We've all heard about the benefits of green tea, but we might not have unlocked all the potential uses of this buzzed-about ingredient.
Green tea has been elevated to superfood status because of health-boosting qualities that allegedly lower cholesterol, reduce the risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease, and decrease blood pressure. While the results of these studies are promising, the health benefits of drinking green tea may be overshadowing another important finding — its potential beauty perks.
The hype surrounding green tea can be attributed to catechin, an antioxidant. According to an informational document produced by the University of California, Davis, Department of Nutrition:
"Consumption of catechins has been associated with a variety of beneficial effects including increased plasma antioxidant activity (ability of plasma to scavenge free radicals), brachial artery dilation (blood vessel expansion), fat oxidation, and resistance of LDL to oxidation."
In other words, this antioxidant neutralizes free radicals in the body before they can cause harm. While there are currently no conclusive studies that confirm green tea to be the cancer-curing, fat-melting panacea we've all been searching for, additional research is being conducted.
Beyond the listed potential health benefits pertaining to free radicals, green tea contains other properties that may make it worth incorporating into your skin care routine. In the August 2000 edition of Archives of Dermatology, Hasan Mukhtar, Ph.D., and his co-authors published a study examining the effects of green tea on the skin. They conclude, "The outcome of the several experimental studies suggests that green tea possess anti-inflammatory and anticarcinogenic potential, which can be exploited against a variety of skin disorders." These claims are exciting but have yet to be proven as unequivocal truth, so you may want to hold off before relying solely on green tea skin care.
In the interim, one way to harness green tea's potential skin care benefits is through facial creams. These products can be purchased in stores, but New Zealand-based DIY and healthy lifestyle enthusiast Ela Gale offers a homespun alternative. In the video below, she shares her antioxidant-packed recipe for a nourishing homemade facial moisturizer.
Each ingredient is included with a purpose — in addition to the aforementioned green tea and itsbenefits, the beeswax serves as the base for the cream, the coconut oil hydrates the skin, the almond oil soothes and evens out the complexion, and the vitamin E oil provides nourishment and acts as a preservative.
Gale also adds essential oils to her cream, but this step can be personalized to your specific skin needs. In the YouTube video description, she praises the oil of her choice, lavender, for "its nice smell and skin regenerating