Tea and Skin Care: What Variety Works Best?

Women have used teas to improve their complexions for centuries and beauty consumers of today are no different. Studies have credited tea with a relieving such skin conditions as acne and rosacea, and helping to protect against ultraviolet rays which cause wrinkles and skin cancer. One study actually credits tea with rejuvenating the skin! 1 Currently, there is a vast array of products containing tea on the market ranging from cleansers to creams. Although the tea most commonly associated with skin care is green tea, researchers have found that white, rooibos, oolong and black all offer positive benefits to skin.
White, green, oolong and black tea come from the Camellia sinensis plant, the difference being the length of fermentation. Rooibos tea hails from the Asplathus linearis which native to South Africa . Regardless of the variety or plant of origin, each of these teas contain powerful antioxidants and have been found to be equally beneficial to skin health.2

There are two ways to use tea to get better skin: by drinking it or applying it topically. Drinking tea is a direct and enjoyable way to increase your body's antioxidant levels 3, and brings with it numerous other benefits to your health. Using it topically is also easy: Dab tea right onto your face and let it dry for 15 minutes, following up with a clear water rinse. The astringent properties in the tea called tannins calm swelling, redness, and irritation to naturally sooth your skin.

Tea is also used by dermatologists to help heal more serious skin conditions. One study found that a 2% green tea ointment used for six weeks resulted in a decrease of acne lesions by 58% in study participants.4 Some creams containing tea have been found to relieve itching for those suffering from eczema, while others protect against damaging sun exposure.
Medical research is bearing out what the Ancient Chinese knew 4,000 years ago. Tea, in whatever variety you choose, can be an important contributor to healthy skin.

1.http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2003/04/0429_

030429_teaimmunity_2.html
2.http://jn.nutrition.org/content/131/9/2248.full
3.http://www.now-university.com/Library/DietarySupplementSupport/Antioxidants/080008.htm
4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19363854

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