The Benefits of Green Tea
Green Tea Extract: Your Best Kept Secret
One of the most powerful antioxidants in the world are polyphenols which are found in tea, more specifically, green tea. The story of green tea and its use is steeped in rich history, ceremony and tradition. Green tea, is the product of the Camellia sinensis plant, has been used for health, beauty and ceremonial purposes for centuries. Many of the ancient, time honored ceremonies focused on green tea symbolize purity, harmony and tranquility. When used as a skin tonic, green tea also brings those qualities of purity, harmony and balance to your skin. Green tea and the extract derived from the Camellia sinensis plant are among the most amazing skin care ingredients available anywhere.
Green tea is such a powerful health and beauty tonic that it is known in some cultures as “liquid jade.” Green tea, and the extract that is derived from it, is naturally high in antioxidants, which are vital for skin health and beauty. The most important antioxidant in green tea is a catechin called epigallocatechin gallate, also referred to as EGCG. While all types of tea contain this catechin, along with several others, green tea beats out both black and white teas in terms of potency. When compared to black tea, green tea has more than six times the antioxidant levels. Studies show that the antioxidants in green tea have protective effects against cellular damage and free radicals. If you are interested in reaping the benefits of green tea, you can drink several cups a day, look for green tea supplements or seek out beauty products that take advantage of the healing properties of green tea by adding luxurious green tea extract to their ingredient list.
If you are curious about the scientific proof of the benefits of green tea extract, especially concerning your skin health and beauty, here are a few examples of evidence-based claims.
- One of the most interesting studies looked at forty women with moderate levels of skin photo aging. One group was given a green tea supplement along with green tea infused cream. The other group was given placebo products. At the end of the study, skin biopsies of the women who were given the green tea products showed significantly increased elasticity, whereas the placebo group showed no improvement.
- In a 2009 test tube study, green tea was shown to inhibit collagenase and elastase, two enzymes that break down the support matrix of the skin, primarily collagen.
- Some promising animal studies have shown that green tea offers some protection against skin cancer. When looking towards human studies, green tea has been shown to significantly reduce damage that has been caused by overexposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun.
- A study that looked at a group of light skinned women from Germany measured the effects of green tea consumption and measured against skin damage that occurred in a period of time after sun exposure. Women who consumed green tea were shown to have reduced negative after effects from UV radiation.
- Green teas anti-inflammatory properties have been shown to reduce redness and swelling associated with acne.
In addition to its antioxidant content, green tea is rich in B vitamins, folate, magnesium, caffeine, enzymes and amino acids, all of which are important for healthy skin. Here are six ways that green tea and green tea skin care products can help to restore and maintain beautifully radiant and healthy skin.
- Green tea fights the first subtle signs of aging. As we begin to age, collagen begins to break down. Collagen is important for maintaining elasticity and the structural matrix of the skin. The antioxidants in green tea help to fight the enzymes that are responsible for collagen loss. Fine little wrinkles and newly sagging skin are signs that collagen is beginning to break down. Green tea can help strengthen the structure of your skin and reduce the first visible signs of aging.
- Green tea improves skin tone and complexion. Green tea and the anti-inflammatory properties that it brings with it help to reduce redness, swelling and the visible appearance of blemishes and acne scars.
- Green tea helps to heal and prevent acne. Green tea has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, both of which are important for healing acne. Furthermore, the catechins in green tea help to regulate hormonal imbalances, which are very often a precursor to acne breakouts.
- Green tea for skin can help reduce dark under eye circles and puffiness. The tannins and vitamin K in green tea work to constrict the tiny blood vessels under the skin which are responsible for the appearance of pesky dark under eye circles. The same mechanisms that work to reduce the dark circles are also responsible for gently calming the swelling that occurs in the gentle under eye area.
- Green tea offers natural protection against the sun’s damaging effects. There is a twofold approach has to how this works. First of all, the antioxidants in green tea fight off the damaging free radicals that are a product of sun damage. While this is happening, the tannic acid in green tea helps to soothe and repair sun damaged skin when applied topically.
- Green tea can reduce the appearance of enlarged pores. Green tea has astringent properties that help to shrink pore openings. This results in a smoother appearance of the skin. However, more important that a smoother complexion is the fact that by reducing pore openings, less bacteria, dirt and debris is going to enter into the pores. This means fewer breakouts and less skin infections that can cause scarring.
