Green Tea for Acne – A Complete Step-by-Step Guide

Using green tea for acne treatment - The ultimate, step-by-step guide

We all are aware of the benefits that green tea offers –improved brain function, quick digestion, fat loss and enhanced blood circulation. After all, it is the most popular amongst hot beverages. And you can’t ignore the fact that it is your go-to thing when you’re on a diet.

Besides, the Chinese proverb ‘Better to be deprived of food for three days, than tea for one.’ definitely exists for some reason.

But have you ever considered green tea for acne treatment? The question might sound very reasonable to you but you are not potentially familiar as to how green tea can work well for acne. This post will serve as a complete guide to help you figure out the benefits green tea holds for acne and how you should use it.

Let’s dive into the pool of research and experts’ opinions to know the efficacy of green tea against acne.

How Green Tea Fights Acne?

Green tea is generally rich in anti-oxidants and heals inflammation. Anti-oxidants help protect your skin form the sun damage and bring about the skin renewal process.But there are a few certain ways through which it combats acne. Have a look!

Its Anti-Oxidant Potential

Using green tea against acne breakouts with its anti-oxidant properties.

Green tea has a significant anti-oxidant potential because it contains lot of polyphenols. Polyphenols have found to be showing reduction in sebum production which is the biggest cause of pimples and pores blockage.

According to a research published in Antioxidants by NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information) US, green tea polyphenols have a significant impact on the sebum production and acne vulgaris.

In addition to this, green tea is also rich in catechins, a phenol that is well known for its anti-microbial activity. The most potent and prominent of these catechins is EGCG i.e. (–)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate.

EGCG has shown to be 25 to 100 percent more effective than Vitamins C and E in terms of anti-oxidant activity.The Journal of Investigative Dermatology publishes how EGCG improves acne and how it combats the Propionibacterium acne overgrowth giving you an acne-free skin.

Its Anti-Inflammatory Effect

When it comes to acne, inflammation is a guaranteed condition that comes along acne scars. To treat any inflammation that is also a result of your acne, green tea proves helpful.

Due to the presence of EGCG, green tea also exhibits anti-inflammatory effects. According to a PubMed study conducted in 2016, green tea possesses anti-inflammatory action. So, you should use green tea for acne scars.

Apart from this, inflammation triggers acne and is a fundamental process in the development of acne lesions. Dr. Whitney Bowe, a New York based dermatologist says,

“Initial inflammation helps the P.acnes bacteria to colonize the skin pore.”

When sebum gets oxidized, it is highly comedogenic i.e. it causes acne. Sebum mostly comprises Squalene which turns to squalene peroxide after oxidation. Squalene peroxide is heavily responsible for starting an inflammatory cascade that leads to pimple formation.

In short, inflammation occurs both before and after acne. This is proved in the study, published in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatologythat discusses the role of inflammation in the pathology of acne.

Controls Blood Sugar Level

Green tea controls blood sugar which helps eliminating acne

As an acne sufferer, you know for sure that high blood sugar levels are extremely harmful for your acne. Green tea polyphenols and polysaccharides are effective in lowering blood sugar.

As published by the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, green tea extracts reduced the normal elevation of glucose and insulin when 50 grams of starch were ingested. So, if you consume green tea, you are going to keep those extra sugar levels at bay alongside curing acne.

Keeps Your Hormones Healthy

One of the many causes of acne involvesthe imbalance or improper functioning of your hormones. Green tea balances hormones that are linked to acne i.e. the IGF-1 and sex hormones. Since, these hormones are also linked with breast and prostate cancer, green tea also holds anti-cancerous effects.

The catechin, EGCG, present in green tea prevents the conversion of testosterone into DHT (Dihydrotestosterone). DHT is the most harmful hormone when it comes to acne. It binds to the androgen receptors in the oil glands that result in excessive oil production.

According to a research, the role of androgen and androgen receptors in acne shows that DHT is an important regulator of sebum production. And green tea prevents DHT. Therefore, green tea significantly knocks out acne caused by hormonal imbalances.

How Green Tea Can Be Used?

The importance of green tea discussed remains pointless unless and until we know how to use it. Green tea can be used in both the forms: drinkable and powdered.

