We already count green tea as one of our favorite sources of caffeine, but we recently discovered that it’s also the perfect pick–me–up for dull skin. And no, we don’t just mean drinking it. The next time you brew a cup, try applying some directly on your skin—and you didn’t just hear this from us.
“Green tea as a toner is fun,” says celebrity facialist Joanna Vargas, founder of the eponymous salon and skincare collection, “It’s good for the skin, and it’s a great antioxidant.”
Since we’ve long since lost count of the number of times we’ve heard ‘antioxidant,’ we asked Vargas for a quick recap. “Antioxidants calm inflammation, and protect the skin against sun damage and other stressors that cause premature aging,” she explains, “They also help purge the skin of toxins, which gives you a nice glow.”
Another way to think of it? Antioxidants, simply put, battle the bad stuff: “Just like taking a dose of Vitamin C can help knock out a cold, using an antioxidant in your skincare can help rid the skin of toxins that build up over time. They can also prevent damage that occurs in the skin when it’s exposed to the sun and pollution.”
While there are many ways you can get your green tea skincare fix (we like to freeze it into depuffing ice cubes or add it to a homemade mask), there are also plenty of serums and moisturizers packed with the extract. To get you started on your daily dose of antioxidants, we’ve included some of our favorites in the slideshow above, along with Vargas’ pick—a green tea and rose serum from John Masters Organics.
Her final tip is one you’ll want to remember for a therapeutic weekend. “Mix green tea bags with your bathwater,” she told us, “I would even throw in a lemon for good measure!”