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How to use green tea in your skin care

In particular, since sun protection benefits of green tea are particularly well documented, it could make sense to apply a green tea formula under your sunscreen when venturing into the sun. It is best to combine green tea with zinc oxide-based sunscreens because zinc oxide is chemically inert and should not react with green tea (which some chemical sunscreens might do, especially in sunlight).

It may also be useful to incorporate green tea into your skin maintenance routine to possibly slow down skin aging. However, simply buying a green tea cream may not necessarily be the best way to go. Like most other antioxidants, green tea polyphenols are oxidized and lose their activity when exposed to air. Whether commercial green tea creams retain the activity is unclear and may vary widely from product to product.

If you are willing to put in a bit of extra effort, here is some alternatives. Freeze freshly brewed green tea as ice cubes and use them as a toner. (Just don't apply ice cubes to your skin right out of the freezer, let them start thawing first or you may get a freeze burn.) Or you can make your own fresh green tea cream using standardized extract as an active ingredient.

You can also drink lots of green tea or take green tea extract in capsules as discussed above - the polyphenols might reach your skin via the bloodstream in sufficient amounts to make a difference.