Although, drinking green tea helps you in detoxifying skin, you cannot ignore the advantages you get by using it topically in the form of masks and toners. We are revealing some methods that will help you get over your acne soon.

Drinkable Form

Drinking green tea is the best form to use against acne.

If you suffer from acne occasionally and it hasn’t struck you hard, drinking green tea will definitely eradicate all your blemishes. There are many green tea recipes from which you can choose.  Make sure it includes citrus and mint if you want instant results. Drink 1 cup every day if you suffer from normal acne.

Note: Keep in mind that drinking green tea will not be effective if you have severe acne and you break out every now and then. You need topical application as well.

Green Tea Masks and Toners

If you are suffering from hormonal or cystic acne you need topical application of green tea. Below are some methods through which you can use green tea topically:

Honey and Green Tea

Honey and green tea remedy for acne

This is the best green tea mask for acne. Honey possesses excellent anti-bacterial properties to combat acne. Moreover, it acts as a humectant i.e. it helps maintain your skin’s water level. Its bleaching quality helps in eliminating acne scars.

Suitable for: Dry to combination skin


  • 1 green tea bag.
  • 1 tablespoon organic honey.
  • Hot water.


  • Place tea bag in hot boiling water for 3-4 minutes.
  • Remove the bag and let it cool.
  • Once the bag is cool, cut and extract the leaves.
  • Add honey to the leaves extract.
  • Apply this mixture to your face after you wash your face with a facial cleanser.
  • Leave it for 20 minutes.
  • Rinse with cold water and pat dry.

Apply this mask 3-4 times a week for visible improvements.

Aloe Vera Gel and Green Tea

Aloe Vera Gel holds great anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It fights acne and heals all the redness, irritation and inflammation.

Suitable For: All types of skins including sensitive.


  • 2 green tea bags.
  • 1 cup water.
  • 1 tablespoon pure aloe vera gel.
  • Cotton pad.


  • Place 2 tea bags in a cup of boiling water to get a strong solution. Let the mixture cool.
  • Mix the cooled green tea and aloe vera gel and store in a glass jar.
  • Wash your face with a gentle cleanser and pat dry.
  • Saturate a cotton pad with the mixture and dab it onto acne affected areas.
  • Let it dry and apply an acne-friendly moisturizer afterwards.
  • Use it twice a day for instant results.

Tea Tree Oil and Green Tea

Tea tree oil is considered to be the most effective essential oil in the treatment of acne. It purifies pores unclogging them as a result and decreasing your chances of breaking out.

Suitable For: Combination to oily skins.


  • ½ cup green tea.
  • 3-4 drops tea tree essential oil.
  • Cotton pad.


  • Brew green tea and let it cool.
  • Mix tea tree oil in the cooled green tea and store in a jar.
  • Apply with a cotton pad after cleansing your skin with a facial wash.
  • Follow with a moisturizer if your skin feels dry.
  • Use this toner twice a day for effective results.

Green Tea and Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar is a great agent in purifying your skin. It clears up all the dirt, dead cells and make up remains maintaining the right pH for your skin.

Suitable For: All types of skins except sensitive.


  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar.
  • ¾ cup brewed green tea.
  • Cotton pad.


  • Brew green tea and allow it to cool completely.
  • Combine the cooled green tea with apple cider vinegar and store in a jar.
  • Apply with a cotton pad.
  • Before applying wash your face with a gentle cleanser.
  • Use twice a day.

Are There Any Side-Effects?

Most of the side-effects of green tea occur only when it is taken orally. If you are only using it on your skin you will face a very low instance of side-effect.

Nevertheless, allergic reactions are possible if you have sensitive skin. In case any allergy occurs you should consult a dermatologist right away. What you need to do is stop taking green tea orally and stick to the topical use only.

Besides, there are small side-effects that occur if you drink green tea every day. These include irritation, insomnia, iron-deficiency and anemia. However, they can be avoided if the use is restricted to one cup of green tea per day.

Your Thoughts?

How are you going to use green tea for treating your acne? Any methods, experiences, or concerns you want to share? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

Sheikh has been blogging regularly at CAA for over 5 years. He spends majority of his time studying health and technology or participating in discussions about these niches (online or offline).


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