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Made from the lightly steamed fresh leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, green tea has been used for medicinal purposes in some parts of the world for thousands of years.

The benefits of green tea range from boosting brain function to promoting weight loss. But green tea doesn’t only have properties that improve the mind and body. It can also benefit the skin, which is why it’s often included as an ingredient in many types of beauty products.

Green tea has a wide range of therapeutic properties that can benefit your skin in a variety of ways. Some of the most important benefits include the following.

1. Protects against skin cancer

Green tea contains polyphenols and six different types of catechins, with epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and epicatechin gallate (ECG) having the most potency. These compounds have antioxidant properties.

Antioxidants are molecules that have the ability to fight free radicals in the body. Free radicals are compounds that can harm your body, your health, and your skin if their levels get too high. They can cause cellular damage, and have been linked to many diseases, including cancer.

According to a 2010 study, the antioxidant power of EGCG can help repair DNA damage caused by ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun. This, in turn, can help protect you from nonmelanoma skin cancer.

2. Fights premature aging

A 2003 study showed that the antioxidant EGCG, which is abundant in green tea, has the ability to rejuvenate dying skin cells. By protecting and repairing your cells, this antioxidant can combat signs of aging and make dull skin look healthier.

The vitamins in green tea, especially vitamin B-2, can also keep your skin looking more youthful. Vitamin B-2 has the ability to maintain collagen levels, which can improve the firmness of your skin.

3. Reduces redness and irritation

Green tea also has anti-inflammatory properties. This is due to the tea’s high content of polyphenols.

Green tea’s anti-inflammatory properties can help reduce skin irritation, skin redness, and swelling. Applying green tea to your skin can soothe minor cuts and sunburn, too.

Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, studies have also found topical green tea to be an effective remedy for many dermatological conditions. It can soothe irritation and itching caused by psoriasis, dermatitis, and rosacea, and it may also be helpful for treating keloids.

4. Treats acne

The antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties in green tea may make it an effective treatment for acne and oily skin.

According to research, the polyphenols in green tea, when applied to the skin, help reduce sebum secretion, which can lead to acne.

The polyphenols in green tea also have the ability to fight against infection by damaging bacterial membranes. This means that green tea can be a useful tool for controlling bacterial growth that can cause acne.

5. Moisturizes skin

Green tea contains several vitamins, including vitamin E, which is known for its ability to nourish and hydrate the skin.

In one study, participants applied an experimental formulation of green tea extract to their forearm for 15 and 30 days. At the end of the study, the researchers found that the participants had increased skin moisture and a reduction in skin roughness.

Mixing up a DIY green tea face mask is easy to do. Chances are, you already have many of the necessary ingredients and items in your kitchen.

To get started, you’ll need the following:

  • 1 tbsp. of green tea
  • 1 tbsp. baking soda
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • water (optional)
  • a mixing bowl
  • a measuring spoon
  • towel

How to make a green tea face mask

Once you have all the items you need, follow these steps:

  1. Brew a cup of green tea, allowing the tea bag to soak for about an hour. Let the tea bag cool, and then break the tea bag open and separate the green tea leaves.
  2. Place the leaves in a mixing bowl, and add the baking soda and honey to create a paste. If the mixture is too thick, add a few drops of water.
  3. To help the mask penetrate your pores, cleanse your face before applying.
  4. Once your face is clean, apply the mask evenly over your face, and gently massage to remove dead skin cells and dirt from your pores.
  5. Leave the mask on your skin for 10 to 15 minutes, and then rinse off with warm water.
  6. For best results, you can apply the mask one to three times a week.

You can use other variations of the mask, too. For example, you can use:

  • 1 tbsp. of granulated sugar instead of baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. of lemon juice instead of honey
  • 1 tsp. of green tea powder instead of green tea leaves

Premade green tea face masks are also sold at health and beauty supply stores, drugstores, and online.

Different masks can have different types of ingredients. When purchasing a premade green tea facial mask, try to choose a mask that’s:

  • safe for all skin types
  • contains 100 percent green tea
  • is free of dyes, fragrances, and parabens

People who use green tea topically report a low risk of side effects. Even so, if you’re using green tea on your face for the first time, test a small patch of skin on the inside of your elbow before applying a mask.

Signs of skin sensitivity or an allergic reaction include itchiness, redness, swelling, and burning.

If you have sensitive skin or have any sensitivities to consuming green tea, speak with your dermatologist before applying a green tea mask.

You can also reap many health benefits by drinking green tea or taking green tea supplements. Research has shown that green tea may:

With its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties, a green tea face mask can help benefit your skin in a variety of ways.

Not only can it protect your skin from premature aging, UV damage, redness, and irritation, but it also has the ability to fight off bacteria that can lead to acne breakouts.

Making your own green tea face mask is easy to do, and doesn’t require many ingredients. If you’d prefer a premade product, you can find a variety of green tea face masks online or at your local drugstore.

If you’re unsure whether a green tea face is right for your skin, speak to your doctor or dermatologist before using one.