Topical Green Tea: One Of Nature’s Most Potent Acne Treatments

Topical Green Tea: One Of Nature’s Most Potent Acne Treatments

Natural remedies often score high on hype but low on credible evidence. And reading about green tea you certainly find a lot of hype. But can green tea live up to the hype? Can you use green tea to treat acne?

The answer is a resounding yes. Studies show that green tea can reduce acne by over 50%. Furthermore, it can cut sebum production by astonishing 70%.

So take a few minutes to learn why you should make green tea as your go-to acne treatment.

Benefits of green tea for the skin

Green tea has many benefits for the acne-prone skin, including the following:

  • Reduces sebum production, one study showed 70% reduction after 8 weeks of use.
  • Protects the skin against inflammation, several studies have shown that green tea cream can prevent and mitigate the damage caused by sunlight and other sources.
  • Reduces inflammatory reaction to acne-causing bacteria. This is important because acne patients tend to have overtly strong inflammatory response to bacteria in the skin pores.

It’s now becoming clear that genes influence acne a lot. Not by causing it directly but by making the skin extra-sensitive to hormones and inflammation. One reason green tea is so effective against acne is because it mitigates these genetic vulnerabilities.

Studies: Over 50% reduction in pimple count

I searched the publicly available medical studies on effectiveness of green tea on acne. Unfortunately this isn’t getting the research attention is deserves and I only found 3 studies. But they show very promising results.

All 3 studies showed over 50% reduction in pimple count after using green tea cream. The study periods varied from 6 to 8 weeks (standard in studies like this). This graph summarizes the results.

Summary of results from green-tea acne studies
Green tea cream reduced acne by more than 50%

In one of the studies the researcher wrote that green tea is as effective as benzoyl peroxide or antibiotic creams. Pretty impressive given that those are the go-to treatments for most dermatologists. And not only is green tea as effective as topical antibiotics, it also worked faster. Green tea lotion got results in 8 weeks while it took the antibiotic cream 12 weeks to really kick in.

The present work showed that 2% tea extract lotion was effective in clearance of papules and pustules,especially in mild and moderate acne. This result was comparable to the therapeutic action of other topical agents like topical benzoyl peroxide and topical erythromycin, which act as antibacterial agents and mainly on inflammatory lesions like pustules and papules, but tea lotion has a more rapid action than erythromycin as tea caused a significant reduction after 8 weeks, while topical erythromycin caused significant reduction after 12 weeks.

Treatment of acne vulgaris with 2% topical tea lotion (PDF)

No mean feat for a humble cup of tea.

In case it’s not clear, these studies used topical green tea lotion.

Here’s a before and after picture from one of the studies.

Before and after picture of using green tea to treat acne
Significant reduction in acne severity after using green tea cream

Source: Topical therapy of acne vulgaris using 2% tea lotion in comparison with 5% zinc sulphate solution (PDF)

Not what you could call ‘stop the press and rewrite page 1’ results, but still very good. And since this comes from a scientific paper (see the references below) you know it’s no photoshopped.

Green tea reduces sebum production by 70%

Excess sebum production is a problem for every acne patients. One reason green tea works so well is that it can reduce sebum production. One study found 70% reduction after 8 weeks of green tea cream.

Graph showing reduction in sebum production achieved with green tea cream
Green tea cream reduced sebum production by 70%

Sources: Outcomes of 3% green tea emulsion on skin sebum production in male volunteers (PDF).

Earlier I mentioned how we acne patients got a bit unlucky in the genetic lottery. Because of genes our skin is far more sensitive to androgen hormones, and this causes excess sebum production. Green tea can mitigate this by blocking the androgen hormone receptors in the skin. And the graph above shows just how much this can help your skin. Though you should take these results with a grain of salt. That study had some methodological problems and I’m fairly certain it overstates the results.

For those who are technically minded, green tea does this by hindering the conversion of testosterone to DHT in the skin; something that happens far too actively in the acne-prone skin.

Green tea and skin inflammation

Excess inflammation is another problem for acne patients. Studies have shown that acne-prone skin reacts to bacteria much more strongly than normal skin does. The immune system sort of goes on an ‘overkill’ mode when it detects bacteria. This can turn otherwise harmless blocked pore into an angry pimple.

The presence of androgen hormones in the skin further strengthens this inflammatory response. Green tea can reduce the severity of your acne by mitigating the damage these hormones cause.

Further, green tea is strongly anti-oxidant on its own right. UV exposure from sunlight can damage and even cause skin cancer. Several studies have shown that topical green tea lotions protect the skin form UV-induced damage.

This is relevant because this sort of ‘external’ inflammation can trigger the acne formation process.

No real side-effects

In medicine desired (treatment) effects often come with adverse effects (side-effects). The more effective a treatment is the more side-effects it usually causes. Not so with green tea. The studies didn’t show any major side-effects from green tea creams. A few people experienced minor skin itching, but even that subsided over time.

Product recommendation

People often ask me to recommend a good product with green tea. There aren’t that many available yet. carries quite a few skincare products with green tea, such as these, and I’m sure you can find some from Amazon also. But the best one I’ve used is Exposed Skin Care. They include green tea into most of their products, and I noticed big drop in the oiliness of my skin when I used them.

They also use chemicals (benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid) responsibly and when they are called for, and compliment them with proven natural treatments. This aligns perfectly with my ideas for treating acne.

Disclaimer: I may get a small commission if you buy Exposed after clicking through from my website. You pay the same price and the income helps to keep this site going.

Take-home messages

So what’s the overarching conclusion from all this? Green tea is one heck of an effective acne treatment. It counters the main reason of our skin problems: genetic sensitivity to hormones and inflammation.

  • The effectiveness of green tea is at par with benzoyl peroxide and anti-biotic creams, the current gold-standard treatments.
  • Studies show over 50% reduction in pimple count from using green tea lotion.
  • Green tea reduces how sensitive acne-prone skin is to androgen hormones by blocking androgen receptors in the skin. This can reduce sebum production, and one study showed over 70% reduction after 8 weeks.
  • Green tea is also strongly anti-inflammatory. It can dampen the inflammatory response to acne-causing bacteria and protect the skin from external sources of inflammation.

With all this in mind I can confidently conclude that if you aren’t using green tea lotions you aren’t doing your best to fight acne.

About Me

Hi, I am Acne Einstein(a.k.a. Seppo Puusa). I'm a bit of a science nerd who is also passionate about health. I enjoy digging through medical journals for acne treatment gems I can share here. You can read more about my journey through acne and how I eventually ended up creating this.

164 thoughts on “Topical Green Tea: One Of Nature’s Most Potent Acne Treatments”

  1. Thank you for this great information. Is this type of lotion available for purchase? I can’t seem to find any manufacturers of such a lotion.

    • Cortney, unfortunately it seems that green tea lotions are not widely available. I know that some Korean bands (like Skin Food) have green tea lotions, but other than that I haven’t found any from supermarkets or pharmacies. That said, Exposed Skincare uses green tea in most of their products. They sent me a free kit 2 months ago and I’ve been really impressed with it. In fact so much that I just ordered another (with my own money this time :)). This is not a scientific observation or anything, but I have noticed quite a significant reduction in the amount of oil my face puts out.

      Proactiv also has green tea in their moisturizer. People have said good things about Proactiv’s moisturizer, but my personal preference is Exposed because they add green tea in most of their products and because of the other ingredients in their formulation.

  2. What if can’t find products containing green tea? Can I still use plain tea on my face? Do you think that would have some effect?
    I find your website very informative.

