You probably already know that drinking tea has loads of health benefits. But it turns out, drinking tea also has loads of skin benefits! “Studies have shown that antioxidants, polyphenols, and anti-inflammatory agents improve and maintain the health of the skin,” says Dr. John Diaz, board certified plastic surgeon. And “tea is a rich source of all of these.”
And beauty experts can all agree that there are some major benefits from not only drinking tea, but using tea topically. “Tea is a superstar in the natural skin care world,” says Theresa Krier, founder of Big T NYC — a brand that makes curated and bespoke teas and tisanes. “[They’re] packed with a host of vitamins, amino acids, and catechins that work holistically to slow aging, stimulate collagen production, reduce body fat, and maintain healthy skin cells. Tea also combats dehydration, a major culprit of dull skin.”
It’s basically a flavorful way of getting enough fluid into your body each day along with skin-loving nutrients! Whether you drink one or two cups a day or apply brewed tea or extracts directly to your skin, there’s no doubt you’ll see some amazing results! Keep reading to find out which teas to add to your life for clear, youthful, glowing skin.
Green tea is considered the powerhouse of all herbal teas. It’s full of the most potent antioxidants, like polyphenols and EGCG. Adina Grigore, author of The Skin Cleanse and founder of S.W. Basics, an all-natural sustainable skin care line, says, “Polyphenols [in tea] are anti-inflammatory and have DNA repair capabilities, which can correct cellular mutations cause by free radicals.” The powerful catechins in green tea have also been shown to revive dying skin cells and promote healthy new cells.
Skin care products that contain green tea can almost immediately act as a morning pick-me-up and instantly brighten dull, tired skin. Blithe Soothing & Healing Green Tea Splash Mask ($45) in-shower treatment can perk up your complexion in seconds! Just splash your face with a cap-full and follow with a few splashes of water. Just like that, you’ve accomplished a shower, spa-sesh, and tea party all at once!
Known for its large amounts of antioxidants, black tea is full of vitamins and minerals like magnesium, potassium and zinc. Together these — along with polyphenols — aid in reducing visible signs of aging and encourage the regeneration of cells for blemish-free and glowing skin. If you get under-eye swelling due to allergies, or you’ve just had a good cry, Diaz notes that the caffeine in black tea can constrict blood vessels and help decrease puffiness when applied topically. You can even use black tea bags to your legs after shaving for immediate relief from razor burn!
Fake a good night’s sleep with Bremenn Botanicals Black Tea Age Defying Eye Concentrate ($54). The formula targets all signs of tired eyes, including dark circles, dryness and dullness. It also helps firm skin for a more youthful appearance.
White tea reigns as one of the most pure, least processed tea making its antioxidant properties and catechin content the highest. It’s also one of the most effective teas at boosting skin luminosity and preventing collagen and elastin breakdown. Furthermore, white tea has been shown to help fight infection causing bacteria, which is why it’s often suggested for people who suffer from skin conditions and acne.
Eliminate toxins before they into the skin with Origins A Perfect World Antioxidant Cleanser with White Tea ($25). The dirt-grabbing minerals and the gentle cleansing action of palm, coconut, and oat amino acids go deep to help detoxify and free skin of harmful impurities before they cause oxidation, deterioration and dehydration.
If you tend to get hormonal acne, reach for this refreshing tea. Spearmint tea has an anti-androgenic effect that can prevent a hormonal imbalance known to trigger acne and prevent the production of excess sebum. Carl Thornfeldt, MD, founder of Epionce skin care, told Lindsey Metrus in an article on Byrdie that “drinking two cups of spearmint tea every day was more effective at clearing acne than prescription remedies. He adds that in a 2015 study by the American Academy of Dermatology, two cups of organic spearmint tea ingested daily reduced inflammatory acne lesions by 25% after one month and 51% after three months.” The scent itself can help reduce stress-induced acne and eczema!
With refreshing Spearmint at its base, Patyka Spearmint Purifying Foaming Gel ($40) is a soap-free gentle foaming gel formulated to effectively eliminate makeup, impurities, and excess oil while stimulating skin circulation.
The super spice of the herbal world, cinnamon tea helps enhance your complexion and helps get rid of acne thanks to its antifungal and antibacterial properties. This is done by drying your skin and bringing blood and oxygen to the outer skin surface. Cinnamon tea also help remove dead skin cells and helps restore shine and suppleness to your skin. And as an added bonus, drinking a cup of cinnamon tea can also help with bad breath!
While its sleep-inducing properties are what makes it so popular, chamomile tea is also very popular in many skin care products. “The active ingredients include anti-inflammatory flavonoids and coumarin, which help prevent and reduce inflammatory acne lesions,” says Krier. This magic skin-loving potion is also full of anxiolytic which helps reduce stress acne and allows irritated skin to heal naturally. You can even use chamomile tea bags to topically treat tired puffy eyes and dark under-eye circles as well as rub the powered leaves on acne scares to help them fade away.
