3 Reasons Why You Need Green Tea In Your Skincare Routine For Younger-Looking Skin

by Gio
3 reasons to add green tea to your skincare routine

You know when something tastes like crap but you force yourself to drink it anyway because it’s healthy?

That was my relationship with green tea until I met Pukka. I don’t know how they do it but they managed to get rid of that bitter herbal flavour that puts me (and a lot of you) off it.

I’m thrilled they did because green tea is an anti-aging elixir. It keeps wrinkles off your face, gives your sunscreen a boost and even tones redness down a notch or two.

It works just as well in skincare too. Here’s why you should add green tea to your skincare routine:

What Is Green Tea?

Green tea is derived from the evergreen shrub Camellia Sinesis plant (that’s how it disguises itself on the label, by the way). The same plant also gives us black tea and oolong tea, but through different processes. Green Tea is made by steaming and drying the leaves.

What Does Green Tea Do For Skin?

Green tea is one of my fave antioxidants. It tackles both wrinkles and acne. Here’s how:


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1. Green Tea Has Anti-Aging Properties

Green Tea is rich in polyphenols, a group of antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties. Polyphenols do double duty: they destroy free radicals and soothe the inflammation that generates them in the first place.

Translation: green tea neutralises free radicals BEFORE they give you wrinkles and dark spots.

The most powerful polyphenol in green tea is called Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (I know, it’s a mouthful!). It’s said to be 200 more effective than Vitamin E!

Related: What Does Vitamin E Do For Your Skin?

2. Green Tea Reduces Sun Damage

My fave green tea superpower? This little plant can reduce sun damage.

Studies show that “green tea polyphenols are photoprotective” and that applying them to your skin can help reduce inflammation and redness caused by sun exposure.

In particular, polyophenols prevent UVB-induced oxidative stress (the kind that causes wrinkles and cancer) and the depletion of your skin’s natural antioxidant force. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate goes the extra mile: it also prevents collagen breakdown.

Green tea is not a natural sunscreen, but it definitely helps give your sunscreen a boost.

Related: How Do Antioxidants Work?

3. Green Tea Reduces Acne

Turns out, green tea can help give acne the boot, too.

A 2009 study shows that a 2% Green Tea Lotion is an effective treatment for mild to moderate acne. After using the lotion twice a day for 6 weeks, patients reported that “the mean total lesion count decreased from 24 before the treatment to 10 after 6 weeks after treatment, a reduction of 58.33%”.

I wouldn’t use it as the only anti-acne treatment simply because it’s very rare to find this much green tea in any skincare products. But it should definitely be part of your anti-acne arsenal.

Related: Adult Acne: Why It Happens And How To Treat It

What Are The Best Skincare Products With Green Tea?

  • Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum ($80.00): available at Cult BeautySephora and SpaceNK
  • MD SolarSciences Mineral Creme Broad Spectrum SPF 50 UVA-UVB Sunscreen ($30.00): available at at Dermstore and Sephora.
  • Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum With Retinol ($34.00): available at  Dermstore and Paula’s Choice

Does Green Tea Have Any Side Effects?

Nope. Unless you’re allergic to it, green tea is safe to use for everyone.

The Bottom Line

Green tea is one of the most powerful antiaging weapons in your arsenal. It prevents wrinkles, fights sun damage and even boosts your acne. Drink your daily dose and give your skin its fix too.

Do you use skincare products with Green Tea? Share your faves in the comments below.

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24 comments

xin February 7, 2012 - 1:41 pm

I love green tea! I am a regular drinker,especially after a meal with oily food. however, I don’t have any skincare with green tea, not sure if they really work on skin.

beautifulwithbrains February 7, 2012 - 7:13 pm

Xin, I like to drink green tea. It tastes nice and it works for you. And it works even on skin, as long as the concentration is high enough. It’s an antioxidant, though, so you’ll see the effects in the long run as it prevents damage rather than reducing wrinkles.

Vonnie (socialitedreams) February 7, 2012 - 1:41 pm

i never knew about the “make sure it looks brown” tip, good to know! i’ve been using weak green tea stuff apparently

beautifulwithbrains February 7, 2012 - 7:16 pm

Vonnie, oh no! That’s a mistake I made too though. Sadly it’s hard for the consumers to determine how much of an ingredient is in a product and how it will work. But thanks to Dr Baumann we now know better.

Alejandra February 7, 2012 - 6:17 pm

Great article Gio, Im glad you give us information about the effective concentrations of green tea cause its common to hear “this ingredient is good for the skin” but Im always wondering about the minimum amounts to have a benefical effect on the skin.

