Green tea, from the tea plant Camellia sinensis, with it’s metabolism-boosting, antioxidant and anticancer powers is now expanding its talents, entering into the world of skin care, especially acne treatments, and experiencing great success.
A study by Yoon et al, 2013, found that, when applied topically, EGCG, the active compound in green tea, combats acne by reducing oil production in the skin, inhibiting the bacteria P. acnes that causes acne in the first place and decreasing inflammation, which gives us those red, painful bumps. When taken internally, green tea has been shown to increase blood levels of sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), which binds up excess testosterone and prevents the formation of hormonal acne.
So basically, green tea treats every aspect of acne: wacky hormones, bacterial overgrowth, excessive oil and inflammation. Not bad for a little tea plant, huh? Before it hits the market by storm, peppering expensive acne creams, you can harness some of its power for yourself in a simple face mask recipe you can whip up in no time at all.
Matcha green tea is a potent, high-quality, finely ground form of green tea. It’s potency and powder from make it easier to work with when making natural cosmetics. This means you can mix up a batch of this face mask in a snap. The EGCG in green tea is both fat and water soluble meaning that it can be extracted using water, as in a tea, or in a carrier oil, as in the case of this face mask.
Matcha Green Tea Face Mask for Acne
1/2 tsp matcha green tea powder
2 tbs shea butter
1 tbs coconut oil
10 drops vitamin A (optional)
Combine all of the ingredients and, either in a double boiler or microwave (if you’re pressed for time and/or patience), apply heat until all of the ingredients have melted into a homogenous mixture. Mix thoroughly and set aside at room temperature until the oils harden. Apply topically all over the face or problem areas of the skin before bed (it won’t turn your skin green!). In the morning cleanse face normally. This also makes a great antioxidant-rich anti-aging moisturizer for mature, dry or damaged skin.
Yoon JY, Kwon HH, Min SU, Thiboutot DM, Suh DH. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate improves acne in humans by modulating intracellular molecular targets and inhibiting P. acnes. J Invest Dermatol. 2013. Feb;133(2):429-40.