Green tea

What does it do?
It’s an antioxidant, and helps protect against sun damage
Reduces oil production
Reduces inflammation

What’s it used for?
Signs of sun damage and ageing
Oily skin
Acne and rosacea-prone skin

How do I use it?
Apply in the morning, followed by moisturiser and sunscreen

Evidence rating

Drinking green tea has been touted for its health benefits for centuries, but what happens when you put it on your skin?

Green tea contains compounds called polyphenols, which are antioxidant. When applied to the skin,  green tea polyphenols have been shown to protect against sun damage and ageing, reduce oil production, reduce inflammation in the skin, and may improve acne. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate is the most abundant polyphenol, with the most evidence for use on the skin. 

Evidence base: Fair

Katiyar SK, Ahmad N, Mukhtar H. Green tea and skin. Arch Dermatol. 2000 Aug;136(8):989-94. 

OyetakinWhite P, Tribout H, Baron E. Protective mechanisms of green tea polyphenols in skin. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2012;2012:560682. 

Saric S, Notay M, Sivamani RK. Green Tea and Other Tea Polyphenols: Effects on Sebum Production and Acne Vulgaris. Antioxidants (Basel). 2016;6(1):2. Published 2016 Dec 29.


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Spotlight on Skin was created by award-winning Melbourne-based dermatologist, Dr Julia Rhodes.

Julia knows first-hand how overwhelming the skincare world can be, and that’s with over 10 years of experience practicing dermatology. Given that even she gets overwhelmed, she appreciates how hard it can be for those of you without a scientific background to make sense of all the information available, and choose products that are right for your skin…