#Skin Care

I Tried a Green Tea-Only Skincare Routine for Three Weeks — Here’s What Happened

by Caroline Harris

I Tried a Green Tea-Only Skincare Routine for Three Weeks — Here’s What Happened

Image Credits: Innisfree / Sephora

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I’m fascinated by Japan as a source of secrets to longevity. Japan has one of the highest life expectancies in the world (87 years for women), and researchers claim that the healthy Japanese diet – which includes lots of fish, seaweed, rice, and green tea – is a significant contributing factor. Green tea, in particular, is Japan’s most consumed beverage. The superfood is packed with antioxidants that can improve cognitive functioning, promote weight loss, decrease the risk of heart disease, and even help prevent some types of cancer. Green tea is also a popular ingredient in topical treatments and skincare products, which makes sense —  if green tea is so amazing for your insides, it must be pretty good for your outsides, too.


Green Tea in Skincare: A Superstar Ingredient


Sure enough, green tea is touted for its amazing skincare benefits. The antioxidants in green tea skincare are thought to fight free radicals (a sign of sun damage), providing you with a healthier, more glowing complexion. David Razzano, a Sephora Beauty Director, told More, “green tea supplies many wonderful benefits to the skin when applied topically. It contains high amounts of a polyphenol called EGCG, which can help reduce irritation and inflammation, increase moisture, as well as fight blemishes.” 


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Inspired, I decided to embark upon a three-week-long experiment of using exclusively green tea skincare products to see if they lived up to the hype. I also incorporated more green tea into my diet, figuring a combination of applying and consuming green tea would create the most noticeable differences.


Incorporating Green Tea Into My Skincare Routine


Prior to the experiment, I had a minimalist skincare routine of only using a face wash, moisturizer, and exfoliator (plus jade rolling and sheet masking once a week). I figured the less products, the better for my sensitive skin. After keeping my skincare routine the same for years, I decided it was about time for a change – maybe green tea serums and toners were what my skin was missing all along.


Beauty brands Mario Badescu and innisfree sent me samples of their popular green tea skincare products, which I supplemented with green tea masks from Tonymoly and Sephora Collection. My green tea skincare collection included face wash, serum, toner, moisturizer, exfoliating scrub, facial spray, and two types of face masks – all infused with green tea, green tea extract, or green tea seed oils.


caroline green tea collection innisfree mario badescu sephora collection tonymoly


In the mornings, I kept my skincare routine as simple as possible because in my mind, mornings are more for guzzling coffee in a hazy, zombie-esque state. Each morning, I applied either innisfree Cleansing Foam or Mario Badescu Botanical Exfoliating Scrub, followed by innisfree Hydrating Cream and Mario Badescu Facial Spray. My favorite part of this routine was the Mario Badescu botanical mist, which helped wake up my tired skin with its comforting aloe, cucumber, and green tea ingredients. 


Come nighttime, I went all out, applying green tea skincare products with extra enthusiasm and vigor. I massaged my face with the innisfree Hydrating Cleansing Foam and applied three pumps of innisfree Intensive Hydrating Serum, patting the product into my skin to increase its absorption. Next came the innisfree Intensive Hydrating Toner, which felt refreshing on my skin and made my cheeks feel so soft. Finally, I lathered some innisfree Intensive Hydrating Cream onto my dry, sensitive skin. These green tea-infused products felt luxurious, and I could actually feel my skin becoming more hydrated with every application. 


On Friday nights, I practiced self-care by applying hair masks, eye masks, sheet masks — really, any kind of mask. I started my weekends strong with the Tonymoly I’m Green Tea Hydro-Burst Morning Mask, which rejuvenated my skin with its natural green tea and aloe extract formulation. Sometimes, I switched it up by using a Sephora Collection Green Tea Face Mask, which delivered thirst-quenching and acne-fighting benefits.


By the end of my three-week experiment, I became obsessed with green tea skincare with no turning back. My skin looked radiant and glowing, and I eagerly looked forward to applying my skincare every morning and night. 


caroline green tea skincare experiment before and after pics


Before making the switch to green tea skincare, I was happy with the appearance of my skin, but sometimes I had off-days where my skin looked dull, tired, and a little bleh. Green tea turned it all around for me, making almost every day a good skin day. 


According to Razzano, “the best way to reap the most benefits from green tea in your skincare is to use it regularly.” I’ll definitely be continuing to use all these products – with a mug of green tea by my side, of course.


1 of 5 Image Credits: Sephora

innisfree Green Tea Hydrating Heroes Set


This Hydrating Heroes Set from Innisfree is worth every penny, offering a comprehensive K-beauty routine you can perform every night. The set includes a hydrating face wash, toner, serum, and moisturizer – all infused with green tea extract and seed oil to nourish your skin.

2 of 5 Image Credits: Sephora

Mario Badescu Botanical Exfoliating Scrub


This Mario Badescu exfoliating scrub contains aloe vera, green tea extract, and ecuadorian ivory palm seeds – a powerful trifecta for making your complexion smoother and softer. You can use the scrub to exfoliate your skin one to three times a week, and the product is both cruelty-free and vegan.

3 of 5 Image Credits: Sephora

Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Cucumber And Green Tea


This facial spray is perfect for refreshing your skin from the moment you wake up with green tea extract, peppermint essential oil, and cucumber essential oil. The formulation is cooling and can be used throughout the day to reinvigorate skin with a touch of dewiness.

4 of 5 Image Credits: Ulta

TonyMoly I’m Green Tea Hydro-Burst Morning Mask


This lightweight mask is full of bamboo, green tea, and centella asiatica extracts to calm, brighten, and refresh your skin. The gel texture feels soothing (especially after being out in the sun for too long), and the K-beauty product boasts all five-star ratings on Ulta.

5 of 5 Image Credits: Sephora

Sephora Collection Green Tea Face Mask


This green tea sheet mask is designed to purify your skin while also working to prevent breakouts and minimize shine. Sephora shoppers are delighted with the face mask, declaring it “leaves my skin feeling so fresh, plump, and moisturized.” If you like this one, you can also try the pearl, aloe vera, coconut, rose, and pineapple versions.