This all sounds great and you are ready to get on board and take advantage of the beautifying effects of green tea, right? There are several ways that green tea can be used to your advantage; you can drink it, supplement with it and apply it topically to your skin. The method you choose is highly individual and will likely depend a lot upon your personal lifestyle. Some people love drinking tea, while others loathe it. Some people have a strict routine of supplements, while others just don’t see the point. Most people will be able to find quality skin care products that contain green tea within a variety of price points, making it accessible as a cosmetic ingredient to most everyone. My best advice is to take multiple approaches that fit in naturally with your lifestyle.
I find there is something soothing and restorative about a warm cup of green tea. It regenerates and heals the body and soul. If you are drinking green tea for health benefits, you need to be aware that one cup a day may not be enough. Some experts recommend that you drink as much as three to ten cups a day, which in many cultures is the norm. In America, we tend to consume this much coffee and soda rather than tea. So, if drinking that much tea seems like an unachievable task, keep in mind that the average coffee or tea mug is actually close to twice the size of a regular serving of tea. Have a cup of green tea in the morning, and then try replacing one to two of your other beverages during the day with green tea, either hot or cold, and you will easily meet the three to ten cup recommendation. After all, the key is finding a simple beauty regimen that works for you.
Green tea is a popular ingredient in anti-aging skincare products, and with good reason. The benefits of green tea for skin make it an excellent component to products that are designed to renew and protect the skin, as well as maintain the underlying structural integrity. Most skin care products that contain green tea use a pure extract that was derived from the plant. This extract is often very concentrated and therefore can be added in minute amounts while still providing the powerful antioxidant benefits. Green tea extract can be found in cleansers, moisturizers, serums, creams and products designed to target specific skin issues such as discoloration and fine lines. There are plenty of lesser quality options available that contain harsh ingredients that counteract the healing properties of green tea, in addition to irritating fragrance additives that are meant to simulate the scent of green tea. Choose products that favor other natural ingredients that compliment green tea’s healing and restorative properties.
OZ Naturals is proud to include purely distilled green tea extract in many of our anti-aging skincare products. You will see this remarkable ingredient (listed as Camellia sinensis leaf extract) in our:
- Hyaluronic Acid Serum
- Vitamin C Facial Serum
- Pro-Retaxinol Retinol Serum
- Vitamin C Cleanser
- Super Youth Retinol Moisturizer
- Sea Infused Moisturizer
- Olive & Jojoba Oil Body Souffle
- Sweet Almond & Macadamia Nut Body Butter
- Ancient Orient Enzyme Dermafoliant
- Vitamin C + Sea Hydration Mask
You can also make simple homemade green tea preparations to add to your skin care routine. Here are just a few ideas.
- Make a soothing tonic out of brewed green tea. Simply brew a cup of green tea and then transfer it to a clean bottle and keep it stored in the refrigerator. It can be used as a tonic to soothe irritated skin, remove excess oil and tighten pores to give your skin a more refreshed and smooth appearance.
- Make a green tea exfoliating scrub. Take dry green tea leaves and mix them with Dead Sea salt, olive oil and honey to create one of the most skin smoothing, luxurious scrubs available.
- Mix green tea with therapeutic or cosmetic grade clay to add antioxidant properties to a facial mask.
- Dilute freshly brewed green tea with an equal amount of water and apply it to acne pimples to help reduce redness, swelling and the risk of infection.
- Make an age defying facial mask by taking green tea and grinding it to a fine powder. Add in just enough olive or coconut oil to make a paste. Apply the mask to the areas of your face that are beginning to show the first signs of aging.
- Quickly eliminate under eye circles and puffiness by keeping a couple brewed green tea bags in the refrigerator. Place them on your eyes, lay back and relax for 10-15 minutes. You will both look and feel refreshed.
Tea is one of most widely consumed beverages in the world, coming in second only to water. The healing effects of tea have been known for centuries and the beauty secrets found in the delicate steamy brew have been handed down through generations. The beauty of ceremony and history remain, but the secrets of green tea’s effect on the skin have been released and shared with the world. Green tea’s beautifying traits are supported by generations of women and men of many cultures, and more recently by science. Green tea is just one more example of how we can be our most beautiful selves when we trust in Mother Nature and what she provides.
-- Angela Irish, Certified Aesthetician & Co-Founder OZNaturals