Thursday, 12 November 2015

Tea for Skin: Green Tea (3)

I used to drink green tea all the time. I mean, at least one cup for a couple of years since I was 16. Here's why I (and you) need to brew yourself a cup tomorrow morning. All studies are referenced at the end of the post.

'Matcha Latte' by Kirinohana licensed under CC BY 2.0

UV protection when drinking green tea
The primary cause of skin ageing and cancers is exposure and overexposure to UV radiation from the sun. Green tea polyphenols, when orally consumed has been shown to prevent oxidative damage from UV light (Vayalil et al.)

Applying green tea
Treating skin with green tea, or an extract of green tea, has been studied and shown to have properties that inhibit some effects caused by UV radiation (Elmets et al.)
While I won't be tossing my sunscreen aside, it is easy to make your own green tea toner, and use it every day. This is something I will definitely be trying and posting about in future. Maybe a before and after 1 week experiment?

Green tea also has anti-inflammatory effects when it is applied onto skin (Katiyar). This is further tied to the point above, as UV radiation can cause redness and, thus inflammation. If you have occasional acne, drinking green tea may reduce the amount of swelling and redness (inflammation).

Free radicals are damaging and can enter the body through environmental toxins like UV rays, cigarette smoke, pollution as well as drugs, pesticides, exercise and inflammation. Antioxidants 'scavenge' these molecules and decrease the damage that would otherwise ensue. Polyphenols in green tea act as antioxidants by reducing and preventing damage that free radicals may cause (Nugala et al.)

Controlling Oily Skin
Sebum is secreted from the sebaceous glands and what keeps our skin moisturised and protected. Excess sebum is associated with oily skin, and common to those with acne or other skin disorders. Various studies, including one in 2013, showed green tea actually lowered elevated sebum levels in a 60 day trial (Nugala et al.).

Anti-ageing and overall skin improvement
This is probably the most convincing reason why I will be drinking green tea again. Not just green tea, but eating and drinking foods containing flavanols can improve the qulaity of skin as well as slow down skin ageing. In 2006, a study was conducted where women who consumed a high flavanol beverage for 12 weeks. They showed improved skin conditions through increased photoprotection, improved dermal blood flow, increased skin hydration, thickness and smoothness of the skin (Heinrich U et al.)

Green tea can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. Easiest, are green tea bags: Twinings are convenient to use and Prince of Peace are organic.

Ways to sneak green tea into your diet and skincare regimen
  • loose tea
  • K-Cup's
  • Matcha Green Tea Powder
  • iced tea
  • green tea lattes
  • green tea cupcakes (it's a thing - try it!)
  • green tea desserts
  • toner: Innisfree Green Tea Pure Skin Toner is a popular Korean brand or make your own
  • face masks using matcha powder - review coming up soon!
  • add powder to your smoothies/juices
  • steaming face with green tea, loose works best

Do you drink green tea? What's your favourite type?

xo, Amali


Vayalil, Praveen K. et al. 'Green Tea Polyphenols Prevent Ultraviolet Light-Induced Oxidative Damage And Matrix Metalloproteinases Expression In Mouse Skin'. J Invest Dermatol 122.6 (2004): 1480-1487. Web.

Elmets, Craig A. et al. 'Cutaneous Photoprotection From Ultraviolet Injury By Green Tea Polyphenols'. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 44.3 (2001): 425-432. Web.

Katiyar, Santosh K. 'Skin Photoprotection By Green Tea: Antioxidant And Immunomodulatory Effects'. curr drug targets immune endocr metabol disord 3.3 (2003): 234-242. Web.

Nugala, Babitha et al. 'Role Of Green Tea As An Antioxidant In Periodontal Disease: The Asian Paradox'. Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology 16.3 (2012): 313. Web.

Mahmood, Tariq, and Naveed Akhtar. 'Combined Topical Application Of Lotus And Green Tea Improves Facial Skin Surface Parameters'. Rejuvenation Research 16.2 (2013): 91-97. Web.

Heinrich U, Neukam Ket al. 'Long-Term Ingestion Of High Flavanol Cocoa Provides Photoprotection Against UV-Induced Erythema And Improves Skin Condition In Women'. Journal of Nutrition 136.6 (2006): n. pag. Print.

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  1. Great post, very interesting read :D

  2. I'm addicted to green tea. I love the taste and all its benefits. I also use it to rinse my hair once in a while, it makes them really shiny and hydrated.

    I'm very interested to know how to make the toner and its effects.

    Great post!

    Miss Glamorous Sweatpants


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