Enriched with colloidal oatmeal and chamomile, NYDG Colloidal Oatmeal Cleanser ($48) is designed to both soothe and purify sensitive skin leaving your complexion looking refreshed and nourished.
Not only does this tea smell great and taste sweet, jasmine tea acts as an anti-inflammatory which helps treat irritated skin. Sipping on a cup of jasmine can also help fight off the effects of aging and help with skin conditions like eczema thanks to its antibacterial and antiviral properties. Plus, jasmine tea can also help those with oily skin by reducing oil production, helps to fight acne, and can even balance out hormones.
Vitamin A stimulates natural cell turnover and helps reduce the appearance of fine lines while jasmine oil improves hydration in Cover FX’s Customer Infusion Drops A + Jasmine ($48). Add these serum-like drops to any skin care product and the concentrated formula will bring plenty of anti-aging perks!
An infusion of fresh grated ginger root, “ginger tea is full of anti-inflammatory power to aid your digestion and your skin,” says Laura Wood, co-author over at Hello Glow. Simply ingesting this zingy herbal brew boosts blood circulation, in turn promoting oxygen and nutrients to reach skin tissue. Ginger is known to be an antiseptic that treats many skin imperfections. From reducing uneven skin tone to curing pigmented skin, the benefits are endless! Studies have also shown that because of its high level of anti-inflammatory compounds, ginger helps flush out toxins, thereby providing you with moisturized, glowing skin.
A must-have for oily/combination skin, JUARA’s Sweet Black Tea & Ginger Oil-Free Moisturizer ($60) combines the radiance boosting and anti-aging benefits of black with the shine-reducing and purifying properties of ginger and cinnamon to leave skin with a luminous matte finish.
The hibiscus flower is a natural source of AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid) known to help exfoliate skin, speed up cell turnover, and help control breakouts. This tea is super potent when consumed because of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. These properties result from the vitamins it contains (namely C and A, as well as B1, B2, zinc, and iron) which can help treat acne, burns, skin allergies, and boost skin elasticity. So it’s not wonder why hibiscus has long been a staple in herbal tea blends! Simply drinking one cup of hibiscus tea can increase your body’s antioxidant level.
The Herbivore Rose Hibiscus Hydrating Face Mist ($16-32) is infused with youth-boosting hibiscus flower petals and moisture-enhancing rose to tone, hydrate and soften skin.
Stinging Nettle Tea
Stinging nettle tea also supports healthy skin and boasts a rich vitamin and mineral content containing vitamin B and K, selenium and zinc. Nettle leaf tea is also a blood purifier, meaning it helps to cleanse the cells of toxins. These factors combined help provide you with clearer, firmer looking skin. And due to its high silica content, nettle tea can also support healthy hair and nails. A cup of stinging nettle tea is also great for anyone in need of an energy boost. Although fresh nettle leaves have a chemical that causes a rash when it comes in contact with skin, don’t fear the dried variety which you can find at most health food stores.
One of my favorite toners is Clarins ‘Gentle Exfoliator’ Brightening Toner ($33.15). Tamarind extract removes dry, dull surface cells while white nettle extract refines enlarged pores.
You may not want to see dandelions in your yard, but dandelion tea has amazing benefits for your skin and internal organs. Dandelion root is a gently diuretic brew that supports liver function and digestion, both of which are essential for glowing skin! It’s also full of antioxidants which help prevent premature aging, as well as vitamins A, B, C and minerals like iron and zinc — all of which promote clear and healthy skin.
Another favorite of mine is Lilah B’s Aglow Face Mist ($48) — a lavender oil-infused face mist that contains beneficial botanicals like dandelion extract to soothe and promote blemish-free, glowing skin and knot grass extract with firming properties for environmental defense.
Made from fermented black tea, kombucha tea is great for detoxifying the skin. Like most teas, kombucha is full of antioxidants which help reduce fine lines. But it also contains probiotics which improve digestion and can help with skin elasticity for youthful, glowing skin. A 2012 L’Oreal Research & Innovation study found that kombucha extract was “beneficial to the skin, helping to maintain moisture and elasticity so it appears more even in tone and texture.” So it’s no wonder you can find this glow-giving ingredient in cleansers, eye gels and moisturizers. You can even apply the tea as a topical astringent and use for treating sunburns.
Consider using Charlotte Tilbury The Retoucher ($35) that makes pores, lines and wrinkles disappear. The hydrating complex keeps skin plump while kombucha fills in grooves in the skin, firms the complexion, and brings back luster to dull skin.
+Which teas are your favorite to help you achieve youthful, glowing skin? Leave your thoughts in the comments!