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Green Tea: A Health Secret to Revitalize and Heal Your Skin

Updated on June 20, 2011

Green tea for healthy skin

People are increasingly turning to cosmetic surgery and various skin improvement therapies such as laser treatments as well as spending big money on skin care products, all to slow the aging process, look good in an image conscious world and to simply maintain skin health. However, it may be possible to achieve the same goals using an ancient health secret that is surprisingly inexpensive. Green tea is not just another cup of tea you can enjoy in a quiet moment. It is cup full of health benefits including nutrients for the skin. It has been shown to slow the appearance of aging in the skin and improve elasticity, however, its benefits are even more significant than that. Green tea has healing properties and has successfully been used to treat acne, inflammation, and infection.

Green tea is an affordable and palatable way to improve your skin as well as your general health. It is an ideal starting point for treating skin problems and may well mean that more expensive solutions are not necessary. Furthermore, green tea has no risks attached to it which cannot be said for laser treatments, chemical applications or cosmetic surgery. It is also a low cost alternative to expensive skin care products.

Green tea is good for our skin

So, how do we know that green tea is good for our skin? Dr Stephen Hsu, a cell biologist in the Medical College of Georgia Department of Oral Biology found that compounds in green tea called polyphenols not only help to eliminate free radicals, they also safeguard healthy cells while ushering cancer cells to their death. The reason that green tea is so powerful is that it is a potent antioxidant that is rich in polyphenols, particularly epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which fights bacteria and offers twenty times the free ravaging effects of vitamin C. This study also found ECGC reactivated dying skin cells. Furthermore, it was discovered that polyphenols were not absorbed beyond the epidermis so the benefits were limited to the outer layers of the skin.

Dr Hsu also noted potential benefits for skin conditions as diverse as aphthous ulcers, psoriasis, rosascea, wrinkles and wounds. This suggests the need for further research on wider possible uses of green tea in medical treatments. However, some studies have already been conducted that show green tea as a very promising skin treatment. According to a study conducted by Dr Jennifer Gan-Wong of the Memorial Medical Center in the Philippines, green tea topically applied to the skin appears to work as well as benzoyl peroxide to control acne. This was presented to the American Academy of Dermatologists. It was found that green tea effectively reduces inflammation and redness to the skin, detoxifies, speeds healing and even deters hormonal activity shifts to help prevent acne.

Green tea provides protection from sun damage

Green tea has also been studied for its ability to heal sun damaged skin as well as protect skin from sun damage. Animal studies have shown that green tea provides some protection from skin cancer. Furthermore, studies of both human beings and animals indicate that the topical application of green tea individually and in formulation reduces skin damage as a result of sun exposure. Experts conclude that it provides protection from sun damage by not only reducing inflammation but also stopping free radicals in their tracks. Some people suggest that green tea should be used in conjunction with a sunscreen to maximize sun protection.

There is also strong evidence that green tea can slow down the signs of aging as a result of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Some doubt has been cast as to whether green tea can reduce wrinkles and skin sagging, however studies have shown that elasticity of skin tissue showed substantial improvement after treatment with a combination of 10% green tea cream and oral supplementation with green tea. This result certainly suggests that green tea can tighten skin, improve its youthfulness and therefore tighten sagging and wrinkled skin.

So how do you go about using green tea in your skin care regime?

So how do you go about using green tea in your skin care regime? Firstly, drink a few cups every day instead of coffee or other drinks. If you really don't like green tea you can take the extract in capsule form. By consuming green tea, the polyphenols can reach the skin through your bloodstream, however you will need to consistently take the green tea orally every day in order to make a difference. You will also find that by drinking green tea every day your overall health will improve. As well as polyphenols, green tea contains Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin A and tannin. It has long been used in traditional Indian and Chinese medicine as a stimulant, astringent (for wound healing and to control bleeding), diuretic and cardiovascular tonic. You'll clearly benefit in a lot more ways than simply an improvement to your skin.

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Applying green tea topically can improve the appearance of your skin

Applying green tea topically in a cream or a lotion as a part of your skin care routine can improve the appearance of your skin and slow down the signs of aging. Unfortunately, it may not be as simple to get good results this way as one might think. The reason for this is that green tea antioxidants become oxidized upon exposure to air. The ability for commercial products to reduce this tendency and maintain the effectiveness of the polyphenols is uncertain and is likely to vary from product to product. You may need to test the results of a few different creams before settling on one.

One of the most useful applications of green tea for skin care is for sun protection. Since the actions of green tea on skin damage have been well documented, adding a green tea formulation under a zinc oxide-based sunscreen can enhance sun protection and reduce the risk of skin cancer. It is important to choose a sunscreen that is zinc oxide-based because zinc oxide is inert and will not react with green tea.

Western medicine and biochemistry is only just beginning to discover the health benefits of green tea, but they have long been known by other cultures. For the greatest overall benefit, try to add green tea to your daily diet and drink it regularly. Ultimately, health and beauty comes from the inside out. For topical applications, do some research and try to find what works for you. However, if you choose to only use a topical application, you will miss out on the amazing benefits that drinking green tea can give you.


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    faith 8 years ago

    i drink very often and i feel in general better.i feel it makes my skin glow,although you have to drink 2 or 3 months every day to see a big improvement

  • profile image

    Green Tea 8 years ago

    green tea protects the skin from the harmful effects of free radicals, which cause wrinkling and skin aging. Green tea also helps fight against skin cancer.

  • ebourne profile image

    ebourne 9 years ago from Washington, D.C.

    I drink green tea almost every day, but I never thought of putting it on my skin. Must try this. Cool hub.