It seems like every health article goes on and on about how green tea can work wonders for a whole range of conditions from improving blood flow, digestive issues, reducing cholesterol and blood pressure, to even helping prevent Alzheimer’s plaques from forming.

Photo of a woman sitting in a chair cradling a mug of hot green tea

At this point, there is no reason to not at least add one or two cups of green tea to your diet each day.

But, can reducing acne now also be added to the long list of what green tea can do for you?

Read on for five potential ways that drinking, applying, or supplementing with green tea may be able to help with your skin issues.

1. It is an Antioxidant

Green tea is packed with polyphenolic compounds, and one of the most potent ones is EGCG, or epigallocatechin gallate.

Basically, this chemical has been found to have strong antioxidant properties. Antioxidants are important because they help neutralize free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that have the potential to damage cells, proteins, and DNA if they are left to their own devices.

In some, a reduction of free radicals in the skin may help reduce acne occurrence or severity. 

2. It Has Antibacterial Properties

 Acne is formed from a combination of excess bacteria, oils, and dead skin cells that make their way into pores and clog them.

Green tea has the potential to help reduce your skin’s bacterial load by functioning as an antibacterial agent. And since less bacteria lingering on your skin may lead to less acne, this is a win-win.

3. It is Anti-Inflammatory

There are few things that are as annoying as having a big, red, inflamed acne breakout.

 According to one 2013 study that had women take either a green tea extract or placebo daily for 4 weeks, those taking the green tea extract had significantly fewer inflammatory lesions than women taking a placebo.

There is a not a lot of evidence that green tea will completely stop pimples from forming, but according to this study, if pimples do form, they may be less red and inflamed.

4. It Can be Anti-Androgenic

Sometimes acne can flare up during times of high or fluctuating hormones, and one of the hormones that plays a big role in acne development are androgenic hormones like testosterone.

Green tea has been found to be mildly anti-androgenic, meaning that it may help reduce the amount of those androgenic hormones in your body that are leading to the acne.

5. It Lowers Lipid Levels

Green tea has been found to lower the cholesterol levels in your body, and this may also help with your acne.

Acne can develop when the skin over-produces a lipid substance called sebum.

Some sebum is good for your skin by keeping it moisturized and locking in hydration, but too much can clog pores and cause acne. By reducing the sebum, green tea may help you get a better handle on your acne breakouts.


There need to be more controlled clinical trials on green tea to verify if green tea can help with acne, and to what extent. 

But since there are so many upsides to having a cup or two a day, there is no harm and lots of potential benefits to adding this into your complete anti-acne routine.

For severe or persistent acne, it is unlikely that just a few cups of green tea alone will do the trick to clear everything up alone.

Look into developing a total acne care routine in addition to green tea, and speak with your doctor about prescription or medicated acne options if your acne is severe.

Photo “Woman Holding Gray Ceramic Mug” is copyright under Free Use No-Attribution License to the photographer Andrea Piacquadio and is being posted unaltered (source)