Tea—green, black, white, and red—is making its way from the cup into beauty products. Rich in antioxidants with anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties, green tea is the most popular tea in skincare, but interest in other varieties is brewing.
Time to Talk Teas
Green, black, and white teas come from the same plant, Camellia sinensis. What makes them different is the processing of the leaves. Fresh-plucked green tea leaves are withered and steamed, not fermented. Black tea leaves are crushed and fermented, and according to recent studies, black tea has a similar amount of polyphenol antioxidants as green tea. Because white tea is the least processed of all varieties, it has the most antioxidants. It is made from leaves and buds that are plucked the day before they open, and then sun-dried.
Rooibos is a red herbal tea from the shrub Aspalathus linearis, usually grown on the western coast of South Africa. It turns red during fermentation and is not related to “true” tea. Rooibos means “red bush” in Afrikaans and references the deep crimson hue of rooibos tea.
Did You Know?
Rooibos isn’t technically tea, but a brew made from the South African Aspalathus linearis plant. True tea comes only from the Camellia sinensis plant.
Beauty Benefits by Brew
Green tea is loaded with epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and other polyphenol antioxidants that shield the skin from sun damage, wrinkles, and signs of aging. Green tea polyphenols also protect against skin cancer, both when sipped and applied topically. Although anyone can benefit from this ingredient, it’s especially ideal for sensitive skin exposed to pollutants.
While matcha is technically a green tea, it’s a more potent version. Matcha works similarly to green tea to help reduce redness, soothe the skin, and protect the skin from UV rays and pollutants. It’s ideal for normal skin.
Black tea has been used in skincare formulas since China’s Ming Dynasty. Black tea’s tannins are antioxidants that can shield the skin from environmental damage, fight bacteria, hydrate, and nourish. It’s also very high in caffeine, which plumps, de-puffs, and firms skin. Its ability to absorb excess sebum makes it effective for oily skin.
Since white tea is not processed, it has a higher polyphenol content than green and black tea. White tea is antibacterial and helps prevent dullness, spots, wrinkles, and sagging skin caused by toxins and free radicals. Its antioxidants benefit all skin types.
Rooibos has wrinkle-fighting powers. It contains the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase, which is responsible for disarming the most dangerous free radicals, increasing cell turnover, and slowing down the development of wrinkles. Rooibos is recommended for dry skin or premature aging.
Written by sherrie-strausfogel for Better Nutrition and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.