Green tea is made from the leaves of the Camelia sinensis plant. Grean Tea ia a very popular beverage worldwide. Green Tea is also a widely used ingredient in Naturopathic medicine.
Green Tea and Acne
Both unprocessed Green Tea and Green Tea Extract are commonly used in Naturopathic acne treatments. They are often mixed into topical preparations, such as face washes and masks. There are also some people who believe that consumption of Green Tea itself can improve acne symptoms.
There are many research articles that have reported that Green Tea is an effective acne treatment. Although this is encouraging, many of these articles are based on poor research methods and questionable science. It is certainly possible that Green Tea (and its extracts) are useful for the treatment of acne, but more evidence is needed. Feedback from the acne community will be especially important for identifying which (of the many claims) are most broadly true.
How Do Green Tea Acne Treatments Work
Green Tea contains many molecules that are thought to be biologically active. Green Tea contains moderate amounts of caffeine, a mild stimulant. Green Tea also contains many polyphenols, including epicatechins and flacanols. Many of the purported biological effects of Green Tea have been ascribed to the presence of these polyphenols.
Green Tea Extracts can be prepared by soaking the green tea leaves in a solvent, such as ethanol. This solution can then be concentrated.
The efficacy of topical 2% green tea lotion in mild-to-moderate acne vulgaris. Elsaie, et al 2009.
Outcomes of 3% green tea emulsion on skin sebum production in male volunteers. Mahmood, et al. 2010.
Green tea and other tea polyphenols: Effects on sebum production and acne vulgaris. Saric, et al. 2017.
Does supplementation with green tea extract improve acne in post-adolescent women? A randomized, double-blind, and placebo-controlled clinical trial. Lu, et al. 2016.
Antimicrobial activity of green tea flavor components and their combination effects. Kubo, et al. 1992.
Epigallocatechin-3-gallate improves acne in humans by modulating intracellular molecular targets and inhibiting P. acnes. Yoon, et al. 2013.
Phytochemical and antimicrobial screening of medicinal plants for the treatment of acne. Nand, et al. 2012.
Botanical and phytochemical therapy of acne: a systematic review. Fisk, et al. 2014.