Green Tea for Skin HealthFor years, homeopaths and doctors alike have been touting the health benefits of green tea. While the antioxidant properties of this natural herbal drink are well documented, it is only recently that we have begun to examine and understand the specific effects of green tea on the skin. What we are finding is particularly encouraging.

The substances that make green tea so important to good health are called polyphenols. The polyphenols found in green and white tea belong to a subcategory known as catechins. These catechins have a range of health benefits, including as antioxidants, substances that rid the body of built-up free radicals and other harmful toxins.

Catechins can also work to prevent cardiovascular damage, infections and even some forms of cancer. In particular, the catechins found in green tea are known to increase the antioxidant properties of the blood and reduce the level of LDL, or bad cholesterol. Obviously, this makes green tea a very beneficial addition to a regular, healthy diet.

In terms of skin care, various studies have been conducted to help determine the specific benefits of catechins on the skin, including their ability to reduce inflammatory lesions common to skin conditions such as rosacea. Catechins have also been shown to help prevent some skin cancers, and, most importantly, to help protect the skin from sun damage. Unlike traditional sun screens, which block harmful UV rays, the catechins in green tea work to reduce inflammation and absorb free radicals.

For this reason it is believed that green tea can be used most effectively as a skin treatment by combining it with a traditional sun screen. For the best potential benefits, it is recommended that you use a zinc oxide based sun screen in conjunction with green tea, as it is not as likely to cause a chemical reaction as other, chemical based sun screens might.

The ability of green tea to combat the visible signs of aging has not been as well documented yet, but there is certainly reason to believe that its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties can help to combat wrinkles and sagging and promote smooth, soft, radiant skin. In particular, the polyphenols found in green tea have been shown to improve the elasticity of the skin, allowing it to retain a firmer, healthier overall tone.

While green tea based skin creams are a viable option for helping to prevent the effects of aging, there are other ways that you can get the benefits of green tea more directly. A simple way is to freeze freshly brewed green tea and then apply the ice cubes to your skin after allowing them to thaw a bit to avoid freezer burn. Also, you can make your own green tea cream using green tea extract.

Of course, it is not necessary to apply green tea topically in order to benefit from its many health properties. Drinking green tea regularly remains the easiest and most direct way of benefitting, or you can take green tea supplements, which are available at many grocery and health food stores. It is generally suggested that drinking between three and ten cups of green tea daily or taking between 100 and 150 mg three times a day in supplement form will give you the optimal benefits.

The secrets of green tea have been benefitting mankind since ancient times and it remains one of nature’s true wonders. If you want a safe, natural alternative to promoting healthy skin and keeping the hands of time at bay, you could do worse than adding green tea to your daily regimen. Your skin will thank you for it!