    • Grasi, happy to hear that you like the website!

      I’ve also struggled to find products with green tea in them. If you are open to commercial solution then I highly recommend Exposed Skin Care. They use green tea in most of their products. I got a free kit from them to test it out and really liked it. Unfortunately I live in Thailand the Thai customs keeps sending my repeat orders back. Apparently they classify it as a drug and I need a licence to import it.

      During the 2 months I used it I did notice a drop in oiliness of my skin. It also killed all the residual redness and the occasional small spot I still got. So I’m quite happy to recommend it.

      I’ve been struggling to find a replacement. Now I just apply freshly brewed green tea on my face with a cotton pad. It’s too early to say whether that has any effect. I’m not sure whether the tea just sits on the skin or whether it actually gets absorbed. While my skin is still a bit wet from tea I apply either a moisturizer or sesame oil on my skin. I’m hoping this seals in the tea and prevents it from evaporating.

      That’s something you can definitely try. But if you are open to commercial solution then I recommend Exposed. Either the Basic or Expanded kit should work just fine.

      • Actually one more question, do you use sun screen? I know you’re from Finland (I’m from Denmark, so I’m in the same boat with getting sun burned quite easily during the summer while I’m out travelin) and being in Thailand is obviously a huge difference from being in a nordic country. So.. What kind of sun screen do you use? (If you use any). I’m going to take a gap year in Australia soon and the UV rays down there are pretty strong compared to up here in Denmark, so any recommendations for protection yourself for more oxidative stress? Other than the tropical green tea part?

        • Normally I don’t use any sunscreen here in Thailand. But that’s because I don’t spend so much time out in the sun. In Scandinavia you tend to see the sun as a blessing and something to look forward to, but here, when the sun is out every day, it’s more like a curse. So my daily sun exposure here rarely goes over 30 minutes. But when we go to a beach or other place where I’m out more, then I will wear sunscreen.

          Topical antioxidants can protect your skin against the sun little bit, but they are not sunscreens and they will never replace sunscreens. If I remember correctly, one study showed that topical antioxidant, I think it was green tea extract, doubled the time it takes for your skin to develop mild sunburn. So if it would normally take 20 minutes, applying green tea cream bumps that up to 30 to 40 minutes.

          I wouldn’t use sunscreen during days of limited exposure, say maybe 30 to 40 minutes, but if you spend more time outdoors then the sensible thing is to use suncreen.

  3. What about just mixing some green tea extract with a standard moisturizer(like Cetaphill)?, seems like that would be quite a bit cheaper. (you have a great blog going here)

    • In theory that should be ok. It doesn’t matter where the green tea extract comes from.

      The only thing I worry is whether it gets absorbed along with the moisturizer. Many of those extra ingredients you see in skin care products are there to ensure all the active ingredients are uniformly spread and suspended in the lotion. Given that you introduce extra ingredients into the cream, I can’t say for sure whether it actually gets into your skin. It’s worth a try anyway.

  4. Hi, I’m 17 from Philippines. Few months ago, I found out that green tea helped many people cure their acne. I searched on Google for many weeks before I tried it. I bought a box of green tea and and started drinking it 3-4 times a day. After several weeks, I noticed that my acne shrank and pimples stopped coming back. My only problem was my already existing whiteheads and blackheads. But I suddenly stopped drinking it, because 180 pesos or 4 dollars is already big enough to spend every week for me, being a student. But if I had more money, I wouldn’t stop. I’m
    sure that If I did not stop, I would be already clear by now. Unfortunately, pimples slowly starts to come back. I’m on my first week now of drinking green tea again.

    Hope, you understand what I’m trying to say.

    • Marie, sure I understood you. It was quite clear that green tea helped your acne a lot. It’s not surprising since it’s anti-inflammatory and can also help with insulin resistance (and thus with hormonal acne). If green tea is too expensive, you can also try black tea. It’s not as good as green, but it also has quite a bit antioxidants. I would recommend green though.

    • I can’t say for sure. I doubt that just adding that powder into some moisturizer will do you much good. For ECGC to be effective it needs to pass through the top layer of the skin. And for that to happen it needs to be dissolved into liquid, because only very tiny particles can pass through the skin.

      If you have some experience in cosmetics chemistry, then I’m sure you can make your own green tea cream. But I seriously doubt that just adding EGCG powder to some moisturizer will do the trick. You would fist have to dissolve EGCG into liquid and then use emulsifiers and surfactants to mix the liquid into a fat-soluble cream that will pass through the skin barrier.

      Alternatively, you could dissolve EGCG into water and just use that as toner. But the problem is that water-soluble substance have a hard time passing through the skin, given how it’s coated in fat.

  5. Thank you very much for your reply! I was planning on using that but I am skeptical about it, thank you for your advice, and what do you think about brewing fresh green tea then freezing it in small dixie cups and just thawing it when needed? Or will the catechins be destroyed when frozen? I really want to incorporate green tea into my regimen and the only problem I had with exposed is benzoyl peroxide being the main treatment in their system because I didn’t have a nice experience with it, It clears up acne but it is very drying to the skin and also the risk of breaking out after quitting from using it but I have nothing against it and would recommend it with people who has no issues with the dryness.

      • I know your last post on the topic of freezing green tea for more efficient and convenient usage was done in January 2013 so I was wondering if you’ve seen any other new research regarding freezing and its effects on antioxidant quality that you might be able to share. From what I know, freezing fruits sometimes brings down the quality of certain vitamins marginally, but still they retain a good amount of nutrients even when frozen. Let me know if you have any new research on freezing, I think it could make life a lot easier if we found a way to preserve green tea so that it could be readily accessible for usage a lot more easily. I personally find it very cumbersome to brew green tea every day several times in a day because often I am not near a stove and sometimes don’t have the time to do so.

  6. Ok thank you for the links and replies, maybe i’ll just get some from the green tea that I drink every morning.

  7. Hello! You said there are Korean brands with green tea. I’m very happy I’m living in Korea now (I’m not Korean) so could you please recommend me any product in particular? Also, what do you think of bb cream? It’s very popular here, I use Missha and it was when I started using it on a daily basis that I for the first time in my life felt really beautiful. I found out I can look good! And everyone started complimenting me on my skin and looks. I still get break outs occasionally though (gluten is a big problem for me) and cannot get rid of the scars. I would love to have great skin even without makeup.
    I find Korean cosmetics really good, what do you think?

    • Rumi, I’m not sure what you are referring to. I wrote about a Korean study, but I don’t think I’ve ever talked about Korean green tea brands. So I’m afraid I can’t help you there. Same with bb cream, this is the first time I hear about it.

  8. No, no, I don’t mean Korean tea brands but Korean cosmetic brands with green tea, I saw you mentioned skin food and I would just like to know if you know more about it.
    BB cream is a kind of makeup, it’s not as heavy as foundation and looks more natural. Most people cannot tell if you are wearing BB cream and it’s ridiculously easy to apply. It covers well and is an option when you want to hide you bad skin. I think it must be available in Thailand too.

    • OK, now it makes sense. Yes, I bought a green tea lotion from Skin Foods when we visited Korea last year. I have to say that I wasn’t too impressed with it. And I think the whole Skin Foods brand is more about marketing than good products. Korean cosmetics are all rage here in Thailand, but as a guy I really can’t say much about them 🙂

  9. Sounds pretty interesting, so what kind of green tea treatment do you think would be more effective? topical applied to the skin? or actually drinking the stuff? Surely with topicals (creams etc) you run the risk of some other comedogenic ingredients?

