From Green to Chamomile, Here's Why Tea Belongs in Your Skincare
There’s just something about sipping on a hot cup of tea that feels like you’re imbibing wellness. Maybe it’s the fact that tea’s benefits have been touted for thousands of years, dating back to ancient China when it was first drunk for medicinal purposes, or perhaps its bitter, earthy taste just simply feels like you’re drinking something beneficial.
Regardless, there’s plentiful research and data to back up the fact that tea, and the various plants and herbs it’s steeped with, can have a powerfully positive effect. Drinking tea can combat insomnia, improve mood, soothe pain and inflammation, lower risk for disease, relieve stress, and much, much more. That’s why it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise to learn that tea can greatly benefit skin health, too, whether you drink it or apply it topically. Read on as we discuss the types of tea you may find in your skincare and how it can benefit your complexion.
GREEN TEANowadays, you can grab a cup of green tea pretty much anywhere for a caffeinated pick-me-up. Legend has it, however, that green tea originated in China when its emperor accidentally drank a cup of water that a leaf had fallen into. Since then, green tea’s original roots in East Asian cultures have sprouted and spread, becoming a drink of choice for many all over the world.
Its benefits reach beyond caffeine, however. Green tea contains the catechin (a type of antioxidant) EGCG, which gives it anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. This makes green tea particularly beneficial if you’re acne-prone, sensitive, or experience eczema, rosacea, and other inflammatory skin condition flare ups.
Green tea has major benefits if you’ve got oily skin, too. EGCG controls overactive androgens, which are hormones that produce sebum. That’s one of the reasons why our Moisturizing Gel-Cream, formulated with green tea extract, can provide the ideal amount of hydration for oil-prone skin types.
And because this ingredient can truly do it all, green tea offers a strong defense against sun damage, too. Studies show applying green tea topically can help heal photoaging, like premature wrinkles and age spots, as a direct result of sun exposure. Another speaks to green tea’s cellular repair properties, known to prevent some types of skin cancer.
PURPLE TEAWhile not quite as ubiquitous as its siblings, purple tea stems from the same plant that green and black tea is sourced from. It’s a relatively new variety grown from a plant called Camellia Sinensis, native to Southeast Asia (although the tea itself is often made in Kenya).
Just reading the word ‘chamomile’ practically puts our minds at ease—and unsurprisingly, it offers the same soothing benefits to our skin. Research quotes chamomile as one of the most ancient medicinal herbs known to mankind. The Ancient Egyptians found chamomile to be so healing, in fact, they drew hieroglyphs about the herb. Extracted from flowers of the Asteraceae plant, chamomile contains a plethora of flavones, a type of antioxidant, and is known to quell inflammation.
Because of these reasons, some enjoy applying cool chamomile tea bags to their eyes to reduce puffiness. It’s also known to heal wounds and seal in moisture, making this type of tea particularly beneficial in repairing the skin’s barrier. Reap the soothing, skin-calming benefits of chamomile flower extract by patting on our Antioxidant Oil-Serum alone, before, or after moisturizer.
TEA TREEOkay, technically tea tree isn’t a form of tea. In fact, despite its name, you can’t actually drink it at all. Tea tree comes from an Australian plant called Melaleuca alternifolia. When extracted, its oil can be applied topically to treat acne. Its antibacterial properties fight bacteria, calm inflammation and swelling, and can reduce discoloration (like redness and acne scars). Reap these benefits by spritzing body acne—or the inside of your face mask if you’ve got maskne—with Back-Up Plan.
Looking for more effective ingredients? Read our guide to the best acne-fighters for breakout-prone skin.