For centuries, green tea has been hailed as a health elixir in Japanese culture. But beyond its merits as an antioxidant-rich beverage, Japanese green tea in particular offers tremendous skin benefits when applied topically or drunk regularly.
Thanks to special cultivars grown in Japan along with unique cultivation and processing methods, Japanese green tea contains higher concentrations of powerful compounds that fight signs of ageing, calm inflammation, brighten skin and deeply moisturize.
Read on for an in-depth look at what makes Japanese green tea so beneficial for glowing skin as well as tips for using green tea as part of your regular skincare routine.
Table of Contents
What Makes Japanese Green Tea So Potent?
Not all green teas are created equal when it comes to nurturing skin. Here’s why Japanese green tea packs superior rejuvenating qualities:
Higher Concentration of Antioxidants
The most renowned Japanese green tea is matcha – powdered tea made from specially grown and processed tencha leaves. Matcha boasts exponentially higher antioxidant levels than regular brewed green tea.
Antioxidants called catechins provide strong anti-ageing and anti-inflammatory benefits. Matcha contains 137 times more catechins than other green teas thanks to the way it utilizes the whole tea leaf.
Unique Cultivars Enhance Potency
In addition to matcha and other powdered green teas like konacha, Japanese-grown sencha, and gyokuro varieties also shine thanks to camellia sinensis cultivars that grow best in Japan’s climate. The Yabukita cultivar used for sencha, for example, produces a distinctly grassy, sweet flavour and high amino acid content.
These treasured cultivars impart more skin-enhancing compounds compared to lower-grade green teas.
Steaming Protects Catechins
Unlike green teas in other parts of Asia that are pan-fired, standard Japanese green tea is steamed before rolling and drying. This steaming prevents oxidization and degradation of those precious skin-protecting catechins other processing methods break down.
Thanks to cultivars, growing conditions, and special treatment, a cup of Japanese green tea can offer over double the amount of catechins as green teas from China or Korea.
Potent Skin/Beauty Benefits of Japanese Green Tea
From protecting against premature ageing to acne reduction and brightening, Japanese green tea serves up some incredible beauty perks. Here are the top ways it nurtures skin:
Fights Visible Signs of Aging
Perhaps the biggest benefit green tea provides is powerful antioxidant protection against damage from environmental free radicals. Free radicals contribute heavily to visible ageing in the form of wrinkles, sagging skin, dark spots, and loss of elasticity.
The catechins in green tea neutralize these skin-damaging free radicals before they can wreak havoc on cells and collagen. This helps prevent and minimize fine lines and wrinkles.
Research in the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition found women who drank green tea for 12 weeks showed significantly improved skin elasticity and moisture versus the control group.
Calms Inflammation and Acne
Aside from neutralizing free radicals with antioxidants, Japanese green tea also contains anti-inflammatory compounds. Powerful catechins reduce inflammatory chemicals that lead to irritated, swollen skin. This helps treat and prevent chronic issues like acne, rosacea, and eczema.
The anti-inflammatory nature also helps calm irritation from acne breakouts and other skin sensitivities while speeding healing. Green tea’s antimicrobial effects also make it a gentle natural acne treatment for mild to moderate cases by inhibiting bacteria growth.
Brightens Skin and Evens Tone
Uneven skin tone stems from sun exposure, acne scars, age spots, and discolouration. Fortunately, green tea has shown excellent skin-brightening abilities. It blocks tyrosinase, the enzyme that stimulates excess melanin production, resulting in age spots and pigmentation irregularities.
A study in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry found green tea polyphenols lightened UV-induced pigmentation, lightened freckles, and improved skin tone overall thanks to antioxidant and anti-tyrosinase action.
Deeply Moisturizes Skin
Soothing hydrated skin helps keep signs of ageing like fine lines and dullness at bay. The amino acids in green tea mimic natural moisturizing factors in the skin to prevent moisture from evaporating from the skin’s surface while providing deep hydration.
One study noted improvements in skin roughness, scaliness, and smoothness in women after drinking green tea high in amino acids. The rich array of vitamins, minerals, and tannins also prevents stripped, irritated skin.
Protects Skin from Sun Damage
In addition to repairing existing sun damage, compounds in green tea can help prevent further harm. Early research indicates specific polyphenols called EGCG absorb sunlight, acting as an internal sunscreen against UV exposure that leads to photoaging and skin cancer risks.
So slathering on green tea along with your sunscreen creates a doubly protective barrier, though more studies are still needed.
Now that you know all the ways Japanese green tea nurtures beautiful, youthful skin, let’s cover easy ways to incorporate it into your daily routine.
How to Use Japanese Green Tea Topically
While drinking green tea targets the skin from the inside out, you can further amplify benefits by applying it directly to the skin:
Soothing Green Tea Steam Facial
Steam opens pores and helps active ingredients penetrate deeper. Boil water, then remove from heat. Slowly pour over green tea leaves or bag in a large bowl. Carefully hover 10-12 inches above the steam for 5-10 minutes, then pat in gently with a soft cloth. Rinse the face with cool water afterwards.
