White tea has skin-rejuvenating effects

Younger skin from “baby tea”…

Green tea is a great way to get the powerful antioxidant epigallocatechin-3-gallate, or EGCG for short.

But there’s “another” tea that has all the benefits of green tea – and more! Especially when it comes to caring for your skin…

I’m talking about white tea. It’s rarer and more treasured than green tea.

Both green and white teas come from the Camellia Sinensis plant. But the leaves and buds of white tea are picked before they’re fully open – when they’re still covered in fine white hairs. That’s where this tea gets its name.

White tea is produced by gently steaming these immature buds.

And because white tea is the least processed of any tea, it contains even more of the antioxidant EGCG.1 The more of this potent catechin you get, the better.

You see, EGCG can:

  • Reduce inflammation, the root cause of many chronic diseases2
  • Lower heart attack risk by 26%3
  • Help prevent degenerative brain diseases, like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s4
  • Balance blood sugar and decrease insulin resistance5
  • Promote weight loss and lower blood pressure 6

A lesser-known benefit of this powerful plant compound is its skin-rejuvenating effects. Both green and white tea fight the free radicals that develop when you get too much sun, are stressed out or eat a poor diet.

But white tea works in two unique ways to prevent and reverse the skin damage that can make you look old before your time…

2 ways white tea can save your skin

First, it slows the breakdown of collagen and elastin.

When you’re young, enzymes called “matrix metalloproteinases” (MMP) constantly activate the breakdown of collagen and elastin. But you also build up collagen and elastin to replace the damage done by MMP. In other words, you constantly replenish your skin’s foundation.

As you get older, MMP breaks down collagen and elastin faster than you can replace it. Eventually you notice sagging skin and wrinkles. But white tea blocks MMP.

Researchers found white tea inhibited MMP’s destructive action better than 20 other plant extracts tested. In fact, white tea was 3-6 times more effective than green tea at protecting collagen and elastin.

Second, white tea reduces DNA damage by strengthening your skin’s immune system.

You see, your epidermis contains “watchdog” cells called Langerhans cells. They’re constantly on alert for foreign agents like germs and mutated proteins that signal cancer. But Langerhans cells are extremely sensitive to sunlight. Over time they become obliterated by sun damage.

In a study from Case Western Reserve University, researchers applied cream containing white tea extract to a patch of skin on each subject’s buttock. Then they exposed the skin to artificial sunlight. After just three days, skin treated with white tea extract had its Langerhans cell immunity completely restored from sun damage.

In addition, the white tea extract limited DNA damage in the treated skin cells. That’s the kind of damage that promotes skin cancer, age spots and wrinkling.

Make the switch to white tea for younger skin and stronger antioxidant power

White tea is easy to prepare.

  1. Add the highest quality loose white tea you can afford to a teapot. As a general rule, use 2 teaspoons of tea for every 6 ounces of water.
  2. Pour hot filtered water over the tea. Don’t let the water reach its boiling point. Bringing the water to 160 to 180 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal.
  3. Cover the pot and let steep between 3 to 5 minutes. Small leaves will generally infuse faster than large leaves. Remove the tea leaves and enjoy.

I also recommend using white tea in a facial steam. It’s a great way to see immediate benefits to your skin…

  1. In a pot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil.
  2. Once the water is boiling, pour it over the top of loose white tea leaves and let steep for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Place your face about one foot from the steam, and drape a towel over your head like a tent, to keep the steam in.
  4. Steam for 1-2 minutes, take a break, then resume for 1-2 minutes.

To Your Good Health,

Al Sears, MD, CNS

1. Nabavi M, and Silva A. Nonvitamin and Nonmineral Nutritional Supplements. Elsevier Inc. 2019
2. Ohishi T, et al. “Anti-inflammatory action of green tea.” Antiinflamm Antiallergy Agents Med Chem. 2016;15(2):74-90.
3. Townsend D, et al. “Epigallocatechin-3-gallate remodels apolipoprotein A-I amyloid fibrils into soluble oligomers in the presence of heparin.” J Biol Chem. 2018;293(33):12877-12893.
4. Pervin M, et al. “Beneficial effect of green tea catechins on neurogenerative diseases.” Molecules. 2018 May 29;23(6):1297.
5. Mozaffari-Khosravi H, et al. “The effect of green tea versus sour tea on insulin resistance, lipid profiles and oxidative stress in patients with Type 2 diabetes: A randomized clinical trial.” Iran J Med Sci. 2014 Sep;39(5):424-32.
6. Mousavi A, et al. “The effects of green tea consumption on metabolic and anthropometric indices in patients with Type 2 diabetes.” J Res Med Sci. 2013 Dec; 18(12): 1080–1086.
7. Lee K, et al. “Anti-wrinkle effects of water extracts of teas in hairless mouse.” Toxicol Res. 2014 Dec; 30(4): 283–289.
8. Baron E, et al. “Efficacy of topical white tea against UV-induced Langerhans cell depletion and DNA damage in human skin.” University Hospitals of Cleveland/Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio; and Estee Lauder Companies, Melville, New York, USA. 2003.