea
1 tbsp. baking soda
1 tbsp. honey
a mixing bowl
a measuring spoon
Once you have all the items you need, follow these steps:
Brew a cup of green tea, allowing the tea bag to soak for about an hour. Let the tea bag cool, and then break the tea bag open and separate the green tea leaves.
Place the leaves in a mixing bowl, and add the baking soda and honey to create a paste. If the mixture is too thick, add a few drops of water.
To help the mask penetrate your pores, cleanse your face before applying.
Once your face is clean, apply the mask evenly over your face, and gently massage to remove dead skin cells and dirt from your pores.
Leave the mask on your skin for 10 to 15 minutes, and then rinse off with warm water.
For best results, you can apply the mask one to three times a week.
You can use other variations of the mask, too. For example, you can use:
1 tbsp. of granulated sugar instead of baking soda
1/2 tsp. of lemon juice instead of honey
1 tsp. of green tea powder instead of green tea leaves
Premade green tea face masks are also sold at health and beauty supply stores, drugstores, and online. Different masks can have different types of ingredients. When purchasing a premade green tea facial mask, try to choose a mask that’s:
safe for all skin types
contains 100 percent green tea
free of dyes, fragrances, and parabens
People who use green tea topically report a low riskof side effects. Even so, if you’re using green tea on your face for the first time, test a small patch of skin on the inside of your elbow before applying the mask. Signs of skin sensitivity or an allergic reaction include itchiness, redness, swelling, and burning. If you have sensitive skin or have any sensitivities to consuming green tea, speak with your dermatologist before applying a green tea mask. Or If you’re just unsure whether a green tea face is right for your skin, speak to your doctor or dermatologist before using one.