Green tea may not be a cure for acne, but some research suggests that green tea is a viable natural remedy for mild acne.
Read on to learn about whether green tea can help acne, how to use it, and the benefits and risks.
Green tea contains plant-based compounds called catechins.
Catechins have antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. Researchers typically look at these compounds when assessing green tea’s potential health benefits.
One catechin compound in green tea is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). EGCG has significant anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, and antioxidant properties that could help prevent or treat acne.
According to a 2017
Too much sebum can cause dead skin cells to stick together and clog pores, which can trigger acne. Reducing sebum production on the skin may help prevent acne breakouts.
When treating acne with green tea, a person can apply products containing green tea topically on the skin. Alternatively, they can take supplements orally.
Researchers have primarily looked at green tea for acne as a topical application or as a supplement. Most studies have shown the positive effects of using either of these methods.
Few studies look at the effects of drinking green tea as a treatment for acne. The main issue is that researchers have not determined the effective dose, so the quantity of compounds in a drink may not be enough to have positive benefits for acne.
If someone is interested in drinking green tea, they should consider brewing their tea at home. Premade green tea, such as iced green tea in bottles or cans, often contains additives and sugar. This could negate some potential benefits.
Green tea may have some other health benefits. According to the
- improving mental awareness
- helping treat genital warts when in specific medications
- improving blood pressure and cholesterol
The NIH warn that green tea does not help with significant weight loss and weight management. Products that claim green tea will help with weight loss are falsely advertising, as no evidence supports the claims.
People considering oral green tea supplements should talk to their doctor first. They should review all their current medications with their doctor to ensure that a green tea supplement will not interfere with these.
Green tea extract may interfere with nadolol, a beta-blocker used to treat high blood pressure and heart problems.
The European Food Safety Authority and the NIH
The NIH also point out safety issues due to the amount of caffeine in some green tea supplements.
The NIH state that drinking green tea has minimal side effects. However, people should note that no studies looked directly at drinking green tea and its effects on acne.
As an ingredient in cosmetics or toiletries and as a supplement, green tea may help improve and prevent acne.
Several studies have shown that either topical creams and ointments or supplements containing green tea may be effective. Drinking green tea may have a similar effect, but an effective dose is still not known. Drinking a cup or two of green tea will unlikely cause any issues and may improve health over time.
People should talk to their doctor before starting any supplement, including green tea. Anyone with chronic or severe acne should seek medical treatment for reliable results.