Maria has been researching and writing about health and beauty for over 10 years. She shares her findings on her skincare website and here.
Most of us think of green tea as a soothing, lightly caffeinated beverage that can be enjoyed hot or iced as part of a healthy diet. A lot of research has been done on the incredibly popular beverage, and experts consider green tea to have more health benefits than its black or white counterparts. Here are just a few of them.
Health Benefits of Green Tea
- May aid dental health
- Can stimulate blood circulation
- Has antibacterial properties
- Can act as an astringent
- May boost energy
- Can act as a diuretic
- Helps promote liver health
- May help protect against cancer and some heart-related conditions
- Can help lower cholesterol
- Has potential applications in certain eye problems
- Can help protect the skin from sunburns
- Can aid digestion
The list goes on, but in this article, we're going to focus specifically on two areas in which green tea may be a helpful ally: skincare and weight loss. Let's take a look at why green tea may be beneficial in these areas and how you can incorporate it into your skincare and weight-loss regimens.
Green Tea for Skin and Complexion
Let's start with skin. Plenty of studies have noted the benefits of green tea for health in general, but how can it boost your skin's health specifically? A study carried out by Hasan Mukhtar, a professor at the Department of Dermatology at Case Western Reserve in Cleveland, came to the conclusion that green tea extract is very effective in reducing the severity of the adverse effects of excessive exposure to ultraviolet rays. That's a great start! Let's look at some other ways green tea can protect and benefit your skin:
- It may help rejuvenate skin cells and promote healthier, younger-looking skin.
- Due to its antiseptic properties, it may help reduce dandruff.
- Its anti-bacterial and astringent properties can help improve certain skin conditions such as acne and psoriasis.
- Its anti-inflammatory properties can help to calm the skin.
- Its antioxidant power allows it fight free radicals that may contribute to skin cancer.
7 Homemade Skincare Solutions With Green Tea
In addition to benefiting your skin, green tea skincare products typically have a light, natural scent that may help improve your mood make you feel invigorated. Here are some DIY skin product recipes you can make at home using green tea.
- Make a strong green tea infusion. Mix three spoonfuls of the tea with two capsules of vitamin E. This is good for aging skin. It will be more effective if you leave it on overnight.
- Make a green tea infusion. Leave it to cool, then place it in a spray bottle. Spray it over your face to reduce shiny skin. This natural skincare remedy is good for oily skin, aging skin and acne.
- Make ice cubes with green tea and place them over your closed eyes in the morning to help with puffiness.
- Place cooled green tea bags directly over your eyes for five minutes, then apply cucumber slices for another five minutes. This is good for puffy eyes. Finally, liquefy a potato, wet two pieces of cotton in the potato water and apply the mixture over your eyes for five minutes. This is good for lightening dark circles.
- Take a tea bag and place its contents in a bowl. Add one tablespoon of warm honey and one teaspoon of olive oil. Gently rub the mixture on the skin of your face for a few seconds. Leave it on for ten minutes, then rinse it off using warm water. This DIY mask can be used on the face and body, including the hands and the neck area.
- Make a green tea infusion and leave it to cool. Soak a cleansing wipe with the green tea, wring out and place it on your face for 10 minutes. This can help smooth and rejuvenate the skin.
- Mix one spoonful of apple vinegar and four spoonfuls of green tea infusion, then apply the mix over any acne-affected areas. Do this two or three times a week to combat acne.
The Dangers of Mainstream Skincare Products
Natural and DIY skincare remedies made with green tea are also popular, particularly since people are starting to learn about all of the chemical additives and petrochemicals included in their favorite cosmetics. The inclusion of toxins, allergens and irritants was commonplace until recently, so many are still unaware that these ingredients existed in their favorite products.
Consumer protection organizations such as the Environmental Working Group and the Compact for Safe Cosmetics have drawn attention to those unsafe ingredients. Using products that contain them may increase our risk of cancer, cause or contribute to birth defects and cause emotional problems because of the effect that some fragrance ingredients have on the central nervous system.
In a recent California case, five different brands of supposedly natural or organic skincare cleansers were found to contain 1,4-Dioxane, a known carcinogen. The cause was the use of ethylene oxide, a petrochemical, during the manufacturing process.
Green Tea for Weight Loss
The benefits of drinking green tea are well-documented, and research shows that one of those benefits is weight loss. For a lot of men and women, choosing a safe and effective green tea slimming pill can be magical. It's well known that there is no magic bullet when it comes to losing weight; we should instead try to eat a lower number of calories per day than the body uses if we want to shed pounds. Even so, finding methods that help us lose fat quicker may accelerate this process and make it easier.
