Intelligent Ingredients: Green Tea

green tea skin benefits

Until a few weeks ago, you could have not convinced me to drink a cup of green tea, even if you paid me. There are only a few edible things on earth whose taste I do not like (the first one being okra, gagging as I think about it). Green tea, sadly belongs to the list. However, after reading about the well-researched skin benefits of drinking green tea, I have decided not only to commit to drinking it, but to use it as much as possible on my skin, too.

The first thing I learned is that green tea polyphenols have anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties. Polyphenols are powerful antioxidants, which according to scientists, neutralize free radicals that have been attributed to accelerating premature aging. Polyphenols’ antioxidant power is thought to be even more powerful than Vitamin C. To be slightly more specific, it is the EGCG  compound contained in green tea that has been shown to potentially help with the healing of skin conditions, such as psoriasis, rosacea, wrinkles (*cough, cough*) and wounds.

In addition to being anti-inflammatory, green tea polyphenols (GTP) have also been studied for their photo-protecting and photo-repairing properties. Evidence has suggested that GTP are effectively photo-protective and can be used to prevent UVB, light-induced skin disorders (dark spots, photo-aging). A more recent study investigated the skin benefits of drinking green tea for 12 weeks and the results showed that it effectively protected the skin from photo-damage.

Well, now you know why I consume something that belongs to my hard-to-swallow edibles category and why I am literally obsessing over it.

Drinking green teas

The Teatox Company Daytime Detox Review

My favorite way to drink green tea these days has been the Teatox Daytime Detox Tea and the Teatox Daily Balance Tea that I reviewed last week (you can read the full review here). These are very good because they contain Green Tea, but do not overpower you with it. It is a great option if you also do not like the bitter taste of Green tea.

Eden Genmaicha Green tea with Roasted Brown Rice. This has an interesting flavor. The roasted brown rice makes the Green tea flavor less bitter. I only add a little honey to sweeten it, and it tastes pretty good.

Kusmi Green Tea. I have yet to try Kusmi green tea, but I have my eye on the pretty Green Teas Gift Set. It comes with 5 mini tins of flavored green tea, and the flavors are pretty intriguing: Almond Green Tea?! Yep, that’s something I need to try.

You can also browse a large selection of green teas on Vitacost.

Skincare products that contain green tea

Topical application of green tea on the skin is also beneficial. However, according to Dr. Hsu and his studies the benefits, although significant, are only limited to the epidermis (the outer layer of the skin). Below I listed some skincare products that contain green tea. I listed the ones I have already used first (click on the names to read individual reviews), and then the ones that contain green tea but I have not tried yet and are on my list to try.

YULI Skincare Pure Mask. This has been my go-to face mask for some time. It contains Biophotonic Matcha: green tea leaves are treated with biophotonic technology in order to increase the concentration of the antioxidant, ECGC. My favorite pampering combo is a scoop of Pure Mask mixed with a few drops of YULI Halcyon cleanser. It creates a fluid paste that goes on smooth and rinses off quickly. It purifies the skin without irritating it like many clay-based masks do. 

Suntegrity Unscented Body Sunscreen with SPF30 & Suntegrity 5 in 1 Tinted Sunscreen. Being that GTP is an effective natural alternative for photoprotection, I was happy to find out that a couple of my favorites sunscreen products from Suntegrity contain green tea leaf extract. Green tea, combined with 20% non-nano, zinc-oxide make these two products effective at preventing sun damage. I will review both very soon, but in the meanwhile you can find them here.

Tata Harper Lip Treatment. This is a lip treatment/tinted balm that has a lovely silky texture. You can read my full review here.

More skincare products containing green tea:

Green Tea Skincare

1. Odacite Mint & Green Tea Pore Purifying Toner Mist & Odacite Green Tea Lemongrass Serum Concentrate. (Fellow Europeans! you can find Odacite at Cult Beauty)

2. Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator & Josh Rosebrook Active Enzyme Exfoliator;

3. Kahina Giving Beauty Eye Cream;

4. Kypris Clearing Serum;

5. Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Vitamin C Serum.


Makeup products that contain green tea

W3LL People Makeup

How cool is to know that even our makeup may provide some real skin benefits?!

W3LL People Bio Brightener Powder. This is on my list to purchase ASAP (ASAP… like this week). Before I read that it contained green tea, I read many positive reviews for it. It is supposed to set the makeup in place, prevent the skin from shining (aka getting oily) thanks to silica, and give an overall glowing effect thanks to serecite and mica. All while providing the complexion with calming ingredients like aloe, chamomile, and of course, green tea. Impressive presentation, huh? I will let you know how it goes.

W3LL People Makeup. As I was looking up the Bio Brughtener Powder, I realized that most W3LL People makeup products contain green tea, so I now plan to expand my W3LL People makeup collection.

Vapour Organic Beauty Lipstick. I haven’t reviewed any Vapour Siren Lipstick in a while, but they are excellent (you can read my review of one of my favorites shades, Chere, here).

Drink it, put it on your face, bathe in it if you can.

  • Fern

    I recently discovered green tea, too. I had recently ordered a sample pack of tea from a company that works with family farmers in China, Verdant Tea. I had memories of bitter, earthy green tea, so I was super hesitant to try it. I was very pleasantly surprised when the green tea tasted bright and almost fruity. I think it’s the quality of the tea that can make the difference! This post was very timely for me – thanks for posting!

  • Jessica

    Oh! Love this Intelligent Ingredients! I love green tea on my skin because it seems to be an instant anti inflammation ingredient. The biophoto Matcha in the YULI mask is incredible, I think the process also increases Vitamin C and A, I have been using it for 2 months, each time feeling remarkable.

  • Laura

    Hi have you tried japanese sencha? It is very mild, almost flowery. Green tea is like wine, there are lots of varieties. Also with green tea, never use boiling water – wait until it has cooled down a bit then pour… Makes a huge difference! Green tea with jasmine is also a nice drink that does wonders. Last but not least, I alsk like matcha tea with raw almond milk…have you tried it?

  • Wonderland Organics

    So happy to see your post on green tea! The benefits are amazing, and I love drinking my high altitude tea from Taiwan :) if it’s too bitter, it might be because it’s been brewed for too long- no more than two minutes. The Eden Genmaicha sounds wonderful, I will definitely check it out! -Alice from Wonderland Organics

  • Juliet

    Like you, I’m not a green tea fan. I was wondering if I can add squeezed lemon into it? Will the addition of lemon mess with the polyphenols/EGCG compounds? Combining the two could kill two birds with one stone by combining my daily green tea with my morning warm water + lemon ritual (another thing I drink, but hate)!

  • lynne

    I love green tea! Have you tried jasmine green tea balls? The taste is more floral and sweet, maybe more to your liking. Also green tea leaves are much more fragile than black tea, so if you steep them for too long, or if you burn them in boiling water, the tea will taste more bitter. I buy from Silk Road Teas, they are having a sale this weekend. I also find that loose tea tends to be better quality than tea bags. Enjoy:)

  • Interesting! I usually find green tea to be delicate unless it has been steeped for too long. But I suppose those are the more Asian varieties of green tea. I love the idea of having green in skincare/makeup though!

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