Tea began as a medicine and grew into a beverage. ~Okakura Kakuzō
Green tea is love. It tastes good and does wonders to your body. Even though consuming it on an empty stomach is the best thing you can do to absorb more antioxidants from it, and adding honey for it to absorb faster, I think consuming and applying it is great for you. Green tea fights the internal causes of acne: insulin resistance, hormones, and inflammation.
In ancient japan, tea was used to achieve “good health on five vital organs”, it was drunk by samurais and upper-class people to stay healthy, and so it became a basic trait of Japanese culture. We know it works: it’s loaded with antioxidants, mainly polyphenols. Green tea has been studied with promising results and a lot of its interest lies on a catechin called EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate). In a study that analyzed the anti-rheumatic activity of EGCG, they concluded that it’s 25 to 100 times more potent than vitamin C and E in terms of antioxidant activity.
Another study reviewed different types of teas, their levels of catechins, caffeine, and brewing methods. Concluding that ½ a cup of green tea brewed for 5 minutes has the same antioxidant potential as 1 kg of fruit. This means that it reduces oxidation in our bodies, preventing DNA and inflammatory damage and preventing diseases like cancer, or cardiovascular problems. Acne patients have a higher level of inflammation: sebum on the skin suffers oxidation, pores get clogged, bacteria attacks them, inflammation occurs, resulting in acne. So, if green tea reduces inflammation, it can help acne.
Another important property of green tea is that it lowers blood sugar. The polyphenol group catechins and polysaccharides are responsible for this. EGCG influences the way glucose is absorbed because it mimics the actions of insulin, reducing the amount of glucose that goes through the intestine wall into the bloodstream (carbohydrate absorption) and increasing insulin secretion. It also aids pancreas insulin secretion and inhibits glucose from the liver. It also increases the metabolic rate and boosts fat burning. Green tea regulates insulin’s effect on skin cells: less sebum and keratin production, as a consequence, less oxidation, secretion and better binding on sex hormones. ECGC prevents the conversion of androgens; testosterone into DHT which is also good for acne prevention.
As I said before, studies show that it can help with all acne causes: hormones, insulin resistance, and inflammation. Other teas like black or oolong tea have the same origin as green tea but it earns the best quality of EGCG, as it stays unoxidized and unfermented. In other types of tea, EGCG changes into different compounds and the medical effect is diluted. Plus, polyphenols can help ward off kidney stones before they occur, reducing the calcium oxalate stone formation and large stones have a hard time forming by changing the shape of the mineral crystals so they cannot clump together. So don’t worry about drinking your tea and kidney stones.