Japanese monks who visited China to study Zen Buddhism in the 7th century CE learned of green tea’s great healing properties. In addition to lowering blood pressure and reducing cholesterol, green tea is full of antioxidants, Vitamin B2, Vitamin E, and minerals such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, zinc, phosphorous, and copper.
Both drinking green tea, and applying it, can greatly benefit one’s skin and slow down the process of ageing. Its catechins (a sub-group of polyphenols which are excellent antioxidants) fight free radicals that damage the skin cells and cause the skin to wrinkle and lose elasticity. They also reduce age spots.
DRINKING GREEN TEA: Catechins reduce redness and inflammation caused by too much exposure to the sun and also prevent skin cancer by stopping the sun’s harmful UV rays from damaging the cells on the skin’s surface. They are powerful antibacterial agents. They clear toxins, thus cleaning pores and preventing acne.
Vitamin B2 helps maintain collagen levels for youthful skin and firmness while Vitamin E promotes the growth of new skin cells. Increased benzoic acid levels soothe skin irritation caused by burns or eczema.
APPLYING GREEN TEA: Vitamin E acts as a powerful hydrator, nourishing the skin and making it supple, while the tannin acts as an astringent to help shrink loose skin. The catechins protect the skin from acne-causing and other bacteria, and dangerous UV rays. They reduce irritation, redness, and swelling caused by being out in the hot sun, or even by the wrong diet, stress, and lack of sleep.
It is believed that caffeine and tannin in green tea can help reduce the puffiness and dark circles in the skin around the eyes, shrinking the fine blood vessels there. Flavonoids help delay the appearance of fine lines below the eyes, keeping the skin there youthful and firm for as long as possible, while lutein and zeaxanthin promote eye health, preventing glaucoma and cataracts from forming.
Tea Bags for Eyes: To keep the skin around the eyes firm, two freshly brewed and used green tea bags should be kept in the fridge for an hour. Then they should be placed on each eye and kept there for 10 to 15 minutes.
Green Tea Face Wash: Steep a teaspoon (5 g) of loose green tea, or a tea bag, in 250 ml of boiling water for 5 minutes. Once cool, a cotton ball can be dipped in the tea and rubbed across the face. Done twice daily, this helps remove all the dirt and grime from open pores and then acts as an astringent by tightening the freshly cleansed pores and preventing pollutants from getting in. It is especially effective for people with oily skin.
Green Tea Exfoliating Face Scrub: Mix green tea with granulated sugar and water and scrub the face with it.
Green Tea Face Mask: Mix equal amounts of baking soda and green tea, with a bit of honey. Apply on face and follow the usual face mask routine.