Im using a serum which third ingredient is green tea leaf extract but its an opaque and translucent yellow, it has a particular smell that i thought it was from green tea but now I dont know what to think……

beautifulwithbrains February 7, 2012 - 7:26 pm

Alejandra, thanks. I’m glad you found the article useful. Using if an ingredient is listed in third place it means there is quite a lot of it, but it may still not be enough to be effective. The smell may be well green tea though.

Chriselle Sy February 7, 2012 - 10:55 pm

I personally haven’t used much products with green tea, nor do I drink green tea much myself. I don’t really know why especially because I know about all the benefits of green tea especially when it comes to beauty. I gave a cream a chance once but didn’t see much effect from it so maybe that’s one reason!

beautifulwithbrains February 8, 2012 - 9:24 am

Chriselle, maybe the cream you use didn’t contain a high enough concentration of green tea to be effective? Also, because it is an antioxidant, you will see the effects in the long run and not straight away. You can always drink it though, it’s really lovely!

Makeup Morsels February 8, 2012 - 6:40 am

Really interesting, people always talk about how green tea is good and has antioxidants, but not so much what it actually does. I love drinking green tea, but maybe I should strain the tea bags a second time, and use the leftovers as a toner or mask or something. Great post 🙂

beautifulwithbrains February 8, 2012 - 9:20 am

Makeup Morsels, I’m glad you enjoyed the post. We all know that green tea is good for us but it’s interesting to know exactly how, isn’t it? And it’s good that it’s effective both when drank and applied topically. 🙂

Amanda February 9, 2012 - 12:27 pm

That’s why I always prefer skincare products with green tea as a base rather than water 🙂

beautifulwithbrains February 9, 2012 - 1:44 pm

Amanda, those are very nice indeed. 🙂

Mylanqolia February 11, 2012 - 1:47 pm

I hardly use products with green tea ingredients. I don’t think that they can provide 100%. If my skin behaves bonkers I keep the tea bags (I luv drinking it!) to use them for a fast skin treatment mask.

beautifulwithbrains February 11, 2012 - 6:38 pm

Mylanqolia, green tea products are effective, if they contain a high enough concentrations of it. But even though it’s an effective antioxidant, it’s not a miracle ingredient. That’s why I think it is a good idea to incorporate it in your skincare routine, but not rely solely on it and use products with other antioxidants, niacinamide and other beenficial ingredients.

roxana February 18, 2012 - 10:05 pm

i am sorry for trolling on your old posts but i discovered your blog today so i thought ill read more from it as i find it very intresting.The thing about green tea is that i realized when i drink few cups a day i lose weight..i didnt eat anything less and i drank 2 cups a day for 2 weeks and i was 3 lbs lighter and when i diet,t helps ,i lose weight much faster.Also when i rinse my face with handmade green tea(make in a bottle and keep it in fridge for 3 days tops) it helps my skin,soothes and less breakouts.But when it comes of a cream having green tea..i dont even know what to say.I used a eye cream with lots of green tea in and it was nice

beautifulwithbrains February 19, 2012 - 1:23 pm

Roxana, I’m glad that you’ve found my blog and that you like it. I enjoy reading all your comments and I hope to see you around often in the future. 🙂

Green Tea is really nice, isn’t it? I think its benefits are more obvious when you drink it than when you apply it on the skin. The problem with creams with green tea is that they often don’t contain it in amounts high enough to be effective. That’s why it’s important to make sure they are brown in color. That means the concentration is high enough to actually be effective. 🙂

roxana February 19, 2012 - 2:09 pm

i added your blog to my favorites,so ill be around ,i really like it.And is really nice that u take time to read and reply to all the coments.I became a fan of this blog

beautifulwithbrains February 19, 2012 - 6:44 pm

Roxana, I’m so glad to hear that. Thanks for your support, I really appreciate it.

And I love chatting with you all. 🙂

Ana April 25, 2017 - 9:30 pm

Just had a cup of green tea ? Does it help reduce belly fat?

Gio April 29, 2017 - 1:11 pm

Ana, there are some studies that show it helps… a tiny little bit. It’s not a substitute for exercise, unfortunately. 🙁

Amanda May 15, 2017 - 1:20 am

I like to drink green tea, and also use it as a toner and on my scalp. I put it in a spray bottle and spray it on my skin. Thanks for this lovely and informative post.

Gio May 21, 2017 - 10:15 am

Amanda, green tea is such a multitasker, isn’t it?

Best Drugstore Moisturizer for Oily Skin? iWhite Aqua Whitening Vita Moisturizer Review – broke but beauty November 26, 2017 - 1:22 pm

[…] Green tea leaf extract. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. […]

Elissa July 14, 2019 - 5:20 pm

I use amore pacific from Korea. Loaded with green tea and bamboo sap

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