Green tea offers many benefits for overall skincare. It contains antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and anti-bacterial properties. About one third of the dry weight of the green tea leaves is made up of antioxidant flavonoids called catechins. Catechins are effective because they stick to proteins easily and and block bacteria from adhering to cell walls. This disrupts the bacteria's ability to destroy the cells. The antioxidant agents slow the signs of aging externally and provide beneficial vitamins for overall skin health when taken internally.
The main antioxidant found in green tea, EGCG (epigallocatechin3-gallate), was found to be 100 times more effective than vitamin C and 25 times more effective than vitamin E. Research suggests that this antioxidant-rich beverage can inhibit skin cancer due to its protective properties. A report released by the University of Maryland Medical Center indicates that green tea applied directly to the skin (or consumed) helped block sun-triggered skin cancer, which is why you are seeing it more and more in sunscreens, moisturizers and other skin care creams and lotions.
Green tea also contains tannins. Tannins are astringent substances that shrink or constrict body tissues usually locally after topical applications. Tannins not only heal burns and stop bleeding, but they also stop infection while they continue to heal the wound internally. The ability of the tannins to form a protective layer over the exposed tissue keeps the wound from being infected even more. Tannins are beneficial when applied to the mucous lining of the mouth. The natural antiseptic qualities also relieve the itching and swelling in cuts, scrapes, bites and acne blemishes.
Green tea can be made into a soothing skin solution that has many beneficial uses.
Green tea soothing skin solution
Using unflavored, unscented, plain green tea leaves, mix
- 1 cup tea leaves
- 1 quart spring water
Steep the tea leaves in boiling water for 20 minutes. Cool and strain the liquid into a sterilized bottle and refrigerate. The soothing solution should keep for at least one week in the refrigerator.
Uses for soothing skin solution
- As a cooling, refreshing after-bath splash.
- As a refresher for tired feet.
- As an anti fungal foot soak. Soak the feet in a quart of soother solution and do not rinse.
- As a mouthwash.
- For minor cuts, rashes or abrasions. Saturate a cotton pad with the soother solution and apply to the injury for 5 minutes. This can be repeated up to 4 times a day.
- To soothe minor sunburn. Soak a cloth in the soother solution and place on the sunburned area for about 15 minutes.
- To freshen strained or tired eyes, soak cotton pads in the soother solution, squeeze out excess and lay gently on the eyelids. Let the pads rest on the eyelids for about 10 minutes. Repeat if necessary. This reduces the puffiness and redness.
- As a blemish remedy. Splash the soother solution on the face or dot on the blemish with a cotton pad. Do not rinse.
- As a solution to the new breastfeeding mother who is suffering from cracked and bleeding nipples. Simply spray some soother solution on two cotton pads or nursing pads and place them inside the brassiere for 10-15 minutes after each feeding.
Cooled spent tea bags (preferably from plain green tea) can also be used for eyelid and breast care.
The spent tea leaves can be dried, after brewing, crushed and then sprinkled in the shoes and socks to help keep the feet healthy.