Why Is Green Tea Good for Weight Loss?
In a number of experiments, green tea has been shown to help regulate insulin and reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels. On top of that, it's thought that it boosts metabolism by helping fat burn quickly and inhibiting some receptors which make us want to eat. Additionally, in contrast to some other weight-loss products, it is, in general, really healthy.
It is a great supply of antioxidants, which help us remain healthy by battling free radicals. Free radicals are oxygen with compounds that are byproducts of the digestive system. They can damage our cells and DNA and may lead to disease in the long term.
Green tea, along with other antioxidant foods, may help keep free radicals at bay. For instance, healthy-eating plans packed with green tea along with other antioxidants may help decrease your risk of heart problems and cancer. Green tea may be able to help you along your weight-loss journey while at the same time it enhancing your general health.
Many of us know about the risks associated with popular weight-loss pills. Ephedra, as an example, is effective at boosting metabolism, but it can also have dangerous side-effects and has been associated with heart attacks and even death in a number of consumers.
So, how exactly does green tea help with weight loss? There are various compounds found in this antioxidant that appear to work with each other to produce the health and weight-reduction benefits which this tea is popular for. Experts have found three ingredients in green tea that may, both separately and in tandem, help with weight reduction:
Catechins are antioxidant compounds found in green tea. More specifically, they are flavonoids known as flavan-3-ols. Catechins can be found in quite a few plants, such as cocoa and coffee, yet they are found in a higher concentration in the tea plant.
The main reason that green tea is regarded as a greater supply of catechins compared to black tea is the way it is processed. Black tea leaves are fermented, which alters the catechins, whereas green tea leaves are steamed, which results in the catechins remaining in their natural condition.
Since green tea catechins are such powerful antioxidants, they are useful in helping to prevent many health conditions, including cardiovascular disease and even cancer. Regarding fat-reduction, catechins are thought to reduce fat absorption from food.
Although green tea contains caffeine, it contains a lot less than black tea and coffee. Perhaps due to its lower caffeine content, green tea doesn't appear to have the same harmful side-effects associated with other products that contain caffeine. It does not tend to produce anxiety or increase heart rate as much as other, more strongly caffeinated drinks sometimes do.
The level of caffeine found in green tea does, however, seem to boost the metabolism. Many people take caffeine consumption for granted, but it has been shown to help with weight reduction. Research has indicated that men and women on low-calorie diet programs who have caffeine on a daily basis shed more bodyweight in general than people that are just following a low-fat diet.
The theanine found in green tea is its main amino acid. Theanine could be related to weight reduction due to its capacity to lead to relaxation as well as the release of dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical substance generated by the brain which provides a sense of wellbeing within the body.
Theanine may also be able to lower the side effects of caffeine, which could be why the caffeine content in green tea does not appear to trigger nervousness or increased heart rate in the way that other drinks containing caffeine do.
So, although theanine does not aid in weight reduction directly, it may induce a sense of calm in individuals who enjoy it. This factor could help individuals with e tendency to overeat because of stress to control this habit.
How Do These Three Compounds Work Together?
Additional research is needed regarding exactly how green tea may aid in weight loss. One particular study conducted by a Japanese University called Shizuoka analysed each of the above components on their own and also in conjunction in an attempt to better isolate their qualities.
This study concluded that the main compound in green tea that aids in weight reduction is caffeine. Caffeine is effective at boosting metabolism and producing thermogenesis, which melts away body fat. This investigation also revealed that catechins do appear to have anti-obesity properties on their own in that they assist the body in removing fat instead of absorbing it. Overall, green tea appears to be the ideal combination of components for facilitating weight reduction and aiding in fat removal.
Healthy diets and physical exercise continue to be essential for dropping extra weight and remaining slim once and for all. That said, adding green tea to your food and exercise regimen can't hurt if you're trying to lose that unwanted "spare tyre." Drinking green tea and using skincare products containing it may also help you reduce some of the symptoms of aging skin and improve your complexion.
Sources and Further Reading
- 10 Evidence-Based Benefits of Green Tea
- Green Tea: Health Benefits
- How Green Tea Can Help You Lose Weight
- Skin Photoprotection by Green Tea: Antioxidant and Immunomodulatory Effects
- Tea and Health: Studies in Humans
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2015 lovethisstuff
Are You a Fan of Green Tea?
Stella Wilson from Sydney, Australia on June 08, 2015:
It helps to lose weight as well as gives clear, glowing skin.