You know that drinking green tea is beneficial to your health. But what about using it on your skin? You might be surprised to learn that the antioxidant benefits green tea delivers internally can also be reaped when the ingredient is used topically. Green tea’s healing properties can be used to combat acne, infection, inflammation and more.
Ingredient guru and Paula’s Choice founder Paula Begoun says, “Green tea is an extensively studied ingredient that has potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and collagen-stimulating benefits!” Paula’s Choice uses green tea extract in a number of its products. One of my favorites is the fragrance-free RESIST Optimal Results Hydrating Cleanser ($16.95) for normal to dry skin. This creamy cleanser hydrates, protects and nourishes the skin, yet it is thorough enough to remove makeup.
For normal to oily skin (or for very hot weather), I love the all-natural ThermaSkin Facial Cleanser ($12.99) available at Greensations. This foamy cleanser uses capsaicin pepper extract and green tea to carefully cleanse and protect the skin. The unique self-foaming dispenser allows for a deep clean, but the formula contains no harsh foaming ingredients.
For deeper cleaning two to three times per week, I love the all-natural Regenerative Green Tea Masque ($29.50) from Kohana Skin in Hawaii. In addition to kaolin clay for an absorbing cleanse and green tea for nourishment and protection, this mask is packed with ingredients that would make a tasty compote: cranberry, rosehip, blueberry and even red wine. According to the company, the mask “gives your skin a fighting chance against the elements, age and the harm the sun does to your skin.” (Get Kohana Skin coupons.)
Kohana Skin founder Christie Wanlass adds: “Kohana Skin uses antioxidant-rich green tea, which is found all over the Hawaiian Islands. Green tea is reputed to help protect the skin from aging and damage from the sun, and it also offers natural anti-inflammatory benefits that improve overall skin condition.”
Become Beauty harnesses the power of green tea in its Age ResistantBody Scrub ($22). “The polyphenols in the tea act as free radical scavengers soaking up these unstable molecules before they can damage the collagen layer,” says a rep from Become Beauty. This is a wonderful treatment to do in the morning. Organic crushed prune kernels will slough off dead surface cells while orange oil and sweet mint invigorate the skin and refresh the senses.
One of my other green tea favorites is the Paula’s Choice Extra Care Moisturizing Sunscreen SPF 30 ($7.48), which is a broad-spectrum sunscreen for both face and body. Because green tea is a powerful antioxidant, it’s a great addition to a sunscreen product, packing an extra punch against environmental damage. This hydrating cream is water resistant, so it’s perfect for the beach. But it’s lightweight texture makes it ideal for under-makeup use as well.