  10. Thank you for this article and the one on antioxidants. They are both very well researched and encouraging. Do you know if, in theory, using a green tea serum would still help those with dry skin as well? My skin is dry but I struggle with consistent moderate acne.

    • I’m not sure that green tea serum would be the best option for people with dry acne-prone skin. Dry skin is not actually opposite of oily skin. Dry skin means the skin barrier is not working properly and it allows too much moisture to escape. Oil on the skin would help with that because oil forms a barrier water can’t penetrate, but it’s not the same thing.

      For dry skin I would recommend either a water- or oil-based moisturizer. Look for something with vitamin C or E to supply your skin with antioxidants. I think green tea moisturizer would also work.

      There may be something that irritates your skin and causes the dryness. Please see my dry skin post for more on that.

    • At the time I was using the 9-piece ultimate kit, but I was mostly using the basic products and the moisturizer. I don’t think that the probiotic supplement had much effect on sebum production. So you could also get by with the 6-piece kit. To be honest, I can’t be 100% certain that the reduction in sebum production was due to Exposed. I think it was, but one can never be sure as there are so many factors that go into it.

  11. Hi, what do you think about taking green tea extract supplements? (in pills), I am thinking about trying that since I don’t think I am drinking enough cups of green tea per day? Apparently the extract has a lot of ECGG…and I am also taking fish oil, does the fish oil interact with green tea? What if I added zinc and vitamin D? How many cups of green tea should I be drinking a day to get the effect?

    • Green tea supplements can help. Some of the research I cited on my drinking green tea post was done with green tea extract supplements. See that and the tea hacking post for details on how many cups to drink.

      But do keep in mind that topically applied and ingested green tea fight acne differently. Topical green tea can reduce the effect of hormones on your skin whereas ingested green tea may reduce insulin level and inflammation – so it reduces the pressure on your skin, so to say.

  12. Hi Seppo, very nice articles and replies, I’ve learnt more about fighting acne in the last 30 mins then I have in my whole life! I am wondering if you know of any adverse effects of ingesting green tea on hormone levels, as I am currently trying to put on muscle mass I would hate to have my important muscle building hormone responses inhibited.
    Kind Regards

    • Glad to hear you found the site useful! I doubt green tea has any negative effect on hormones. Because it’s anti-inflammatory and can reduce insulin resistance it probably has small(ish) positive effect, but I don’t think it will negatively affect your hormones.

  13. great site! what I’ve been trying with green tea is boiling some water and doing a facial steam with it by pouring it into the sink, adding a couple of green tea bags and then steaming my face with it. Then after I am done steaming my face, which opens up all my pores, I take the tea bags and let them rest on my face. I look quite silly, but it’s been working for me fairly well. I’ve also started doing the oil cleanse method with castor oil and jojoba oil!

  14. I am very confused about this whole article.. you are reccemonding green tea topically but there isnt any lotions or anything we can use for green tea topically ( i rather not get exposed) so what are we supposed to do and how CAN we use green tea topically.. i know you have the article about doing it from the tea bag but it seems to complicated.. is there ANY PRODUCT that would allow us to do the green tea topically?

    what do you reccemond..
    should i do green tea capsuls?

    • Since writing this article I’ve found that there are quite a few green tea products available. I just had not remembered to update this article. I’m sure Amazon carries many, such search for green tea there. I order my products from iHerb. They are one of the few companies that ship to Thailand and their prices seem quite good. iHerb also carries several skincare products with green tea.

      • Wanted to ask, since you’re not using Exposed anymore, did you notice a difference in your skin (as in texture, number of blemishes or so) when you switched over to Madre Labs green tea cream? I might consider using that later on if I feel like I won’t be needing Exposed skin care anymore.

  15. Hi Seppo,

    do you think a green tea tonic made from original, quality brand green tea and purified water could have similar effects? Just because I’ve been thinking about this option, mixing the two on my own, honestly this would be a cheaper option and one I trust more than all kind of creams which I hadn’t luck with since all creamy things clog my pores :S and exposed skin care is not really available in my country. But if you still recommend otherwise I give it a go and try to order one 🙂 A neighbor from Hungary, cheers.

    • Hi Marton,

      I wrote about using fresh green tea as topical treatment here. There are some concerns regarding getting sufficient concentration of EGCG and skin penetration. In a nutshell, brewed tea doesn’t have enough EGCG to reach the amounts used in studies (2 or 3% if I remember correctly). You might be able to get over this by brewing stronger tea.

      Another problem is skin penetration. For all intents and purposes tea is water and the skin is a very good barrier against water. My concern is that the tea just sits on your skin and slowly evaporates, never reaching the parts where it can do some good.

      You can of course give it a try. I’m just no overtly optimistic about it. Not to mention the hassle of having to brew and cool the tea every time.

      I swapped the bland food and cold weather of Finland to nicer climate and spicy food of Thailand 🙂

  16. Thanks for the reply, I see 🙂 So if I understand well a cream is more recommended than a spray toner because of the penetration agent, right? And yes, the filtered teas in local shops seem to be very weak for this purpose but what if I went to a specialized spice – tea shop, surely I could find some original real green tea extract there that has the 2-3 % amounts?

    • Penetration is one of the main issues. In creams they can suspend the EGCG into water-in-oil solution that has much easier time passing through the skin barrier.

  17. I’m using Replenix green tea skin therapy cream with green tea, resveratrol, and caffeine. It feels really good. But it is expensive. $57 for 1 oz. !

    • I’ve used the Madre Labs cream and found it nice. I can’t comment on the other products yet. But I have something in the works that’ll help you. I’m researching and writing a ‘skin care product/ingredient reference’ section to my site. In there I’ll review the evidence for each conditions (such as hyperpigmentation, oily skin, and acne) and show which ingredients you should be looking for. I’ll also have product recommendations based on the data. Sounds good? That will be coming later. I’m in the process of researching it, and probably will put something out towards the end of this month.

  18. Oh that sounds wonderful! He he! Cant wait and thanks for replying so fast, yes, after reading many comments I also found madre labs to be the most recommended 🙂

    • I wouldn’t worry about that. The discussion is based on an animal study. I can’t say what the case is here, but often animals used in ‘disease model’ studies have been specifically bred/genetically modified to be extra sensitive. While such studies can be useful as getting ideas for human research, you can’t use these studies as evidence for what happens in humans. Furthermore, the increase in DHT and testosterone was not even statistically significant (p value over 0.05) in both cases.

      Not to mention that green tea, both topically and as a drink, has been shown beneficial in human studies.

        • Well, there are studies using human cell lines that show EGCG inhibits DHT. And there are human studies showing reduction in acne and sebum production with EGCG creams, and that’s really what we are after. So no need to be overtly concerned about animal studies using proxy measures.

  19. Just wanted to let people know…I go to a functional medicine doctor and she prescribed me a green tea/vitamin b topical from a compound pharmacy. contains no other ingredients and was affordable!

      • Camellia sinensis leaf extract is the first ingredient so hopefully it will work…
        BTW, have you noticed slowing down in your beard growth after you have used green tea products on the face? If it blocks DHT, it must also affect hair growth, right?

        • I’m not sure what the labeling requirements are for those companies, but it sounds odd to me that green tea extract would be the first ingredient on the label, especially if the ingredients are listed by weight. There has to be more of the base cream in the bottle than green tea extract, and most likely the base cream is made of just a few ingredients. I would also imagine that too much green tea extract is also bad, it’s probably going to irritate the skin.

          My guess is that they’ve just listed the green tea extract as the first ingredient to make the label look more impressive. But that’s just my guess and all things concerning cosmetic chemistry are above my pay grade.

