Treating Acne with Green Tea

Two of the most popular over the counter methods to treat acne are benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. Acne causing bacteria is destroyed by benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid causes the top layers of dead skin cells to slough off. New skin cells are then formed, thereby reducing the likelihood of the pores being blocked. This, in turn, lessens the chance for another acne breakout.

Each of these methods has side effects that users need to be aware of. Benzoyl peroxide can cause redness, dryness and skin irritation. It also causes free radicals to form, therefore sun exposure should be avoided and sunscreen should be used. Salicylic acid can also cause dryness and skin irritation.

Why not treat your acne naturally, without the possible side effects of over the counter medications?

Green tea can be quite effective as an acne treatment. The benefits of green tea for one’s health are well known.

The secret of green tea is that it contains catechin polyphenols, especially epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). EGCG is a potent anti-oxidant. It not only inhibits the growth of cancer cells, it kills cancer cells without harming healthy tissue. It also lowers bad (LDL) cholesterol and inhibits abnormal formation of blood clots (which is one of the leading causes of heart attacks and strokes). It helps reduce inflammation, rid the body of toxins, and prevents infections by killing bacteria, even the bacteria that causes dental decay!

What is amazing is that green tea, as well as white, oolong, and black tea, all come from the same plant – camellia sinensis. So why is green tea so beneficial whereas the other teas are not? The secret lies in how the tea leaves are processed.

With green tea, the leaves are picked and preserved, either by steaming or baking, to keep them from being fermented, or oxidized. In making oolong and black tea, the leaves are picked and exposed to the air for a period of time, during which time the leaves ferment. Oolong tea is allowed to ferment only partially, whereas with black tea the leaves are fermented completely.

White tea is made mainly from the buds of tea leaves. It is processed very little, which can mean it may be beneficial with regards to fighting disease, however, the real star of the four teas is definitely green tea.

Green tea’s antioxidant and antibacterial properties make it extremely useful in fighting acne. It can be taken internally as a drink and/or applied topically to the skin.

Following are some methods for applying green tea to the skin:

1. Green tea and oatmeal mask
3 tablespoons of oatmeal
1 tablespoon of brown sugar
1 tablespoon of honey
leaves of one green tea bag
1/4 cup hot water
Mix the hot water, green tea leaves and the oatmeal into a paste. Blend and stir in the honey and brown sugar. Apply the mask to your face and leave it on for about 15 minutes. Rinse with warm water.

2. Green tea and egg mask
Pour boiling water over a green tea bag, as if preparing it to drink, and let it cool. Then mix the tea thoroughly with the white of an egg. Apply the mask to your face and leave on for 20-30 minutes You’ll feel your face becoming tight. Then rinse the mask off with warm water.

3. Rejuvenating green tea mask
½ teaspoon green tea powder (try a Korean store if you’re having difficulty finding it)
1 teaspoon flour (any kind is fine)
warm water
Mix the green tea powder and flour together, then add the water, a little at a time. The mixture should be a thin paste that won’t run down your face. Apply it all over your face. Leave on for 10-15 minutes, then rinse off thoroughly with warm water. It’s best to use this mask every day.

4. Make a cup of green tea and dab it on the acne.

5. Use the tea bag (after making tea with it) and dab your skin with the tea bag. Rinse it off after the tea has dried on your face.

There have also been studies that have shown that creams containing green tea have been as effective in treating acne as 4% solution of benzoyl peroxide.

And with all the benefits of green tea, the only possible side effect green tea might have is insomnia. Green tea contains caffeine and, although it contains less than other teas and coffee, you probably shouldn’t drink it before going to bed.

Whether you use green tea topically and/or drink it as a beverage, it could prove to be an effective, natural, and safe acne treatment for you.

The above information is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace any health care services you need.

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