Green Tea Skin Toner for Clear Skin
Brew very strong chilled green tea. Dip a soft cotton round and wipe over the face and problem areas after cleansing. The catechins tackle acne while the astringent effect removes oil and debris clogging pores.
Detoxifying Matcha Clay Mask
Mix 1⁄2 teaspoon matcha powder with 1 tablespoon bentonite clay and enough water to form a spreadable paste. Apply to the face and leave for 10 minutes before rinsing clean. Matcha’s antioxidants paired with clay’s pore-cleansing action leave skin fresh.
Depuffing Green Tea Eye Compress
Rest green tea bags soaked in cool water over closed eyes for 15-20 minutes to reduce dark circles, puffiness, and fatigue. Lie back and relax as the caffeine and tannins work their magic.
Remember that green tea can irritate sensitive skin. Discontinue use if any redness or itching occurs. Always do a patch test before trying any new facial products.
Now let’s explore how drinking Japanese green tea makes the biggest difference for radiant skin.
Drink Green Tea for Skin That Glows From Within
While beneficial topically, the most profound skin changes stem from drinking high-quality green tea daily:
Targets Skin Systemically
When ingested, the body readily absorbs green tea’s bioactive compounds into the bloodstream. This allows them to travel to skin cells and provide intensive nourishment systemically from the inside out.
Provides Critical Nutrients and Minerals
In addition to protective polyphenols, green tea contains essential minerals and B vitamins skin needs to regenerate and renew itself:
- Zinc – Bolsters skin immunity and healing. Prevents irritation and inflammation.
- Selenium – Important for skin elasticity. Its antioxidant action protects against sun damage and skin cancer.
- Manganese – A component of health-promoting SOD enzymes that neutralize free radicals.
- Riboflavin – Major player in collagen production. Prevents signs of premature ageing.
Hydrates and Detoxifies
The water and abundance of polyphenols in green tea keep the body and skin well hydrated. Fluid helps skin look plump and supple while the compounds spur waste elimination. This reduces toxin buildup that can manifest as dullness, acne, and age spots.
Anti-Allergy and Anti-Inflammation
The antioxidants tackle inflammatory chemicals causing irritated, broken-out skin. This helps minimize skin reactions and conditions like acne, hives, eczema, and rosacea exacerbated by inflammation.
So while green tea helps skin directly, abundant internal benefits support outer glow and beauty.
But all green teas are not made equal. Source authentic Japanese green tea and quality matcha for maximum benefit:
Finding Quality Japanese Green Tea
With so many tea options lining shelves, it can get confusing finding authentic Japanese green tea that provides skin perks. Here’s what to look for:
- Grown in Japan – Unique cultivars plus climate impact antioxidant levels.
- Whole-leaf powdered teas – Matcha and konacha provide exponentially higher nutrients than steeped green tea from tea bags.
- Organic and shade grew – Healthier leaves plus amino acids from shade cultivation.
- Bright green – Avoid dull, brownish teas as oxidation degrades catechins.
- Grassy, vegetal aroma – Indicator of freshness and steam processing method.
Some top green tea beauty picks:
- Ippodo Matcha – Gold standard ceremonial grade for drinking
- Yuuki Matcha Face Mask – Soothing, cleansing, and gentle exfoliating mask
- Harney and Sons Japanese Sencha – High-quality sencha grown near Kyoto
- Yamamotoyama Genmaicha – Nutritious green tea with roasted rice
With knowledge about why Japanese green tea nourishes skin unlike any other along with ways to incorporate it into your routine, get ready to say hello to a brighter, more even complexion!
How much green tea should I drink daily?
Aim for 2-3 cups of authentic Japanese green tea per day. This provides enough catechins and antioxidants to visibly improve skin over time without overdoing caffeine.
When is the best time to drink green tea for skin?
It’s ideal to drink one cup early in the morning and another in the evening. This offers sustained delivery of nutrients and compounds over time. Drinking tea on an empty stomach maximizes nutrient absorption too.
Is matcha better than regular green tea?
Yes! Since matcha is made with whole-ground tea leaves, it contains vastly higher levels of antioxidants and beneficial nutrients compared to steeped green tea from bags or loose leaves.
The Glowing Takeaway
There you have it! A deep dive into why Japanese green tea stands above other brews to fight acne, ageing, dryness, and irritation for glowing skin. With a potent blend of skin-enhancing amino acids, vitamins, and antioxidants, Japanese green tea is a tasty elixir that provides beauty inside and out.
Sip traditional steamed teas daily while smoothing on powdered matcha and green tea skin care products for amplified protection.
Here’s to more luminous, flawless skin for a lifetime – it’s as easy as going green!