          I haven’t noticed any changes in beard growth. I imagine more than DHT is involved in that process. Also, green tea doesn’t completely block DHT formation, just reduces it.

    • I haven’t used that item, but I do have another product by that same brand–and I love it! The brand has a very good reputation in Korea and is known for its natural ingredients! Maybe looking up reviews will help you!

  20. Hey guys…couldn’t help but stumble upon this helpful little article! I’m seeing a lot of comments asking where to buy green tea lotion. Well, I’ve dabbled in my fair share of skin care products, and honestly, green tea products are rare to come buy in America–but they’re extremely easy to find in Asian brands! Korean brands like Nature Republic, The Face Shop, and Skinfood have many products that are made with green tea (like face masks, lotions, cleansers, toners, spot treatments, etc), and a lot of these brands avoid using chemicals! These brands can be easily bought online, so I hope it helps the search! (:

  21. Sorry, don’t mean to spam so much, but another thought just occurred to me. Making products out of green tea from your kitchen works too (and is probably cheaper than brand names and contains more green tea)! I’ve made myself a green tea scrub/mask before and I’ve found that it calms down redness and makes the skin brighter. Here’s how to do it if anyone is interested:
    1) Soak a green tea teabag for five minutes, then put the teabag into a clean bowl (dont forget to actually drink the tea!)
    2)After the tea bag cools down, cut open the bag, and empty the contents into a bowl
    3)Mix pure honey into the bowl. A teaspoon is a good amount.
    4)Mix the ingredients nice and well!
    5)On a clean, damp face, apply the concoction onto skin.
    6)Gently scrub with fingers for as long as you want, but it’s okay to just leave the mask on for about 15-20 minutes.
    7)Rinse with water, gently pat dry, and apply lotion (since washing your face washes away your skin’s natural moisture).
    8) Doing this twice a week seems to be a good amount!
    Hope this helps somebody!

      • Funny, i am just sitting here with a green tea honey mask with a little lime juice added. I had green tea earlier this evening and thought it’s a waste to throw away the bags every time, i guess i wasn’t the only one who came to the same thoght haha!

        Don’t know what the outcome is yet, i go rinse now. 😉

  22. Have you had or know much about Tulsi (Holy Basil)? I have been drinking the tea and it is supposed to be an anti-oxidant. I like the taste of it much better than green tea, so I am wondering if the benefits related to acne are specific to green tea or if I should keep drinking the tulsi and maybe get a green tea topical? Thanks. I really like your site.

    • The benefits of green tea come from the catechins, primarily from EGCG. I don’t think basil contains that. That said, it’s possible that basil contains some other health-promoting ingredients. So if you enjoy drinking basil tea then by all means keep at it. As far as acne goes green tea is much more helpful topically anyway.

  23. Could you use organic green tea leaves to exfoliate skin?For example rip open a bag of pure organic green tea, and use the leaves in the shower to scrub your face, then wash off?

      • Do you have any Idea if it would be affective at scabbing dead skin cells, and unclogging pores? Could it help breakout prone faces if its used gently once or twice a week? Would it be better to use over store bought scrubs like St.Ives and and those other scrubs with a chemicals in them? I just figured that if some tea leaves were added to a gentle cleanser, then used as a scrub it would a natural and effective way to clean skin and help prevent breakouts, or would it be irritating? Im honestly just not sure, the Idea came about when i broke a tea bag open and the leaves were kinda coarse and when wet seemed to be a nice scrub texture.

        • I would just go with a store-bought scrub rather than trying a DIY solution. Everything on this earth is made of chemicals, even green tea. The chemicals found in skin care products are usually no more dangerous than chemicals in green tea. It all depends on the dose.

          The problem with DIY solutions, like you propose, is you never know how the things you add to the product react to what’s already in there. Also, adding green tea leaves to a product means introducing bacteria and pathogens into it. In the worst case scenario you could seriously contaminate the product. Applying contaminated product on your skin can irritate it and even cause skin infections.

          As you mentioned, tea leaves are fairly coarse. So using them to scrub your face will get rid of dead skin cells.

  24. I just started taking green tea supplements (capsules). I have mild acne. How long will it take before I start seeing results?

  25. Hi Seppo,

    Just want to say thank you for your relentless effort against the issues around acne and me including everyone else really appreciate. I hope to god we can all over come and cure this skin condition.

    I have a question that I would really appreciate if you could answer. I am having a hard time finding a green tea cream outside of exposed moisture complex. The exposed moisture complex does not say the percentage of green tea either.

    I found a really good cream that is the highest in the market at a whopping 8% by a well recognized brand advanced bionutritional. My question is through out all their findings I don’t see the word EGCG but just green tea…does that matter?

    I have sent you the link and would greatly appreciate it if you could give me your input.

    • I personally wouldn’t buy anything from that company. Simply because I don’t like to support companies that use ridiculous hype and fear-mongering to sell their products.

      Few things to consider. If little bit of green tea is good, it doesn’t mean more is better. What you should look for is the optimal concentration based on available research. From what I can say, the optimal concentration is somewhere around 1 to 2%. I reported about one of the best studies on the topic earlier. In the study the researchers tested 2 concentrations of EGCG, 1% and 5%. Both were equally effective at reducing acne. One could argue that the 1% was better since the group using the 5% formulation reported a bit more side effects. Other studies have used 2 and 3% concentrations.

      Given all that we know about green tea as acne treatment, 8% concentration would not be a good idea.

      Regarding EGCG vs. green tea. EGCG is a chemical extracted from green tea. It’s the major polyphenol in green tea. There are different grades of green tea extracts, some of which have more EGCG than others. It’s impossible to say what they used in this cream.

      Finally, parabens are NOT dangerous. They are among the safest preservatives out there. They’ve been subject to ridiculous fear mongering campaign that has no basis in science. It’s Food Babe style scientifically illiterate fear mongering, just directed at cosmetics and personal care products instead of foods.

  26. Hi Seppo,

    Wish I waited until you replied to order because by the time that you did I already ordered it online. I really respect your opinion and maybe you are right 8% might be too high. Not sure. I will call them to see if I can return and get a refund.

    Like I said though I am having a hard time getting a cream that says the percentage on the product. I found one that has great reviews from people on iHerbs but again I do not know if its .01% or 10%. What do you think of this one Seppo?

    Your feedback is appreciated thanks!

    • Sorry about my late reply. I’ve been massively busy lately working on my own skin care product and I haven’t had that much time to put on the site. Anyway, since you ordered it already why not at least give it a try. It might work just fine.

      I usually recommend this cream for green tea:

      It also has a nice mixture of other anti-acne ingredients. I also use that one myself.

      My guess is that the antioxidant cream you linked to has about 1% EGCG.

      • I’m not too keen on the two skin sensitizing and one ant-aging inhibiting ingredient in the Camellia Care cream, but most importantly, what exactly is the percentage of EGCG? I asked the company but they refuse to reply.

    • Have to agree that seems a bit overpriced. You are probably better off trying the Madre Labs lotion I linked to in my earlier comment.

  27. Hey Seppo,

    Thanks for the feedback and no need to apologize that you replied late, it was not even late the fact that you responded is kind enough, thanks.

    Ya i will go with your advice i’ll try the 8% green tea cream and see what it does if not ill get the one you recommended from iherbs.

    I got one last question that I would appreciate your recommendation on. I have been trying to find a facial cleanser for very sensitive skin and I came across this one which I found very interesting but hard to find testimonials from people but from the ingredients list it looks great! Just wanted your input again thanks alot!!

    • Apologies again for the late reply. Though this time, in my defense, I see it’s not because I was lazy or busy. My comment filter marked your comment as spam. The URL you included has probably been used in other spam comments and that’s why yours got flagged. The site in question has probably spammed other blogs and that’s why their URL has a spam flag. I removed the URL.

      I’m somewhat hesitant to answer this. The chemistry in making cleansers nonirritating is very complicated and I don’t know enough to comment on it. I’m somewhat skeptical of the cleanser you mentioned. Whether a product is organic or natural has nothing to do with how gentle it is. That cleanser might be ok, but I would personally try something from Cetaphil, Burt’s Bee or other companies that would focus more on science and less on meaningless marketing claims.

    • It’s a very small study with no control group. These kind of studies are very prone to bias and errors. Without other studies confirming the results, you should take studies like this with a grain of salt.

  28. I have a question about treating acne with skincare products. Shouldn’t healing be focused from the inside out? I would be concerned that if you are able to heal your acne with a skincare regime that a) if you stop using it your breakouts will come back and b) you may be bypassing an internal issue that is causing acne that should be treated. Any thoughts on this?

    • Yes and no. No because acne is not always a “sign that there’s something wrong inside of you”. A part of acne is due to genes and no amount of diet, healthy lifestyle or internal healing will change that. For that part, the best you can do is to keep it under control with topical treatments.

      Yes because there’s also a part of acne that is caused by diet or other internal factors.

      For best results you have to treat acne both from the inside-out and outside-in. For more details, please see this post.

  29. Hey Seppo

    Hope all is well. I tried the Madre Labs Green Tea cream based on your recommendations and really liked it. Only problem is I am out and it sells out really quickly on iherbs and not available for months, and amazon does not ship to Canada where I am.

    I was wondering if you have ever used another green tea cream that is good for acne, I found a couple but the green tea cream is not high on the ingredients list.

    Do you happen to know any other green tea creams or where else I can order Madre Labs green tea cream? And finally I just wanted your input on this green tea cream, cannot tell if its good for acne and if its non-comedogenic.

    Thanks Seppo your feedback is always appreciated.

  30. Hey Seppo thanks for getting back to me.

    That’s great that your making your own cream! Can’t wait ill be the first to buy it! I think it’s a great idea given how many people trust and respect your opinion on recommendations, why not have your own.

    The Andalou claims it has white tea, is it the same as green tea? Also may I ask what makes you use this cream in regards to acne prone skin has it been useful?

    Finally I know your hesitant to recommend facial cleansers, but do you currently use one yourself and could you recommend it please?

    Thanks again Seppo and can’t wait for your cream to come out.

  31. Hey Seppo

    Ill take your word and buy the Andalou Naturals moisturiser until Madre Labs is available. I was going to ask you if you have an affiliate link to it so I ca purchase it through you.

    Also I want to buy the Palmers Dark Spot Corrector but the link off your resource guide isn’t opening for me so can you send me a link. Also if you could tell me if its been useful to you or not because online it’s had mixed reviews.

    Thanks Seppo

    • Don’t worry about the affiliate links. iHerb pays pitifully small commissions and they make only a very small part of the income from this site. I appreciate the thought, though.

      Palmer’s Dark Spot Corrector has cocoa butter, which is quite comedogenic. Most people have no problems using products with comedogenic ingredients, but it’s possible they cause problems for some individuals. So that’s something to keep an eye out for. For me it has been ok.

      Here’s the link for you:

      • It’s funny, I bought Palmer’s a while back like same time last year and I haven’t used it because I got madre labs at the same time with it. When I used it earlier this year my skin was on an outrage, it seems my skin can’t handle cocoa butter.

  32. Thanks for responding to me and giving me some recommendations I appreciate it. I got the Andalou Naturals and used it last night and am happy with it, thanks Seppo! I will also get either one of your cleansers you mentioned or perhaps this Sibu one. What do you think?

    Also I wanted to ask you about one of the most confusing and conflicting foods for acne when searching online= Nuts? Some say it causes acne others say its good for acne. Only thing I can think of that would cause acne is the high omega 6, so I have been eating only macadamia nuts, their lowest on omega 6 but full of monounsaturated fat, which I hope is good for acne? I eat about 50g each day because I’m trying to gain weight and workout, I want to eat 100g a day (a whopping 730 calories) but worried about the skin if it will affect me.

    And finally I’m just waiting until the end of the month to get paid and going to subscribe to your members list online and finally get your ebook aswell, excited for it!

    Thanks for all your effort hope all is well

    • Re cleansers. No need to make it too complicated. As long as they don’t irritate your skin it doesn’t really matter what you use. These ‘all natural’ cleansers have, at best, minimal positive effect on the skin, so I wouldn’t worry them not being loaded with antioxidants, etc.

      Some medicated cleansers that have been formulated for rapid skin penetration can make a difference, but that’s not the case here.

      I see cleansers as ‘necessary evil’ and to me the most important criteria in cleanser is the fact that it doesn’t irritate your skin. If your skin isn’t particularly sensitive, then it probably doesn’t matter too much what you use.

      Re nuts, I’d like to keep these discussions more or less on the post topic. So could you please post your question to some of the posts filed under ‘Diet’ category and I’ll be happy to answer you there.

  33. Hi all!
    There are some Diy recepies for homemade green tea creams online.
    Most if them are made with the green tea leaf or liquid extract. I just bought the powder one.
    You ll need a carrier oil that is well absorved into the skin and preferably that doesn’t cĺog the pores.
    for carriers stuff like beeswax, organic coconut oil, witch hazel, glycerine…
    then you can blend vitamin E, aloe gel, and other properties/essencial oils to match your skin requirements.
    Make sure you use everything 100/. pure, don’t add any conservants or chemicals.
    Use dark glass as containers for your creation and sterilise it as well as the gadgets you use for the mixing. Store in a cool and dark place having in mind to use it quickly.
    If the product is only oil based will last longer but if you add water based mixes like rose water, destilled water and so you might be better in keeping it in the fridge and do even smaller batches of creams. As there is all natural stuff, things after a while gain mold and bacteria and you don’t want that.
    Im waiting for the beeswax and some more essencial oils to come.
    I’ll let you know how my cream worked then! 🙂

  34. Hello there, Seppo!
    I am really interested in using some kind of topical green tea, but I also use retinols.
    Ideally would like to be able to use the retinol, wait until it dries and then apply a green tea antioxidant cream at night.
    I am not really chemically aware, and I wonder whether the retinols or green teas might interact and limit each other?
    Thanks for your time. 😀

    • I can’t say for sure, but I don’t think green tea and retinol would interfere with each other. I’ve been using green tea and retinol creams for some time now. Though I usually apply green tea in the morning and retinol in the evening.

  35. Hi seppo!
    Over the past few months I’ve read like every article on here!
    I currently use epiduo and gave up all dairy a month ago. My skin was looking great after struggling for a long time.
    I did have a lot of oiliness and some problem areas though, so I ordered madre labs camellia care lotion. I used that for a week, but now my face is broken out again. And I was doing so well! Now my question is, it’s “that time of the month ” for me since I am a girl haha, so how do I know if the lotion is actually the cause of my breakout? or if they would’ve happened anyway? Do you think I should discontinue using it?

    • Hi Seppo,
      Would really appreciate a reply. I am considering buying your book, but wanted to hear from you first to get more of a sense of your ideas..

