Drinking green tea provides a lot of health benefits primarily because it is packed full of antioxidants. You see, green tea is made from Camellia Sinensis leaves and hasn’t gone through all oxidation processes its counterparts (black tea, oolong tea) have gone through. This helps it retain its antioxidants benefits. With green tea going through the barest minimum of processing, it has a high amount of catechins and polyphenols.
Before we go into how beneficial green tea is for your skin, let’s mention some of the other benefits of drinking green tea.
- It helps prevent cancer
- It helps with weight loss
- It helps lower the risk of diabetes
- It helps regulate blood pressure
- It helps improve brain health
So how does green tea tie in with beauty?
When used orally and topically, you stand a chance of benefiting a great deal from green tea.
It is loaded with antioxidants. Antioxidants help us fight oxidants that can cause damage to cells and tissues, which ultimately lead to ageing of the skin. So, what the antioxidant in green tea does is to counter the effect of free radicals from our body and stop them in their tracks before they cause oxidative damage.
It has anti-inflammatory properties. Due to its high content of polyphenols, green tea helps to heal wounds, calm redness, it also helps reduce acne and blackheads when applied topically.
Drinking green tea and applying it topically on your skin can help protect against sun damage (you still need your sunscreen though!). This is due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Applying a cold green tea bag on your eyes helps diminish dark circles and helps reduce puffiness around your eyes.
Tip: Put 2 green tea bags in hot water for 3-5 minutes, then put the tea bags in the fridge for about 20 minutes to cool. When the tea bags are cool enough, place over your eyes for about 15-20 minutes.
Using green tea as an astringent helps to tighten and refine skin.
You can add green tea extracts to your existing mask, or make a green tea mask by adding other natural ingredients like lemon and honey.
Don’t overdo it
Okay… so green tea is a super tea, and we all should be drinking it! However, make sure to not overdo it as with everything in life. 2-3 cups a day is fine. Drinking excessive quantities could have some adverse effects due to the presence of caffeine in it. However, do not be alarmed because the caffeine is in small amounts and not in any way near what you’ll find in coffee, but it adds up if you’re drinking a lot of it.
Additionally, drink green tea with caution when pregnant because if you drink it in excess it may hinder your body from absorbing folic acid, which is very essential in pregnancy especially in the first trimester.
Finally, it is advised that you ditch drinking green tea with your meals and opt to drink it in between meals. The reason is that green tea makes it difficult for your body to absorb iron from foods.
To get the maximum benefits of drinking green tea, DO NOT add milk as adding milk could compromise the nutrients and make it taste weird. If you can’t really get into the taste, you could add some honey, ginger, mint leaves or lemon.