The surprising topical benefits of tea.

Teas Used for Skin Care

Tea—green, black, white, and red—is making its way from the cup into beauty products. Rich in antioxidants with anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties, green tea is the most popular tea in skin care, but interest in other varieties is brewing.

What Are the Different Types of Tea?

Green, black, and white teas come from the same plant, Camellia sinensis. What makes them different is the processing of the leaves. Fresh-plucked green tea leaves are withered and steamed, not fermented. Black tea leaves are crushed and fermented, and according to recent studies, black tea has a similar amount of polyphenol antioxidants as green tea. Because white tea is the least processed of all varieties, it has the most antioxidants. It is made from leaves and buds that are plucked the day before they open, and then sun-dried.

Rooibos is a red herbal tea from the shrub Aspalathus linearis, usually grown on the western coast of South Africa. It turns red during fermentation and is not related to “true” tea. Rooibos means “red bush” in Afrikaans and references the deep crimson hue of rooibos tea. Each of the teas has distinctive skin care benefits:

Did You Know?

Rooibos isn’t technically tea, but a brew made from the South African Aspalathus linearis plant. True tea comes only from the Camellia sinensis plant. 

Green Tea Used to Protect Against Skin Cancer

Green tea is loaded with epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and other polyphenol antioxidants that shield the skin from sun damage, wrinkles, and signs of aging. Green tea polyphenols also protect against skin cancer, both when sipped and applied topically. Although anyone can benefit from this ingredient, it’s especially ideal for sensitive skin exposed to pollutants.

Matcha Used as Skin Soother

While matcha is technically a green tea, it’s a more potent version. Matcha works similarly to green tea to help reduce redness, soothe the skin, and protect the skin from UV rays and pollutants. It’s ideal for normal skin.

Black Tea Absorbs Excess Sebum

Black tea has been used in skin care formulas since China’s Ming Dynasty. Black tea’s tannins are antioxidants that can shield the skin from environmental damage, fight bacteria, hydrate, and nourish. It’s also very high in caffeine, which plumps, de-puffs, and firms skin. Its ability to absorb excess sebum makes it effective for oily skin.

White Tea as an Antibacterial

Since white tea is not processed, it has a higher polyphenol content than green and black tea. White tea is antibacterial and helps prevent dullness, spots, wrinkles, and sagging skin caused by toxins and free radicals. Its antioxidants benefit all skin types.

Rooibos Tea to Fight Wrinkles

Rooibos has wrinkle-fighting powers. It contains the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase, which is responsible for disarming the most dangerous free radicals, increasing cell turnover, and slowing down the development of wrinkles. Rooibos is recommended for dry skin or premature aging.

Beauty Products that Contain Tea

Alaffia Rooibos & Shea Antioxidant Face Cream, Live Clean White Tea & Cherry Foaming Hand Wash, Alba Botanica Hawaiian Green Tea Sunscreen SPF 45, Mad Hippie Advanced Skin Care 2 Minute Polishing Mask, Reviva Labs Antioxidant Skin Smoothing Advanced Day Créme

Alaffia Rooibos & Shea Antioxidant Face Cream, Live Clean White Tea & Cherry Foaming Hand Wash, Alba Botanica Hawaiian Green Tea Sunscreen SPF 45, Mad Hippie Advanced Skin Care 2 Minute Polishing Mask, Reviva Labs Antioxidant Skin Smoothing Advanced Day Créme

1. Protect skin and improve its texture 

With Alaffia Rooibos & Shea Antioxidant Face Cream. Rooibos tea protects skin from damaging free radicals, while unrefined shea butter, virgin coconut oil, and African wild honey diminish fine lines and renew normal-to-oily skin’s own moisture.

2. Pamper your hands while you lather 

With Live Clean White Tea & Cherry Foaming Hand Wash. White tea defends skin and supports its natural renewal cycle. Vitamin E, aloe vera, chamomile, and cherry extract leave hands clean, moisturized, and soft. The creamy lather rinses easily, leaving the scent of white tea and cherries.

3. Moisturize and protect skin 

With Alba Botanica Hawaiian Green Tea Sunscreen SPF 45. Green tea, aloe vera, and palm kernel oil absorb quickly and effectively to hydrate sun-exposed skin. Coral reef-safe ingredients provide broad-spectrum protection that is water resistant for 80 minutes. The lotion absorbs quickly and is ideal for daily wear.

4. Scrub and purify skin 

With Mad Hippie Advanced Skin Care 2 Minute Polishing Mask. Organic matcha tea, adzuki bean powder, organic rice bran, and organic oat flower gently buff and smooth skin. Detoxing green and white clays pull out impurities, leaving skin soft and glowing.

5. Defend your skin against free-radical damage 

With Reviva Labs Antioxidant Skin Smoothing Advanced Day Créme. Black and green teas, vitamins C and E, and alpha-lipoic acid help diminish fine lines and wrinkles while defending against future damage. Borage, rosehip, flaxseed, and lavender oils soften normal to dry skin. 

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No matter how well your natural skin, body, or hair care products work, even better results are possible with the right tools.