As the world’s second-most consumed beverage, tea is one of the most popular ways to quench your thirst. But did you know that drinking tea and using tea-based skin care products can also help support healthy skin?
Cleansers, toners, and lotions with tea extracts have exploded onto the beauty and wellness scene in recent years, and with good reason. Here’s a brief overview of why tea (and tea-based products) should be an essential part of your healthy skin care routine, as well as some skin care tips to get you started.
Tea Is Antioxidant Rich
You’ve probably heard before that tea is rich in antioxidants. What does that mean for your skin? Antioxidants are compounds that slow the process of oxidation, which is a series of chain reactions that produce unstable atoms known as “free radicals”. Free radicals are known to damage cells. Antioxidants can prevent or reduce this damage, leading to healthier skin cells. Antioxidants are produced within the body, but can also be consumed through food and drink.
One antioxidant that is most associated with green tea is EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate). EGCG is a polyphenol, which is a chemical that naturally occurs in plants, and has also been correlated to protection against cancer. Research has indicated that EGCG also repairs DNA and combats signs of aging. Much EGCG is lost in the cultivation of black tea, which is why green tea is better known for its antioxidant properties.
Using tea-infused skin care products is a great way to provide additional antioxidant benefits to your body. The antioxidants in these products are absorbed directly through the skin, speeding up delivery to your skin and further protecting against skin cell damage.
Water may be the first thing you think of as providing hydration, but tea has additional nourishing properties for your skin. Water only replaces lost fluids and provides hydration benefits, which is great. But the antioxidants and flavonoids in tea help prevent cell damage in the body, too, while also being hydrating. Contrary to popular belief, any diuretic effects of tea do not negate its hydrating properties. To reap the full benefits, it’s best to drink tea without adding any sugar. Other skin care tips include using tea topically as part of a moisturizer, oil, or cleanser to hydrate your skin.
Remember the last time you had an itchy bug bite? You may have experienced redness and swelling, which are likely to occur in the skin during inflammation. After your body sustains an injury, inflammation kicks in to promote healing and prevent infections from festering. Inflammation also causes a breakdown of collagen and hyaluronic acid, which give your skin elasticity as well as a healthy glow. Using healthy skin care products made with tea (or placing steeped tea bags on the inflamed area) can help reduce swelling, soothe skin, and reinvigorate that healthy glow!
Taking it a step further, if the body experiences chronic inflammation, the risk of diseases such as cancer, arthritis, and Crohn’s disease becomes much higher. Since tea, especially green tea, is rich in antioxidants, drinking it can boost the immune system to decrease the risk of inflammation or help reduce inflammation after it begins.
Vitamins E and B2
Tea is rich in vitamins, especially Vitamin E and Vitamin B2. Vitamin E works as an antioxidant (there’s that word again!), ridding the body of free radicals while also helping the body absorb other healthy vitamins and minerals within the tea. When applied as part of a skin care product, Vitamin E is also known to provide “photoprotection”--a type of natural barrier against the sun.
Vitamin B12 maintains healthy skin and is helpful for treating conditions such as psoriasis and eczema when used topically. Vitamin B12 can also lessen hyperpigmentation, even out skin tone, and make skin look more radiant.
Although you can get these vitamins through food and drinking tea, another great way to increase your absorption of these vitamins is to use natural skin care products infused with loose leaf tea. Your skin directly absorbs these vitamins for maximum impact!
Caffeine & Tannins
Caffeine might be more associated with coffee and tannins with wine, but both of these are also found in tea. Caffeine is best known for making you more alert when you drink it. What many people don’t know is that it is also excellent for healthy skin.
Caffeine shares many of the same characteristics as antioxidants, and some studies have indicated that caffeine can protect skin cells from UV rays and reduce the risk of skin cancer. In recent years, skin care products have used caffeine or caffeinated products (like tea) for reducing dark circles under the eyes. Black tea has more caffeine than green tea.
Similarly, tannins are antioxidants that come from tree bark and fruit skin, and are highly effective in fighting bacterial infections like acne. Since tannins are also astringent, they will remove excess oil from the skin without drying it out. Tannins are present in tea, as well as common skin care products like witch hazel.
While drinking tea or applying tea skin care products topically both yield positive results, using them together is the best way to protect your skin. Ready to incorporate these tea-based skin care tips into your routine? TEA.L products combine the hydrating and antioxidant rich benefits of tea along with high quality natural oils and extracts. Learn more about our products here.