I Tried a Green Tea-Only Skincare Routine for Three Weeks — Here’s What Happened
by Caroline Harris
Image Credits: Innisfree / Sephora
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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