One of my favorite things to do every day is drink green tea. I love it, especially with jasmine. I’ve been drinking it for years and I don’t think I could go a day without it. I wanted to know more about it: it’s origins, its benefits, and most importantly, can I put it on my face?
Green tea is a popular beverage especially in Asian countries, although for one reason or another, it’s not as popular as black tea. Green tea, black tea, and oolong tea all come from the same plant, Camellia sinensis. All three types of tea contain large quantities of polyphenols which have shown to have antioxidant, anticancer, antibacterial and antiviral properties. This means it could help to keep skin looking and feeling youthful as well as helping to control acne.
The polyphenols in green tea are called catechins. You may have seen the letters EGCG on packages or heard it talked about. That’s because EGCG is the most abundant and active polyphenol in green tea. (Nerd Alert: EGCG stands for EpiGalloCatechin-3-Gallate.) Black and Oolong teas are fermented where Green tea is not. The fermentation process diminishes the antioxidant capacity of the tea.
We’ve been using tea for thousands of years. Its origin can be traced back to China around 2700 BC (or maybe earlier). It has a lot of history behind it and there have been numerous promising studies, but not a lot of clear evidence that it is a miracle and will make us young and beautiful (yet). The studies that have been done show that green tea is best used for prevention of skin damage by decreasing oxidation and inflammation.
I use a product every day that contains green tea. There is evidence that it can help prevent damage and I am all about prevention. What’s the saying . . . “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” If you want to incorporate a skin care product containing green tea here are few key points:
- Look for pumps and/or single use vials/capsules/masks. Green tea is an antioxidant which means oxygen exposure will decrease its effectiveness.
- Look for green tea near the top of the list of ingredients. The United States has labeling laws that require the ingredients to be listed from most to least. If green tea is listed near the end there is likely not enough green tea to have effect. It may be listed as EGCG or camellia sinensis.
- Look for a green color to the product. This is an indicator that there is a lot of green tea as long as it does not have color added.
- Look for other antioxidants in the ingredients list. Research has shown that antioxidants work better when they have a buddy.
- The one green tea product I have used for years and still do is Replenix Power of Three Serum and I love it.
If you are interested in learning more about green tea: