Green tea is comfort in a cup, but it does more than just warm you up. Made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, green tea is rich in compounds called flavonoids that reduce inflammation and help protect the heart from damage. So it makes sense that those same leaves, once they're turned into oil, could have restorative effects on the skin. This includes providing the skin with anti-aging benefits, much-needed hydration, and so much more.
Ready to learn more about green tea oil? Put down that cup of green tea for just a moment and let's learn more about its often overlooked cousin, green tea oil.
Green tea oil vs. tea tree oil
Green tea oil should not be mistaken for tea tree oil. While the two sound similar, they couldn't be more different. Tea tree oil is a readily-available antiseptic essential oil with a strong medicinal smell, which is derived from trees that are native to Australia. On the other hand, green tea oil is made from the leaves of shrubs that grow in China and India, among other countries, and it generally has a milder scent. It can be quite difficult to find.
Green tea oil vs. pure green tea essential oil
Just a heads up that "green tea oil" is used to describe a few different products. It's possible to find pure green tea essential oil, which is made from pressing the tea leaves. The name is also sometimes used to describe oils like coconut or almond that have been infused with green tea leaves. If you have pure green tea oil, use just a few drops at a time or mix it into a carrier oil.
Green tea oil for the skin
Green tea oil isn't very common, so not much research exists about its benefits to the skin, but it's beloved by the people who use it as a moisturizer. The oil is known for being lighter and more absorbent than some other types of facial oils. It's beneficial for anyone who wants to get silkier, smoother skin but wants to avoid the feeling of heavy oils. The tea leaves are rich in antioxidants, which protect your cells from damage, so oil rich in green tea compounds may have a protective effect that slows the appearance of aging.
The light, slightly floral scent of green tea oil also makes it perfect for aromatherapy purposes. Green tea is often added to candles, lotions and other scented products for this reason.
How to use green tea oil
Green tea oil is generally quite safe to use liberally. (In fact, it's so safe that it's sometimes used for cooking.) After washing your face, rub a few drops of the oil between your hands and gently pat them across your face and neck. Alternately, make your own customized facial oil by mixing green tea-infused oil with a few drops of a favorite essential oil and the contents of a vitamin E capsule. If you're using green tea essential oil, mix it with a carrier oil like coconut.
While tea oil can do wonderful things for the appearance of the skin, it can also be beneficial for your state of mind. Dab a few drops of tea oil on the wrists and breathe in the soothing scent whenever you're feeling a little stressed.
With skin and relaxation benefits like this, we think it's only a matter of time before green tea oil gets its time in the spotlight, just like tea tree oil has done.
Kathryn Walsh has been writing about health, wellness and beauty for nearly 10 years. Her work has appeared on sites including USAToday.com, Mamapedia and Livestrong.com.