|Best used: AM Or PM
|Caution: Plays well with most
|Best for: Sensitive skin, anti-ageing, inflamed skin
|Comments: Well tolerated organic skin care
|Mode of action: Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory
What is the Skin Science Behind Green Tea?
For all those who are into organic skin care, green tea is a sensible ingredient to add to your routine. This ancient antioxidant can reduce free radical damage to your skin & hence its use in anti-aging. Green tea has a myriad of effects on skin, including antioxidation, anti-bacterial & inflammatory properties, modulation of blood vessels.
What dermatological conditions can green tea treat?
Anti Aging: Protection against UV damage: Green tea contains antioxidants & free radical scavengers, protecting your DNA & collagen
Acne: Catechins & polyphenols are antibacterial & anti-inflammatory in nature. Reduces sebum production (oil), adding to antiacne effects & can potentially reduce enlarged pores.
Dark circles: Caffeine found in green tea acts as a vasoconstrictor, modulating blood flow under the eyes. You can’t get cheaper eye rejuvenation than using 2 tea bags under your eyes.
Oily skin: Green tea has been shown to reduce sebum or oil production in laboratory conditions. Thus it can be a useful adjunct to medically prescribed retinoids .
What are the side effects of green tea?
Green tea has no known side effects. Skin allergies are extremely rare. This plant extract has no photo toxic/ sun reaction properties – unlike lemons, lime, parsley, & celery. The main point to note is that green tea is simply too weak to have any meaningful before & after results.
Can green tea be combined with other skin care products?
Given the low irritation potential of this plant extract, it can be mixed in with other topicals without too much concern. If in doubt, patch test & go slow.
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Can drinking green tea be beneficial to my skin?
Your general practitioner can discuss the role of topical retinoids as adapalene is not available in Australia. Hormone control with the OCP such as Diane, Estelle, Yaz, Yasmin, Juliette, or hormonal control with spironolactone or even cyproterone acetate. Anti-inflammatory antibiotics can be considered. So, when should you consult a medical dermatologist for acne? My guidelines are if you fail to respond to the above, including medical intervention from your GP &/or if you have scarring associated with acne.
Studies comparing the topical versus oral intake of green tea benefits for the skin, has not been performed. Anecdotally I consume at least 3 cups of green tea daily, not because I am into organic medicine, nor organic skin care, but because I like the taste, and most importantly green tea has a lower caffeine content compared to coffee or other teas.
How do I incorporate green tea into my daily skincare routine?
The best way to use green tea as a part of your daily routine depends on the product. As the main function of green tea is to protect your skin against UV & environmental damage, it would be sensible to use this as part of your morning skin care routine. I recommend using green tea combined with other antioxidants such as vitamin B, C & E, which work together synergistically.
Davin’s ProTip on Green Tea
This ingredient is worth a try if you are into botanicals for skin care. The science is there, however I suspect that lab data can’t be translated to reproducible clinical outcomes. The bottom line is that green tea is harmless, however don’t expect this to cure your acne, or magically make that skin cancer disappear. As with all skin care products, give this a go for 6-8 weeks, if you like it & see a difference, stick to it. If not, move on. I am not against any skin care products or ingredients that are safe, if they work or not is another point.
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