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Green tea is a soothing, antioxidant-packed concoction you sip when you need warmth and refreshment. But green tea can do more than warm your throat -- when it’s applied to your skin topically, it can potentially firm your skin and improve its appearance. Even if you aren’t worried about wrinkles right now, you will be someday. By adopting a skin care routine that includes green tea, you can put off “someday” for a lot longer.
You probably hear the term “antioxidant” thrown around a lot in the skin care world. Imagine antioxidants as superheroes that fight off the evil free radicals in the world. Free radicals are damaging particles that float around your body, stealing oxygen molecules. This can lead to tissue and cell damage that makes your skin age prematurely. Factors such as sun exposure and smoking can add free radicals to your body. Green tea is a powerful, naturally occurring antioxidant.
While you can drink a cup of green tea to reap its antioxidant benefits, applying green tea extract topically delivers the antioxidants right to where you need them: your skin. Green tea is often incorporated into anti-aging skin and eye creams where it’s more concentrated than it would be if you were drinking it. While green tea can prevent skin breakdown to keep skin firm for longer, its benefits for firming existing wrinkles and fine lines aren’t exactly spelled out. For this reason, you may want to look for a topical cream that contains green tea, plus fast-acting firming agents such as caffeine.
Green tea has anti-inflammatory properties, which can be helpful in soothing reddened, irritated skin -- including if you have rosacea, a condition that causes skin redness (see reference 6). Applying a moisturizer, scrub or serum that contains green tea extract may help to reduce skin swelling. As a result you may find your skin feels firmer because it is less swollen and irritated.
Try This At Home
If you’re ready to incorporate green tea extract for its firm skin-maintenance benefits, there are a few ways you can do it without sacrificing your current moisturizer. One way is to purchase a green tea extract at a local health foods store and stir in a small amount to your existing moisturizer. The package should direct you as to the appropriate amount given the size of your moisturizer. Another option is to make a refreshing green tea toner by freezing brewed green tea in ice cubes. When they’ve frozen, take a cube out for a few minutes to thaw slightly, then quickly apply to your skin. Don’t leave the cube on one area too long because the cold can burn your skin.