Health Benefits of Green Tea
Are you trying to reverse signs of aging in your skin? Looking to lose some weight? Want to boost your immune system, improve your memory, prevent cancer, and become immortal (That one’s a joke. Mostly)?
Beauty gurus, dieticians and dermatologists alike might tell you that green tea is the answer to all of the above and much more. Green tea is very much enjoying a moment in the spotlight, having been classified as a superfood for some time and now edging into the beauty world. To listen to its devotees talk, there’s nothing that a daily dose of green tea leaves can’t improve.
How Does It Work?
Green tea comes from the camellia plant—an indispensable ingredient in much of Japanese skincare. The thing that makes green tea so special is that it’s loaded with antioxidants. But what do antioxidants do that’s so good for you? Basically, our environment is full of free radicals—that is, pollutants like smoke and chemicals—that find their way into our bodies, especially our skin. Each atom of a free radical molecule has an unpaired electron in its orbital, which makes it unstable and highly reactive. Free radicals can overwhelm the body’s capacity to flush them out and trigger a response called oxidative stress, which can cause all sorts of ailments from premature aging to cancer. A stable antioxidant atom will give one electron to the unstable free radical atom, which neutralizes the molecule and prevents it from damaging the body.
Green tea is a bit of a powerhouse when it comes to both protection and correction, because it’s chock full of antioxidants called catechins, the best known of which is called epigallocatechin gallate (ECGC). ECGC, according to dermatologist Michele Green, has especially potent ability to restore damaged DNA. It also enhances the antioxidizing effects of Vitamins C, which in turn reduces degradation of ECGC, making them a powerfully healthy combination for the skin.
What Are the Benefits?
So what can the antioxidants in green tea do for you? That might depend on how you use it. Most people just put on a kettle and drink it, which has been shown to boost metabolism and the immune system, balance blood sugar levels and reduce cholesterol, and provide energy via a small dose of natural caffeine. Lots of people consume green tea every morning instead of coffee, and find that they’re healthier and happier for it.
But what about skincare? Japanese skin products have used green tea leaves for centuries, and its not hard to see why. Some say the leaf is a panacea for all skin woes, and they might not be far off. It protects against skin damage by UV light, thanks to ECGC’s ability to heal damaged DNA in skin cells. It has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties and reduces sebum production, all of which promote clearer skin. It can soothe eczema and psoriasis and reduce signs of aging like hyperpigmentation and fine lines.
At this point, there has to be a catch, right? Well, not really. Green tea has shown to be nearly universally helpful regardless of skin type, save for people with allergies to it. It’s all natural, totally safe and won’t break the bank. Board-certified dermatologist Christine Choi Kim recommends adding a product with green tea to a balanced skincare regimen of cleansing, toning, protecting and moisturizing, especially if you use other products with antioxidants, which mesh well with green tea and boost its beneficial properties.
So now that we’ve hopefully sold you on the beautifying powers of green tea, keep an eye out! We’re always expanding our stock here at Keshoume and may start selling the green tea product your skincare regimen deserves.
Rowan Thompson - September 7, 2020
Lobo, V, et al. “Free Radicals, Antioxidants and Functional Foods: Impact on Human Health.” Pharmacognosy Reviews, Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd, July 2010, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3249911/.
Metzger, Chloe. “What Do Antioxidants Really Do for Your Skin?” Marie Claire, Marie Claire, 7 Nov. 2018, https://www.marieclaire.com/beauty/a22370309/antioxidants-skin-benefits/.
Sass, Cynthia. “10 Health Benefits of Green Tea, According to a Nutritionist.” Health.com, 27 Aug. 2019, https://www.health.com/food/benefits-green-tea.
Shunatona, Brooke. “Green Tea Is the Superhero Ingredient for Everything From Acne to Anti-Aging.” Byrdie, 29 May 2020, https://www.byrdie.com/green-tea-for-skin-4843092.