Green Tea for Acne: Does it Work?

November 30, 2019
Green tea is a natural astringent with excellent results in the treatment of acne. Do you know how to use it? Stick around, and we'll tell you.

Can green tea help reduce acne?

Let’s begin by saying that acne isn’t a serious health problem – at least not from an organic point of view. However, it can lead to significant damage to a person’s appearance and self-esteem.

Typically, acne responds well to home treatments, some of those including green tea as the active ingredient. Only rarely does the condition become resistant to it and if that’s your case then you’ll require specialized intervention. This problem mainly affects teenagers, although it can appear at any age.

Acne has a higher incidence in women, but its manifestations in men are more severe. About 5% of women continue to have it until the age of 40. In general, specialists consider acne a serious problem if it suddenly appears in an older adult.

What’s acne?

A woman with acne.
Acne is one of the most common skin conditions. It happens when pores become clogged with traces of sebum and dead cells.

This skin disorder alters the hair follicles and sebaceous glands. You may not know it, but your skin has small holes known as pores. These are internally connected with the sebaceous glands through a duct (follicle).

The sebaceous glands produce a fatty substance called sebum. And this sebum transports dead skin cells to the surface, through the follicles. So, when hair grows through the follicles and plugs a pore together with dead cells, sebum and hair often come together and form a pimple. That is, the confluence of dead cells, sebum, and hair causes bacteria to clump together at one point and it leads to swelling. Right at the moment, the plug begins to clog acne appears on your face, neck, chest, back, or shoulders.

You may be interested: Back Acne: How to Get Rid of It

Factors that affect acne

Some people have a predisposition for acne and these factors include age, family history, hormonal changes, skin contact with fatty substances, pressure or continued friction on the skin (such as placing cell phones against your face), and stress.

In turn, several factors can worsen acne. These are:

  • Intake of certain medications. Basically, this includes those that contain corticosteroids, lithium or testosterone.
  • Diet. According to studies, the types of food that most lead to acne are carbohydrates, chocolate and skim milk. There’s no higher incidence with the consumption of food with high-fat content.
  • Hormonal changes. These happen during or before menstrual periods, pregnancy, or from the use of oral contraceptives.
  • Stress. Even though stress alone doesn’t lead to acne, it can make it worse.

There’s this myth about acne arising from a lack of hygiene. However, washing the skin with excessive force or with very strong soaps can, in fact, worsen the problem. The use of cosmetics alone does not necessarily lead to acne either. It all depends on your skin type.

Acne treatment with green tea

Green tea leaves.
Green tea is a natural ingredient that can prevent acne. It helps regulate sebum production both through ingestion and topical application.

Green tea is a natural astringent that produces good results when used in the treatment of acne. It’s also an antioxidant.

Drinking green tea deters acne, as it helps reduce the production of sebum on the skin. Plus, it also moderates the levels of insulin and blood sugar. As with everything, moderation is key, so one cup a day should be enough.

Likewise, you can also use it topically. Simply apply a compress of a green tea extract on the affected area. This will help eliminate bacteria from the area, reduce inflammation, and prevent pimples.

Don’t miss: 4 Natural Home Remedies to Eliminate Acne Scars

Other ways to use green tea for acne

There are other slightly more elaborate formulas for using green tea. Not only do they treat acne, but they improve the overall appearance of your skin. Also, they add freshness and firmness to your skin, so they prevent aging. Some of the most effective masks for this are:

  • Green tea and honey. Mix a spoonful of each element and make a paste with it. Then, apply it to your face and allow it to do its thing for 15 or 20 minutes. Rinse it with cold water and repeat the procedure twice a week.
  • Green tea and aloe. For this one, you’ll need two bags of green tea, a tablespoon of aloe and a cup of water. What you’re going to do is make an infusion with the two tea bags and allow it to cool down. Then, mix it with the other ingredients and put it in a spray bottle. Spray it on your face after bathing.

Have you ever tried any green tea remedies against acne? As you can see, both its consumption and application are quite useful in the treatment of this skin condition.

  • Mahmood, S. N., & Bowe, W. P. (2014). Diet and acne update: carbohydrates emerge as the main culprit. Journal of Drugs in Dermatology : JDD.
  • Saric S, Notay M, Sivamani RK. Green Tea and Other Tea Polyphenols: Effects on Sebum Production and Acne Vulgaris. Antioxidants (Basel). 2016;6(1):2. Published 2016 Dec 29. doi:10.3390/antiox6010002
  • Lu, P. H., & Hsu, C. H. (2016). Does supplementation with green tea extract improve acne in post-adolescent women? A randomized, double-blind, and placebo-controlled clinical trial. Complementary Therapies in Medicine. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ctim.2016.03.004
  • Mahmood T, Akhtar N, Moldovan C. A comparison of the effects of topical green tea and lotus on facial sebum control in healthy humans. Hippokratia. 2013;17(1):64–67.
  • Hsu, S. (2005). Green tea and the skin. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaad.2004.12.044