Beauty from the inside out: Green Tea

01/24/2012

I’m not even gonna front like I did it for the health benefits. I mean prevention of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, protection from harmful UV rays (oh, and did I mention weight loss?) are cool and what not. But to be perfectly honest, I recently switched from drinking coffee to green tea because, well, studies suggest that green tea could make skin good and pretty.

In Green Tea Polyphenols Induce Differentiation and Proliferation in Epidermal Keratinocytes, the study reveals that EGCG polyphenols, compounds found in green tea, reactivate dying skin cells.

If we can energize dying skin cells, we can probably improve the skin condition. ~Dr. Stephen Hsu

Oh, but the fun doesn’t stop there. Studies have also suggested that when applied topically, green tea and all of its free radical-fighting awesomeness could also delay signs of aging. But before you run out and buy that $100 green tea moisturizer, understand that green tea polyphenols lose their magic powers when exposed to air. It’s still unclear whether commercial products containing green tea polyphenols don’t go fizzle while sitting on the store shelf waiting to be purchased.

Instead you can cut out the middle-man and freeze freshly brewed green tea into ice cubes. Thaw a cube as needed and use as facial toner. You could also add green tea extract directly to your current moisturizer for a boost of antioxidants.

Sooo, as much as I love my Joe—and I drink a really strong Ethiopian blend—I know I am doing myself a favor by swapping it out here and there for something better. The physical and mental withdrawal from coffee is a beast—I truly sympathize with those with hardcore substance addiction. But when I think about how kick @$$ it would feel to be 200% confident without a trace of foundation, it’s all good. Between the green tea and the zillion ounces of water I’ve been downing, I hope to be there in the near future.

For the perfect cup of tea

Add green tea leaves or tea bag to a cup of boiling hot water and steep for 5 minutes. Don’t boil the water with the tea leaves/bag in, or the polyphenols may become oxidized and weakened. Sweeten with honey or agave nectar (optional).

Don’t do caffeine?

Try taking (orally) green tea extract. Whether or not it will provide the same benefits as freshly brewed tea, however, is unknown.

Do you drink green tea regularly? Have you seen a noticeable difference in your skin? Have you ever applied it externally?