Green tea isn’t the only anti aging superstar in the tea family. Rumour has it, its posh cousin white tea does a better job at keeping those wrinkles away from your face.
It doesn’t get the job as often because it charges a higher price. Putting green tea in your lotions and potions is just cheaper.
But what are you missing out on when you go with green tea rather than white tea? Should you bother hunting down skincare products with white tea? Science says yes. Here’s why:
What is white tea?
Just like green tea, white tea is derived from the Camellia Sinesis plant, an evergreen shrub. But, the two are made with different processes.
Green tea is made by steaming and drying the leaves of this plant. On the other hand, only young tea leaves or buds are used to make white tea. These young leaves are slightly steamed immediately after harvest and the sun dried.
This makes white tea the least processed type of tea. You know what this means? Its antioxidant content is VERY high. Way higher than green and black teas.
What does white tea do?
White tea is rich in catechins, a group of antioxidants that fights wrinkles and keeps them off your face.
A 2009 study confirms this. The researchers tested 21 plants extracts and found that white tea has the highest activity both as an antioxidant and as an inhibitor of key MMP subtypes.
You already know what an antioxidant is, so let’s decipher the last part of this hieroglyphic. MMP are a group of enzymes that break down damaged or worn out structural proteins (like collagen and elastin) and help wounds heal faster.
But when their levels get too high – something that naturally happens as you get older – trouble starts. Too many MMP have the opposite effect and degrade collagen and elastin, leading to wrinkles and sagging. That’s where white tea comes in. Its job as inhibitor of MMP means it can keep them at a non-dangerous level.
White Tea has one more job: it helps protect your skin from sun damage. Another 2009 study found that “topical application of green and white tea offered protection against detrimental effects of UV on cutaneous immunity. There was no significant difference in the levels of protection afforded by the two agents.”
In other words, while white tea is a better antioxidant than green tea, they both protect you from sun damage equally well. But, neither is a substitute for sunscreen!
Related: Spotlight On Green Tea
What Are The Best Skincare Products With Green Tea?
- Andalou Naturals Acai + White Tea Oil-Free Moisturizer ($17.46): white tea + kombucha tea + antioxidants. Available at Walmart.
- Anthony Logistics For Men Advanced Formula Lip Balm SPF 25 Mint And White Tea ($7.50): white tea + shea butter + antioxidants. (Women can use it too!). Available at Ulta.
- Topic Replenix AE Dermal Reconstructing Therapy ($120.00): white tea + peptides + antioxidants. Available at Skinstore.
Green tea is a powerful antioxidant but white tea is even better. If you plan to add tea to your skincare routine, it’s worth your while to track down products with white tea. Bonus point if they include green tea too. 🙂
Do you use skincare products with white tea? Share your fave picks in the comments below.