Female pattern acne, AKA “hormonal acne”, is a frustrating condition affecting many women across the globe. The characteristic inflamed and tender acne lesions appear along the lower face, particularly along the chin and jawline prior to the start of the menstrual cycle. Fortunately, many treatment options are available to address this type of acne, however some patients desire the more homeopathic route.
The Power of Tea
An ancient remedy for numerous things, green tea has a reputation for helping various health conditions from heart disease, arthritis and cancer, as well as reducing the risk of stroke, and improving memory to name a few. So, how can drinking green tea help hormonal acne?
Green tea is an antioxidant rich in types of polyphenols (compounds found in plants that act as antioxidants) called catechins. Catechins also possess anti-inflammatory properties. Green tea contains high amounts of the polyphenol epigallocatechin-3-gallate or EGCG. If enough of this polyphenol is ingested, it has the potential to reduce androgen levels in the body by blocking IGF-1, which is a growth factor that can stimulate sebaceous glands to churn out more oil, which results in increased inflammation and pore clogging within the skin. This is especially true in the causes of “hormonal acne.”
Thus, if enough green tea is consumed, it may help to:
- Reduce the amount of sebum produced in the skin which in turn reduces inflammation
- Inhibits the growth of cutibacterium acne (c. acnes) bacteria
- Decreases acne with mild antibacterial properties
We also know that green tea additionally contains Vitamin E (another antioxidant), Vitamin B2 (which can help maintain collagen), zinc, and Vitamin B3 which also fights acne.
How Many Cups Do We Need To Drink?
So, how much green tea would you need to drink to experience these beneficial effects? Some experts believe that you may need to drink two to five cups of green tea per day for at least three months to begin to see any benefits, and that you would also need to continue drinking it to maintain your results. Additionally, we know that drinking green tea alongside other tried and true acne treatments like benzoyl peroxide and tretinoin would also yield a greater benefit.
Green tea may be a nice add on to your existing acne treatment because it is easily accessible, and generally inexpensive. However, we advise that it may sometimes cause an upset stomach if taken on an empty stomach. Keep in mind that green tea is a stimulant and contains caffeine and we do not recommend drinking it when you are winding down for the evening.
Are There Other Options?
Absolutely! Fortunately, we have many options to treat our acne. If you are not an enthusiastic tea drinker, green tea is available in numerous topical products that may help to reduce blackheads and whiteheads. These are available as topical serums, masks, moisturizers, etc. There are even green tea supplements available if you prefer to go that route.
For a nice skin refresher, you can also prepare a cup of green tea and pour it into a clean spray bottle and use it to spritz on the skin directly. We recommend leaving it on for twenty minutes and then rinsing off. Repeat twice weekly for the best results.
How Can We Help?
The Derm NP is an online teledermatology practice that provides online dermatology consultations with either live virtual visits or asynchronous photo consultations depending upon your state of residence. Laura Collins, APRN, ANP-BC, DCNP, ACTTP, the provider at The Derm NP, provides expert dermatological care. Her many years of experience and enthusiasm for dermatology means that you are receiving knowledgeable care by a practitioner that loves her specialty and continuously seeks educational opportunities to provide her patients with the most innovative treatments possible.
We provide care for non-urgent dermatological conditions via telehealth visits, through which we strive to provide top-notch care that considers your schedule. Contact us at (630) 233-9767 or firstname.lastname@example.org for an appointment to help you achieve your skincare goals from the comfort of your own space.