      • Really sorry about my late reply. Somehow I missed the first comment and the other ones got delayed because I’m on a holiday. Anyway, it’s almost impossible to answer your question because we only have 1 data point. My suggestion would be to keep using it a bit longer to see if the break outs persist even beyond ‘that time of the month’. As far as I know there’s nothing in the Madre Labs cream that would cause break outs, but it’s possible your skin reacts to something in it. The only way to know for sure is to keep using it more.

  36. hi seppo, I was thinking of using green tea topically for my acne, but have heard some cases of green tea preventing facial hair which i really value for my fashion life and my beared is still in a juvenile state, pls I wanna know how true this is, if Tully green tea inhibits facial hair growth, thanks your information has been very helpful to a friend who told me about this blog

    • Seppo, is that true? In MY case, I HOPE so! I’m a woman who must take hormones for a medical condition, and it DOES cause increased hair on my face. I have been using the Camilia Care Green Tea Cream from Madre Labs since your original post about it last year, and see no decrease in facial hair in my case. Wish I did! (I began the hormones late last year, after I began using the Camilia Care cream).

    • I can’t say for sure. Theoretically it’s possible as the same hormones that affect acne might also affect hair growth. That said, I seriously doubt it’s very likely. Personally I have never noticed that green tea cream would have any effect on beard growth.

  37. I’ve recently run into a horrible bout of acne although having been pretty clear for a few years (going from clinically moderate acne in my teens), I’m reading through comments to find a decent moisturiser. I don’t fancy ordering from the US as I’ve done previously. The topical antioxidants also piqued my interest.

    I’ll try one of the products mentioned here, until you come out with your own product – which I’m really, really excited to hear about!

    Thanks so much for this site and all the effort you put into it 🙂

      • I was also wondering if you have any current recommendations on products? The Madre Labs isn’t available on amazon (cheaper shipping and no import tax for me). How have the latest products you’ve tried turned out to be?

        I’d love to be able to decipher ingredients myself, but am honestly a bit overwhelmed, and don’t know what to look for avoid. What are some good antioxidant ingredients to seek out?


        • Aside from those listed in the book and the report, not really. I also don’t have that much insider knowledge to deduct ingredient lists. I look for products with known to be effective ingredients fairly high up on the ingredients list. Things like vitamin B3 (nicotinamide/niacinamide), vitamin C (goes by many different names), vitamin A (again goes by many names), green tea, resveratrol, etc. To be effective they have to appear at least at the top half of the ingredients list and preferably a bit higher than the halfway point.

          • I have a fairly strict comment moderation policy here. There’s so much blog comment spam that otherwise the comment section gets overrun by spammers. So your comment didn’t disappear anyway, it went into the moderation queue and appears once I’ve had a time to look at it.

            Regarding the product you linked to. Aloe is somewhat helpful for acne. That particular form of vitamin A is ok but not particularly useful. It can act as antioxidant, but it has minimal keratolytic effect (separating dead skin cells and unclogging pores). Vitamin C appears towards the bottom of the ingredient list. So I presume it’s used more as a preservative and has little to no real effect on your skin. I have to say I could be wrong about this since the ingredient list is quite sparse and it’s very difficult to questimate the concentration.

            What you can do is to Google the particular ingredient, or the ones surrounding it, with keywords [ingredient] concentration in cosmetics. That gives you likely ranges. For example, panthenol is usually used in 0.5% – 3%. And since it appears before vitamin C, it’s unlikely that the vitamin C concentration is above 3%. Again, this is very imprecise method, but it’s better than nothing.

            For that particular form of vitamin C you need about 3% concentration to have good effect on acne – at least according to currently available evidence.

  38. hi i just bought 1 kg fresh natural green tea, but forgot to ask if its caffeinated or not. if you buy normal green tea is it usually caffenited?

  39. Fantastic site and info! I must have scoured hundreds of sites looking for rational info to help me with my hormonal acne, but they always lose my vote the minute they start preaching the BS on organic oils without even realizing how comedogenic they can be, or the dangers of parabens and mineral oil. ( head palm)

    I purchased some EGCG capsules and it’s been working great so far. I also do a weekly matcha mask with honey and I’ve been loving the results. I can’t believe how much money I have spent on those “harsh” products until recent. I think the secret is just to keep the inflammation down internally n externally. And I have ditched all those bha/aha cleansers etc, done nothing but thin my skin out. Nothing beats good ole Johnson baby shampoo as a cleanser. And I made some EGCG face cream out of those capsules as well at 4% in an emulsified base n it’s perfect.

    Anyways, a big thank you for this great site, minimal BS, and great idea sharing

    • Glad to hear you like the site, Sandra. That’s actually one of the reasons I started this site. Natural health and alternative treatments can help many people but they do a very poor job at policing their own BS. It’s sometimes hard to know where the info stops and nonsense starts.

  40. Hey Seppo ! i’ve been using madre lab cream for 2 years by now, i think it helped my skin, but i guess it has started the growth of some ” small hair “on my forehead, cause i didn’t had theses before.

    Anyways, the cream is unaivalable for now and it’s bad cause i don’t have anymore, and i noticed the difference i guess.

    I wanted to ask you, my water tap is very charged with mineral and it let my skin very dry with itching sensation, so for 2 years now i use a micellar solution, i don’t know if you know about it?
    It’s some kind of “cleanser” without need to put water on your face. Mine is from the brand “Bioderma” and it has this ingredients list:
    “Water (Aqua), PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Sodium Citrate, Zinc Gluconate, Copper Sulfate, Ginkgo Biloba Extract, Mannitol, Xylitol, Rhamnose, Fructooligosaccharides, Propylene Glycol, Citric Acid, Disodium EDTA, Cetrimonium Bromide, Fragrance (Parfum).”

    My face haven’t had any water on it from 2 years almost, even when i shower, i avoid puting water on it.

    Is it bad for my condition ? i still have acne with white pimple, and i guess my acne is from my DHT sensibility/stress overproducing hormones. My skin is oily on my forehad noe/ dry on my cheeks, where i have red spots from old acne scar.

    thanks for your infos.

    • I hadn’t heard of micellar cleansers before. But a quick reading gave me the gist of it. If you have problem with tap water then I don’t see why you couldn’t use micellar cleansers. I doubt it has any negative effect on your skin.

  41. G’day Seppo,
    Just recently purchased your book. Very interesting read. I’ve started many of your suggestions so fingers crossed. Will try your supplements from iherb and facial products from exposed skin care ( if that is still your recommendation ?). I’ve used proactive for 10 years with average results so hoping for a little more out of the exposed skin care.
    Anyway I digress.
    Green Tea. Which type do u recommend for drinking and I was a little concerned about the 3 to 5 cups a day due to so called dehydration or is that a myth.


    • Hi Carl,

      Glad to hear you liked the book and hope you get a lot of value out of it.

      Exposed is a good product and I’m still happy to recommend it. As I stated in my review, it’s a tad short on antioxidants (I’m not sure they are used in sufficiently high concentrations), but other than that it’s a solid product. It’s still the best acne kit out there, in my opinion. I’m actually working with a chemist to create my own skin care product that focuses more on antioxidants less on ‘nuking acne away’. That said, Exposed is still a good product and I’m happy to recommend it.

      Check out my tea hacking posts for details on the type of green tea to use. I personally drink loose leaf green tea prepared with the cold brewing method.

      As far as I understand drinking caffeinated drinks don’t dehydrate you. Yes, caffeine can make you urinate more often but coffee and tea also contain water that hydrates you. IF you are concerned, you could always drink a glass or two of water more.

