There is so much information about the benefits of green tea for overall good health. Most of them focus on the internal benefits of this delicious, relaxing beverage. Other benefits that are not so obvious are the ways in which green tea can help your body externally.
Green tea, like black tea, comes from the plant, Camellia sinensis. Unlike black teas, however, the leaves of green tea are not fermented or aged before they are steamed and dried, and so they are fresher.
One of the most important aspects of green tea, like black tea, coffee, and red wine is that they all contain large quantities of polyphenols. Polyphenols are a group of bioflavonoids that researchers have found which have antioxidant, anticancer, antibacterial, and antiviral properties within them. What this means in terms of skin care is that free radicals, cells or molecules that are missing an electron and are considered unstable. At any given time, free radicals can form in your skin. This happens because of exposure to UV radiation from the son when you don’t use sunscreen, for example, and can cause premature aging and even some forms of pre-cancer of the skin.
Over the years, there have been several scientific studies on the benefits of green tea extract on the skin. Several of these studies evidenced that green tea extract showed the ability to neutralize much of the damage that was caused by exposure to the UV rays of the sun. In one study, the extract was applied to the study subjects and it was shown to give dramatic protection from sunburn.
Exposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays is a major cause of both premature aging and for skin cancer. A study conducted in the United Kingdom showed that those who drank on average two or more cups of green tea per day had a risk 65% lower of developing squamous cell carcinoma, a form of skin cancer. The addition of lemon, according to the same study, further emphasized the cancer prevention qualities of green tea. Of course, this does not mean you should forgo using sunscreen. When using sunscreen, make sure you use one that is zinc oxide-based. These zinc oxide-based sunscreens generally will not react when used in combination with green tree oxide on the skin because they are chemically inert.
Green tea has also been shown as an effective anti-inflammatory agent. If you have a tendency toward skin redness, green tea extract can help alleviate this. In addition, green tea extract contains an active enzyme that will inhibit the production of collagenase. Collegenase breaks down collagen which helps maintain the skin’s elasticity which keeps the skin looking youthful and resist the effects of aging. Clinical studies have shown that subjects who used products containing green tea extract on a continuous basis exhibited both less redness in the skin and greater elasticity in their skin.
You could save your spent tea leaves to make a poultice the next time you get a sunburn and try out this remedy for yourself. Mix the tea leaves into a paste with warm water and leave it on the burn for 30 minutes. See how it feels!**We are not doctors. Any information in this blog post is purely for entertainment purposes, and does not constitute medical advice under any circumstances.