Benefits of Green Tea for Skin
The health benefits of green tea are well documented. This antioxidant-packed drink helps fight free radicals, naturally occurring atoms that can cause disease and premature aging. To maximize the many benefits of green tea, you can use it in different ways as a topical treatment for the skin to protect against sun damage, combat signs of aging, treat inflammatory skin conditions and soothe cuts and sunburns.
Topical green tea formulas have been shown to reduce sun damage by neutralizing free radicals and reducing inflammation. However, green tea does not block UV rays so it’s important to use it in conjunction with a sunscreen. For best results, apply a green tea formula under a zinc-oxide-based sunscreen.
Research has shown that green tea can help prevent signs of aging. In a study, the use of a 10 percent green tea cream on subjects with moderate skin damage resulted in improved skin elasticity.
The antioxidants in green tea have anti-inflammatory properties, which can be used to treat skin conditions such as psoriasis, rosacea and inflammatory lesions.
Green tea’s anti-inflammatory properties also make it useful in treating acne. Green tea cream has been found to improve skin complexion while resulting in fewer cases of dry skin or itching than benzoyl peroxide.
Ice cubes made from freshly brewed green tea can be used as a toner. Let the ice thaw slightly before use and then sweep gently over the face after cleansing. Green tea leaves can be used as a gentle exfoliant. A spritzer made with green tea and mineral water can be used to freshen the face, treat minor cuts, soothe sunburn or reduce swelling.
Traditionally, many types of make-up, lotions, creams and beauty preparations have used chemical antioxidants, or vitamins A, C and E as preservatives for their products. Now, with research indicating that green tea has even more antioxidant properties than these powerful vitamins, there is a surge in products capitalising on its natural benefits.
Concentrated green tea extract is simple to make at home and is a flexible addition to both your daily beauty routine and your medicine cabinet.
Simply steep 100g of green tea in half a litre of still mineral water at room temperature for at least one hour. Strain the liquor. It’s better to make small quantities and use it fresh but surplus liquid can be poured into clean, sterilised bottles and refrigerated. The liquid can be used as a spritzer, to freshen up the face, or cotton pads soaked in it can be particularly soothing for tired or strained eyes. It has antiseptic properties, so it can be used to treat minor cuts and rashes, and is surprisingly effective when applied to spots and blemishes.
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