  42. Hi Seppo (but everyone, really).

    I’ve had a hard time finding the products you recommend within Europe (taxes doubles the price), but just found the CeraVe AM lotion.

    Niacinamide is listed as the second ingredient, and I read on reddit that someone said it was around 4%. Just for anyone who are having trouble similar to mine, finding nice products 🙂


  43. Hi Seppo,

    I have been making a face mask with organic Japanese matcha powder and water (all i d is ad a tsp. of matcha to about a tablespoon of water until it forms a paste) and applying it on my skin after cleansing with cetaphil. I started three days a go (3 masks total) and i cant tell you how happy I am too see such amazing results. My skin is hydrated, red spots are not as red, pimples are not painful anymore and are slowly disappearing, and my skin is smooth and not rough. Have you tried this?

    • Glad to hear it’s working for you. I haven’t personally tested it, but I do use skincare products that contain green tea extracts.

  44. hello seppo. Such a good post(tje picture of tje study really gives me hope..)
    But i dont want to order a new skincare cause i really dont have that much budget and i have just buyed a new one so i have a question…
    Is it possible to brew green tea anf then put in a few tabblespoons in when i vleanse my face?
    Or can i do it into a spraybottle and then moistueize my face?
    Wpuld be so thankful for help..

  45. Hi Seppo,

    What do you think of some thermal spring water products such as La Roche-posay thermal water spray which is pure spring water and high in minerals e.g. selenium, zinc etc, thus they claim the product has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects on the skin? Since i have very sensitive skin and most antioxidant topical you recommended burns my face, so i wonder if such pure water would have the same antioxidant effect as green tea or Vitamin b3 products?


    • I don’t know. I’ve never seen any research on how topically applied minerals affect the skin. Other than studies on topical zinc for acne (it doesn’t help).

      If your skin is very sensitive, I recommend drinking green tea and taking some vitamin E supplements. It takes a couple of weeks, but studies show that vitamin E supplementation increases vitamin E content in sebum and protects is against oxidative damage. Green tea has similar skin protective effect.

      • Thanks much for your prompt reply Seppo,
        Here’s a link to the study i found on the effectiveness of thermal spring water:
        what’s your thought on it?
        As for green tea, i’ve been drinking a cup a day, but want to switch to extract supplement instead as my stomach can’t quite tolerate. do you think that’s the same? and how much should i take?


        • That paper doesn’t really tell much. It’s written by an employee of La Roche-Posay, so it’s not surprising it finds their mineral water useful. But reading it you’ll see it’s very thin gruel. It’s just a series of test tube studies that show thermal water could have beneficial properties. They establish it’s plausible for it to help the skin but by themselves these studies don’t prove anything.

          Anyway, why don’t you give it a try and see how it works for you. That’s all that matters in the end, after all.

  46. I’ve dabbled with following an alkaline diet in the past and this seems to have helped my skin somewhat (but it is restrictive and difficult to follow in everyday life) – one of the things they recommend is drinking filtered, ionised water at a pH of 9.5 – apparently this process “creates more antioxidants than Green Tea” (see link: – so I am thinking that drinking loads of this special water might be better than Green Tea as it doesn’t have the negative effects of the caffeine that is in the Green Tea – I’d be grateful for your scientific view on this? Is upping antioxidant intake the key, or the particular antioxidants in the Green Tea that make the difference?



    • I don’t know what to say about this and I’m sorry that I’m using harsh words. The whole alkaline diet and water thing is utter nonsense. It has no bearing on the current scientific understanding of how the human body works. I have no doubt that the alkaline diet ‘works’, but that’s because it removes a lot of unhealthy foods from the diet. That it works probably has nothing to do with alkalizing your body, which 1) you can’t do with diet and 2) you wouldn’t want to do as it would be profoundly dangerous. You can’t alter your blood pH as it’s regulated by the amount of carbon dioxide in the blood. Diet has some effect on urine pH but that’s all there is to it.

      I also wouldn’t recommend drinking alkaline water. The only actual medical research I found on alkaline water shows it can be helpful in acid reflux as the alkaline water neutralizes stomach acids. For healthy person that would be very bad and would likely lead to digestive issues in the long run. Low stomach acid is one of the risk factors for bacterial overgrowth in the upper intestines.

      I would be highly skeptical of any claims that alkaline water has antioxidant properties. What would be the substance in the supposedly filtered water that neutralizes free radicals?

      Finally, ingesting large quantities of antioxidants is likely to be harmful to you. It’s way too simplistic to say oxidation is bad and antioxidants are good. The body depends on a proper balance of oxidants/antioxidants. Too much into either direction is bad. Green tea is helpful in moderate quantities but too much ECGC can lead to liver damage.

  47. Hello Seppu,talking about green tea,a friend of mine used to have bad fungus growing between his toes it was bad because it ate into the flesh imagine that and all kinds of cream didn’t help. He refused to go on anti-biotic.
    But when he washed his feet in green tea every evening before going to bed it just clear up the whole mess.
    I am wondering if I make very concentrated green tea and make a paste using rice powder so that the paste will stick to the skin do you think that would help rather than buying expensive green tea cream?
    Does our thoughts at certain frequency affects our hormones and make acne worse? What I mean is we are not aware of our thoughts frequency but people who have bad acne have certain thoughts frequency that affect their acne.I believe it has not been discovered yet once it’s done nobody will suffer acne. I have seen people eating chocolate cakes, sugar by the tons,fried foods yet not a single acne on their skins, they have nice smooth skins you envy.These people don’t have thought frequency that induce acne.

    • I really have no idea about mixing green tea and rice paste. It could help, but I really don’t know. Try it and see what happens.

      Thought frequencies?? Sounds like you’ve bought into The Secret and law of attraction nonsense. I really have nothing positive to say about those things. They are not based on science and reality as we understand it.

      If thoughts would have frequencies, I’m pretty sure we could detect it. Think about it. The Voyager 1 spacecraft is currently roughly 132 AU (AU is the distance between sun and earth) away from the earth. It has a transmitter that’s about as powerful as the light bulb in your fridge. We can still detect the signal from the spacecraft.

      If we can detect such a minuscule signal like that millions and millions of kilometers away, I would assume we should be able to detect hints of ‘thought frequencies’ were such things real.

      Of course nothing is 100% certain in science, but I’m more than 99% certain there are no bad thought frequencies that cause acne.

  48. I have a few recommendations for those looking for more good products that contain Green Tea other than Exposed Skin Care’s product line and the Madre Labs Camellia Care cream that Seppo recommends.

    1.) Olay Regenerist Regenerating Serum: There are a couple versions, one with fragrance and one that’s fragrance free. I’ve been using the fragrance-free version every night and I love it. As it’s a serum it’s much more lightweight than the Madre Labs cream yet just as moisturising. Moreover it doesn’t have any potentially irritating citrus extracts (whereas the Madre Labs cream has orange and lemon extracts for some bizarre reason). It comes highly recommended on Beautypedia, who I think are a good general guide for finding quality products especially for people with sensitive skin (though don’t necessarily take what they say as gospel either).

    In addition to Green Tea it contains a high amount of vitamin B3 (niacinamide), Vitamin E (tocopheryl acetate), and Vitamin B5 (panthenol).

    2.) Kiss My Face Face Factor SPF 30: I use this during the day instead of a moisturiser. I love the idea of antioxidant-rich sunscreens because you’re essentially killing two birds with one stone: nourishing your skin with antioxidants and providing sun protection (and in a sense these overlap because it’s been proven that antioxidants boost the protective power of sunscreens).

