White, green or black, tea in skincare has a whole host of soothing, calming and protective benefits that are worth knowing about. 

Are you a milk and two sugars kind of person? Only drink Earl Grey? Perhaps mint tea is more your bag – but even if you’re not a fan of it at all, you might have noticed it’s an ingredient that’s popping up increasingly often in skincare.

A natural ingredient, there’s an array of different teas that are used across cleansers, moisturisers, serums and face masks, each one with distinct benefits that span everything from being rich in antioxidants to powerful protective properties. Tea can even help reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and age spots, work to soothe skin and regulate oil production. 

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Here, we’ve broken down the benefits of the most common types of tea used in skincare – plus the best products to try now.

The benefits of green tea in skincare

One of the most commonly used skincare ingredients, green tea has impressive anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties – so if you’re somebody who suffers with acne-prone, sensitive skin, it could be one worth looking out for. However, it’s also brilliant for soothing and protecting skin, thanks to its incredible antioxidant benefits.

Experts agree that green tea is best used in combination with other antioxidants – such as vitamin C or vitamin E – because they work synergistically to reduce chances of degradation and to improve overall efficacy. It’s also worth noting that green tea contains caffeine and tannins, which both work to shrink blood vessels and decrease puffiness.

The benefits of black tea in skincare

The most mature type, black tea contains the highest levels of caffeine, which is why you’re most likely to find it in products targeted to the eye area. However, it’s also bursting with antioxidants that work to fend off environmental damage, including pollution and UV rays.

Another thing about black tea that’s worth knowing is that when it’s fermented, it turns into kombucha. So, in addition to working to support your immune system, when kombucha is applied to the skin topically, it helps to improve the skin barrier and positively impacts hydration levels, while also working to help keep skin balanced – which, over time, can reduce the number of breakouts.

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The benefits of white tea in skincare

While white tea might be the least well-known of the three, that doesn’t make it any less effective. Like its black and green counterparts, white tea also has proven anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and research suggests that it has a protective effect against everything from fine lines to sunburn and UV damage on skin.

It also has a proven ability to prevent the breakdown of both elastin and collagen – two things that are found naturally in skin – meaning it’s able to help ensure skin doesn’t lose its firmness, and remains both strong and radiant.

  • Fresh Black Tea Advanced Age Renewal Cream

    Fresh Black Tea Advanced Age Renewal Cream

    A brand famed for harnessing the power of tea, Fresh’s newest launch uses black tea alongside blackberry leaf and lychee seed extracts, plus BT matrix promises to support the skin’s natural collagen levels. As well as working to improve firmness, it also imparts a healthy glow.

    Shop Fresh Black Tea Advanced Age Renewal Cream at Cult Beauty, £84

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  • Origins A Perfect World Antioxidant Cleanser with White Tea

    Origins A Perfect World Antioxidant Cleanser with White Tea

    Origins’ A Perfect World franchise uses white tea as the hero ingredient to help defend skin against free radical damage. This cleanser combines coconut and oat amino acids to dissolve make-up and other impurities.

    Shop Origins A Perfect World Antioxidant Cleanser with White Tea at LookFantastic, £25

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  • Youth to the People Kale + Green Tea Superfood Cleanser

    Youth to the People Kale + Green Tea Superfood Cleanser

    One of the brand’s bestsellers, this superfood cleanser makes light work of removing both make-up and dirt. Alongside kale and spinach, green tea acts as an anti-inflammatory as well as working to support the skin’s barrier.

    Shop Youth to the People Kale + Green Tea Superfood Cleanser at Cult Beauty, £31

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  • Beauty of Joseon Calming Serum

    Beauty of Joseon Calming Serum

    Formulated with an impressive 76% green tea water, this lightweight serum works to help reduce redness, while added centella asiatica – aka tiger grass – helps relieve irritation if you’ve gone overboard with active ingredients.

    Shop Beauty of Joseon Calming Serum at Sephora UK, £14

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  • PSA Liquid Panacea Firming Recovery Booster

    PSA Liquid Panacea Firming Recovery Booster

    Using a carefully crafted blend of centella and kombucha, you can either use this booster product alone after cleansing or mix it into your usual serum or moisturiser to brighten, soothe and instantly reduce irritation and calm inflammation in angry, compromised skin.

    Shop PSA Liquid Panacea Firming Recovery Booster at Cult Beauty, £27

    buy now

  • Innisfree Intensive Hydrating Serum with Green Tea Seed

    Innisfree Intensive Hydrating Serum with Green Tea Seed

    Ideal for dull, dehydrated skin types, this lightweight lotion promises to boost hydration levels and replenish lost moisture to balance and nourish, while also working to strengthen and support the skin barrier.

    Shop Innisfree Intensive Hydrating Serum with Green Tea Seed at Sephora UK, £22.50

    buy now

  • Then I Met You Soothing Tea Cleansing Gel

    Then I Met You Soothing Tea Cleansing Gel

    Best used as a second cleanse after removing make-up, this gel-like cleanser uses green tea to calm skin, while liquorice root extract ensures it remains luminous and gentle PHAs work to exfoliate dead, dull cells without causing sensitivity.

    Shop Then I Met You Soothing Tea Cleansing Gel at Cult Beauty, £34

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  • Zelens Tea Shot Urban Defence Serum

    Zelens Tea Shot Urban Defence Serum

    Suitable to use both morning and evening, this serum helps protect skin against environmental aggressors while also working to hydrate. Formulated with both green tea and fermented black tea, it’s suitable for all skin types.

    Shop Zelens Tea Shot Urban Defence Serum at LookFantastic, £85

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  • iS Clinical Hydra Intensive Cooling Masque

    iS Clinical Hydra Intensive Cooling Masque

    Green tea, aloe vera and rosemary extracts work together with hyaluronic acid to refresh, hydrate and soothe inflamed skin. Best applied onto cleansed skin and left for 10 minutes, it can also be used as a leave-on intensive moisturiser.

    Shop iS Clinical Hydra Intensive Cooling Masque at iS Clinical, £74

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  • Heimish Black Tea Mask Pack

    Heimish Black Tea Mask Pack

    Hydrate, cool and soothe irritated skin with this wash-off face mask. The gel-like texture is infused with black tea and it works to help soothe puffiness, plus it’s a good option for acne-prone skin, thanks to its natural antibacterial properties.

    Shop Heimish Black Tea Mask Pack at Sephora UK, £19

    buy now

  • Lanegie Cream Skin Toner & Moisturizer

    Lanegie Cream Skin

    A versatile product with dual benefits, this toner-cum-moisturiser plumps all skin types, while white tea leaves work to hydrate and strengthen. Good for layering in the winter for a much-needed hit of moisture.

    Shop Lanegie Cream Skin Toner & Moisturizer at Cult Beauty, £26.50

    Buy now

Images: Then I Met You; courtesy of brands

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