Surprisingly few people know this, but the chance is good that you already have one of the best acne treatments right there in your kitchen. Green tea has an impressive body of research behind it, and if you check online message boards for testimonials, you find that green tea for acne is an extremely popular treatment.
Green Tea for Acne: The Research
One way in which it combats acne is by killing the bacteria responsible for it. In this study, scientists concluded that an acne cream with two percent of green tea was more effective than benzoyl peroxide and the antibiotic cream erythromycin. Not only that, but erythromycin needed 12 weeks to achieve the same improvement that the green tea ointment achieved in eight weeks.
A second benefit is the ability of green tea to reduce the amount of oil our skins secrete This is normally where acne begins. Your skin secretes too much oil, such vast quantities of oil cannot pass successfully through your pores to the outside, so it gets stuck. This study demonstrated that a cream that contained three percent of green tea could reduce the skin’s secretion of oil by 70 percent in eight weeks.
Most scientists attribute the spectacular health effects of green tea to its polyphenols, and in particular to a catechin called epigallocatechin 3-gallate (EGCG.) According to this study. EGCG has an antioxidant potency somewhere between 25 and 100 times higher than vitamin C. The more your body is plagued with free radicals, the harder the green tea works and the more it benefits you. This is good news for acne sufferers, as oxidation of the oil in their skins contribute significantly to the severity of the inflammation that accompanies pimples. In other words, it serves as a strong anti-inflammatory too. To benefit, you can either drink it or apply it directly to your skin.
Another possible anti-acne benefit is its ability to improve blood sugar control and prevent type 2 diabetes. This scientific literature review shows that a diet rich in high glycemic carbohydrates is one dietary factor that contributes to the development of acne. If green tea can control blood sugar, it, in effect, turns high glycemic (fast releasing) carbohydrates into low glycemic (slow releasing) ones. This may help to minimize the consequences of carbohydrates on your skin. For this benefit, you will have to drink it.
Up to recently, unless you were female and took a contraceptive pill, there was little you could do about your skin’s sensitivity to androgen hormones like testosterone. This is one of the main causes of acne in both males and females, especially in adolescent males. Your skin produces too much oil because it over-responds to your androgen hormones. Now, researchers have discovered that green tea can block the androgen hormone receptors in your skin, which weakens the hormones’ oily effects.
How to Use Green Tea
There are several options:
- You should increase your oral consumption of green tea. Just one large mug during the course of the morning is enough. It doesn’t matter how your make the tea. Green tea brewed with water and a tea bag is the easiest, even though many people believe in the superior quality and purity of the loose green tea, which is just the tea leaves, straight from the camillia sinensis plant. You can also buy it as a liquid green tea concentrate. Add a few drops to a cup of water, and you have green tea on the go. So long as you buy something that comes from the camillia sinensis plant, you have the right thing.
- Make green tea like you normally would, but instead of drinking it, use it as a facial wash.
- Buy acne creams with green tea as an ingredient. My favorite is Exposed Skin Care’s acne products, many of which contain it.