    This one struck me from the start because it’s really cheap, yet has a great ingredient list. In addition to Green Tea it has Vitamin C (ascorbyl palmitate) and Vitamin E (tocopheryl acetate), aloe vera and licorice extract (both soothe redness), and hyaluronic acid (has excellent moisturising properties).

    Also comes highly recommended on Beautypedia.

    3.) Olay Regenerist Flawless Skin Cream SPF 30: An alternative sunscreen, a tad pricier than Kiss My Face but still very affordable, and has a better ingredients list.

    In addition to Green Tea it contains vitamin B3 (niacinamide), vitamin C (sodium ascorbyl phosphate), Vitamin E (tocopherol & tocopheryl acetate), and vitamin B5 (panthenol).

    4.) Paula’s Choice Extra Strength 2% BHA: I use this as an exfoliant 2-3 times a week. I’m adding it to this list as an alternative to the Green Tea-containing exfoliant that Seppo has recommended in the past (the Earth Science A/B Hydroxy Acid Rejuvenator). Generally I find Paula’s Choice products to be overpriced but interestingly their much-touted exfoliants are reasonable — their BHA might be pricier than the Earth Science one but you get considerably more product so it can actually work out more cost-effectively than that and Exposed Skin Care’s BHA (Clear Pore Serum). Unlike the Earth Science one it doesn’t contain any potentially irritating citrus extracts.

    I also didn’t like how Earth Science doesn’t disclose the percentages of the AHA and BHA in their product — I even emailed them to ask and they responded by saying that their formulas are proprietary and would only tell me that the combined percentage of AHA and BHA is 8%, but refused to tell me what the individual percentages are. As a consumer I think one has the right to know how much AHA and BHA they’re putting on their face considering people can be very sensitive to them. So that put me off of them.


    Just thought I’d share some of the Green Tea products I’ve been using to great effect!

    There’s one product from Exposed Skin Care that I’ve had difficulty finding a good replacement for, and that’s their benzoyl peroxide (the Acne Treatment Serum). It’s the only BP I can find that also contains Green Tea, and I’ve noticed that has helped massively in minimising any irritation that BP would normally cause. It’s the only product from their line that I use. That said, I suppose using any well-formulated 2.5% BP and following it up with a Green Tea moisturiser is a good alternative.

    • Actually, I had forgotten that I did indeed find one other benzoyl peroxide treatment that contains a lot of Green Tea:

      Clinique Acne Solutions All-Over Clearing Treatment: I haven’t personally tried it yet, but in addition to Green Tea it contains a lot of anti-irritants, Vitamin E, and Hyaluronic Acid, so it looks like another promising BP treatment that minimises irritation. It costs more or less the same as buying the Exposed Skin Care Acne Treatment Serum individually. I believe it’s part of an anti-acne kit that Clinique provides but the other products in that kit seem underwhelming and overpriced, so you’d be better off just getting their BP.

      • Interesting. I’m guessing that I’ve only been using the new formula since I started using it just these past couple months. Haven’t had any issues with it myself.

    • I know Paula’s Choice constantly harps against citrus extracts. It’s true that they are among the most irritating of essential oils, and that it would be better not to use them. That being said, hundreds of thousands of people use products with citrus extracts every day with no adverse effects to show for. To me this shows that citrus extracts, in concentrations they are commonly used in skin care products pose no problems for the vast majority of the users. So I wouldn’t worry about them too much.

      • Indeed, though I suppose it’s something to keep in mind for those who have extremely sensitive skin. There are no proven benefits to citrus extracts so I wonder why companies insist on including them in their products. They’re unnecessary at best, irritating at worst.

        I actually still use the Madre Labs Green Tea cream, and since I stocked up on quite a few from iHerb I’ll continue to do so for a while. That said, I figured people might want to see if there are any alternatives. Sadly there still seems to be a distinct dearth of gentle moisturisers containing appreciable amounts of green tea.

        • True, citrus extracts have no known benefits and are irritating to a small % of people. My guess is companies use them because people like the fragrance. Citrus smell is added into everything from laundry detergents into soaps and shampoos, so maybe people are just accustomed to them.

          I wouldn’t use them in products I formulate but neither would I make a big fuss of using products with citrus extracts.

  49. Is it safe to use a body lotion on your face? I was looking to purchase green tea lotion online but it was a hand and body lotion.

    • In most cases it’s probably safe. That being said, facial lotions are usually formulated to be lighter than body lotions. They also absorb quicker and leave the skin looking nicer.

  50. Hi, Seppo!

    Wondering if you’ve come across anything in your research about hidradenitis suppurativa. It doesn’t seem to have been studied to the degree that regular acne has, but I’m curious how many of your acne recommendations—especially re: oral & topical antioxidants—might carry over.

    It concerns me that oral antibiotics are one of the go-to treatments for HS, because there doesn’t seem to be good reason to think they’d alleviate the condition. I’ve got a dermatology appointment coming up to address it, but my past experiences with dermatologists (very similar to your experiences) have given me reason to distrust them. Feeling a little discouraged.


  51. I just mixed some high quality matcha into an over the counter non-comedogenic lotion. it is dark green but when i apply it there’s no greenish tint. this seems like it should do the same trick.

  52. Hi Seppo,
    I often think your name is kind of unusual. Is dat your real name? R u from Finland?
    I looked around Japan they all have nice skin, they drink lots of green tea and korea too.
    But unfortunately green tea gives me pain in the joints so my acne has a upper hand, i can never win this game.
    I find that vegetable cooking oils, e.g. Palm oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, are bad for my skin, too much omega 6 I think,it disrupts my balance of 3,6,9 ratio.
    Pork oil seems to be good for me though again not in too big quantity. I cook with pork oil or virgin olive oil now. Never look at highly processed vegetable oil again.
    The highly processed vegetable oil is bad for you in the long run, after you consumed them over 20 years the bad effects appear though not directly, they cause problems without you noticing them, that’s where you cannot figure out why.
    Good luck, your website is helpful, keep up the good work Seppo.
    PS: “if you balance your 3,6,9 ratio of good oil intake your acnes will disappear and of course highly processed foods go out of the kitchen windows.”

    • Yes, I’m from Finland.

      I’m not arguing that processed vegetable oils are good for you, but I doubt that the ones without transfats are much worse than any other types of fats. The dangers of omega-6 fats are blown out of proportions and the whole omega-3:6 balance argument doesn’t really hold water.

  53. Dear Seppo

    I would like to share with you and your fans about a skincare containing plentiful green tea. It is a The Green Tea Seed Serum from a Korean brand. As I read on its ingredient list. It contains around 70% of green tea. I am sure that it doesn’t contain 70% green tea extract, but 70% of diluted green tea in water. Anyway, I am quite sure that it contains enough green tea that can help with acne prone skin. The brand I mentioned is Innisfree

    PS 1. If posting a cosmetic brand doesn’t fit your policy, you can delete this comment. I just really want to share with others who are struggling to find a good green tea skincare.)

    PS 2. I’ve just figured out that you live in Thailand. I am Thai. so the brand I’ve recommended is easy to find in Thailand

    • Hi Gorn! Thanks for sharing this. If they’ve just replaced water with green tea in the formulation, then I doubt it has enough to make a difference. Most studies have used 2% or more of green tea extract. Green tea, as brewed normally, doesn’t have even close to that amount. This doesn’t mean the product wouldn’t work, just that it has less ‘active’ green tea than used in the studies.

  54. hey,

    Does the earth sourced toner from Paula’s Choice contain enough green tea? Because I have used it for a few months now, but I hardly notice any difference in my sebum production?

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