The sunlight consists of 3 different types of UV radiations; UVA, UVB, and UVC. About 95 percent of the UV rays that reach the ground are UVA rays. The other 5 percent of UV rays are UVB. Although UVC never reaches the ground, man-made sources like welding torches, lasers, and mercury lamps emit UVC.
UVA causes dark spots and wrinkles on the skin. UVB damages the outer layers of your skin, causing sunburn, inducing oxidative stress and DNA damage, and affecting the immune system.
Human and animal studies using both topical and oral preparations of Green Tea have shown significant protective effects against UV-induced skin damage and immunosuppression.
- Green Tea decreases UV radiation-induced carcinogenesis
- Green Tea inhibits the activity of chemical tumor initiators and promoters
- Green Tea decreases UV radiation-induced DNA damage
Both In vitro and in vivo studies suggest that routine use of Green Tea both topically and orally may provide effective protection against UV radiation and ultimately skin cancer. (1) When it comes to skin health, we tend to put more attention on “topical application,” but actually science shows what you ingest (eat and drink) into the system also matters.
How many cups to drink
As a person who lives in efficiency-oriented modern times, we always want to find the optimum effect from the minimum effort. As for Green Tea, I often discover the term, “dose-dependent effect.” That means, the more the better. After ingestion, EGCG is distributed throughout the body, even in the brain cells. But studies show that the EGCG works better when routinely ingested because it creates a synergistic effect. (1)
A study shows consuming Green Tea regularly delayed cancer onset for both males and females by 3.2 years and 7.3 years respectively. (2) As for the amount, the study used 10 Japanese-size cups (120 ml/cup), which is about half the size of the 8 oz size cup. So, would it be translated to 5 cups? Unfortunately, we don’t know the exact amount, because the study doesn’t say how many grams of tea leaves were used to make the Japanese-size cups. Typically, Japanese people tend to make a stronger tea, so even though the cup size is smaller, they may have used the same amount of tea leaf as American people use to brew their 8 oz size cup. If that’s taken into a consideration, you’d need to still drink 10 cups of brewed tea, 8 oz in size.
So, drinking tea in powder form makes more sense. We are not able to convert the amount into the exact equivalent due to the lack of information. Our naturopathic doctor friends recommend to their cancer patients to drink one cup every 4 hours, 4 to 6 cups a day.
How to apply Green Tea to the skin
1) DIY Green Tea Toner
Step 1 – Brew 1 Tbsp. fresh Green Tea leaf, such as Gyokuro or Fukamushi Sencha, with 1/4 cup hot water for 15 minutes. Squeeze the tea liquid out of the tea leaf using a strainer. You will get about 2 Tbsp. tea liquid.
— OR —
Step 2 – Mix the solution you made from step 1 with 1/4 c Aloe until smooth. Using a frother makes this part a cinch! You can use the gel directly from an aloe vera plant or buy a bottled Aloe gel at a health store.
Step3 – Keep the mixture in the fridge. Apply 1/2 tsp. to your skin, and rub it in. And then use your moisturizer to seal the hydrated skin. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen before you go outside! Click here to see tips for the safest sunscreen.
Left: DIY toner made with Gyokuro Tea Master / Right: DIY toner made with Edible Green Sencha powder
2) DIY “Matcha” Mask
Both “Matcha” and “Edible Green” Sencha powder work for this recipe. The mask removes the impurity and nourishes the skin! This mask helps for acne as well—click here to see the effect.
Is Green Tea a diuretic?
Does Green Tea make you go to the bathroom more often? Does that mean Green Tea dehydrates you?
Studies suggest that “Green Tea is a diuretic” is a myth—“Compared with the control group (who consumed only boiled water), no differences were observed in any of the hydration markers in blood or urine, nor were there any significant differences in mean 24-hour urine output.” (3)
The research was done at a higher altitude, which is more stressful for the hydration system of the human body. The result says, “There is no evidence that tea acts as a diuretic when consumed through natural routes of ingestion by regular tea drinkers.” And it added, “But it does have a positive effect on mood.” (4)
How proper hydration helps you
- Keeps the body functioning properly
- Lubricates joints
- Nurtures healthier skin
- Regulates body temperature
- Helps you sleep better
- Think more clearly