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All About Green Tea & Your Skin

Whether you’re kicking a coffee habit, or looking for a mild 2 pm pick-me-up, green tea is a lovely beverage known for its fragrance, flavor, and ability to boost focus without causing the jitters.

And since the prevalence of natural skin care, green tea has been a hot topic: while it’s gentle on skin, it can possess a wealth of benefits.

Is green tea the secret to our best skin yet?

Let’s break down what makes green tea so powerful.

What Gives Green Tea its Benefits?

Green tea has been consumed for centuries, and it’s widely recognized as a healthful beverage that’s often associated with clarity, focus, and longevity, and like any great plant-based ingredient, green tea is so much more than what we see with the naked eye. 

Green tea is made up of amino acids, phytonutrients, and perhaps most famously, antioxidants. 

And let’s not forget about caffeine, which can actually do wonders for our skin, believe it or not!

Green tea’s been observed to be highly multifaceted, and it’s been studied as an ingredient to help with conditions like acne, rosacea, and even signs of aging.

So let’s break down how the compounds in green tea help our skin!

Antioxidants: Your Skin’s Shield

You may have heard about how antioxidants are good for you, and that green tea has a lot of them.

But what exactly are antioxidants, and why are they so important for our skin?

Think of antioxidants as your first line of defense against free radicals.

Free radicals are unstable molecules with an unpaired electron, and they’ll try to balance themselves out by pairing off with molecules in our skin. The result of this is what’s known as oxidative stress, and it’s comparable to rust on a bike, or an apple turning brown.

We encounter free radicals in our environment daily, and they’re virtually possible to avoid. 

Luckily, we can use antioxidants to combat oxidative stress in our bodies and on our skin.

Antioxidants are extremely helpful because they neutralize free radicals and prevent further damage. Antioxidants can vary in ability, though, and some can even reverse free radical damage over time

Antioxidants are unique compounds that take many forms, but when it comes to the antioxidants in green tea, we talk about two in particular: polyphenols and EGCG.

Polyphenols: The Plant-Powered Antioxidant

Polyphenols refer to a group of antioxidants found in plant-based foods like green tea, cherries, coffee and cacao, and they’re known for possessing unique defensive properties against not only free radicals, but sun damage as well.

According to a 2010 study, polyphenols have been shown to possess photoprotective properties, which may even help reverse DNA damage caused by UV rays.

Moreover, the polyphenols in green tea possess antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, which can do wonders against acne, and may even help with defense against skin cancer, as noted in this study.

Polyphenols make up a huge group of antioxidants—in fact, there are over 8,000 different types, and one of these subgroups is known as catechins.

But when we talk about the catechins in green tea, we tend to focus on one in particular: EGCG.

EGCG: The Glow Booster

EGCG, or epigallocatechin, is one of the most potent compounds found in green tea, and it’s currently the most widely-researched type of catechin.

And similar to other polyphenols, EGCG is known for its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial abilities, but it’s especially known as an effective topical ingredient reducing oiliness, redness, and acne.

In one study, it was demonstrated that EGCG can work as a gentle, yet effective treatment for acne by easing inflammation, reducing excess sebum production, and by inhibiting the spreading of P. acnes, AKA, the bacteria known for causing acne, in the skin.

EGCG is also a promising anti-aging ingredient. In one study, it was discovered that EGCG can help encourage new skin cells to generate more quickly for a healthier, more luminous glow.

Caffeine: Your Skin’s Ultimate Pick-Me-Up

Aside from the powerful antioxidants in green tea, caffeine also plays an important role in its effectiveness. 

While many of us could (admittedly) use a break from caffeine, our skin can actually benefit from it in a big way.

When caffeine is topically applied to the skin, it’s known to help bolster circulation while tightening the blood vessels to reduce puffiness and swelling.

As a result, green tea is a fantastic ingredient for “waking up” the skin, and it’s why we included it in our classic HD Corrective Concealer + Vitamin C.

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