Green Tea in Skincare Products

Green tea extract is widely used in skin care products, but how effective is green tea when we apply it to skin? We know that green tea is rich in antioxidants and therefore it is good for health, but what is the difference between drinking green tea and applying green tea to skin?

Green Tea in Skincare Products

Where does green tea come from?

There are many different types of tea like green, white, black. All teas come from the same plant, namely Camellia sinensis.

White tea leaves are covered with fine white feathery hairs. White tea is harvested at an earlier age of the plant, while green tea is harvested a little later. And when green tea leaves undergo a fermentation process, as a result of which they not only acquire a black color, but also become stronger in taste, black tea is created. Green tea and white tea are steamed and then dried, so they retain a lot of antioxidants.

Green Tea

Green tea contains high amounts of the polyphenol epigallocatechin-3-gallate(EGCG). A 2001 study showed that applying EGCG to skin helps reduce oxidative stress by increasing antioxidant enzymes. Another study conducted in 2003 showed that treatment of green tea polyphenols prevents UVB-induced oxidation of lipids and proteins, depletion of antioxidant enzymes and phosphorylation.

In other words: oxidative stress causes damage to healthy cells. However, EGCG is a powerful antioxidant that protects skin from oxidative stress and UVB radiation damage. It also prevents the breakdown of collagen in the skin. Therefore, EGCG is actually a fantastic anti-aging ingredient.

A lot of research has been done and green tea extract has been shown to have a positive effect on rosacea treatment. If you suffer from rosacea, then it is definitely worth trying a product with green tea extract. The anti-inflammatory properties help reduce skin redness and swelling.

A cup of green tea (240 ml) contains about 20-40 mg of caffeine, and if you take too much caffeine (for example, 10 cups of green tea), this will have a counterproductive effect on skin. According to a 1998 study, having too much caffeine can lead to premature wrinkles. In addition, caffeine overdose symptoms include: nervousness, rapid or irregular heartbeat, insomnia, feeling fidgety or restless. For comparison, a cup of coffee contains 5 times more caffeine, so when drinking 2-3 cups of coffee a day you really have a chance to get premature wrinkles and above symptoms. Therefore, I advise you not to drink too much caffeine (green tea or coffee), but to apply it on the skin in a cream.

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According to this article, green tea extract contains only 50% EGCG and this is a high percentage that has anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic (and therefore anti-aging) effects on the skin. In addition, it depends on how much green tea extract is in the product. Studies show that 0.4% has positive effect on skin. Nevertheless, I have to make a small remark, because although studies show that EGCG has preventive anti-aging effect, there is not a single study that could show that this ingredient will improve existing wrinkles. Of course this isn’t bad! Prevention is always better than cure. Plus it is a good ingredient in sun care products, as you can deal with harmful effects of UV radiation.


When it comes to skin care products with green tea extract, this sounds unusual. Marketers often use this term to attract customers.  In addition, the manufacturer does not need to add a lot of this ingredient to cosmetics for a positive effect on the skin; only 0.4% is enough. Therefore, I think it is worth trying to use skincare products with green tea.

What do you think of drinking green tea and as an ingredient in skincare products?

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“Green Tea in Skincare Products”

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