Drink your sun protection

Being English drinking tea is a big part of my day. It’s an ancient herbal drink known for its stimulant qualities mostly attributed to caffeine. Recently it has also been touted as a health food. The major types of tea include black, green and white, differing by the method of harvesting and processing.

Medicinal properties in tea

The medicinal properties of tea are attributed to flavonoid phytochemicals called polyphenols. The polyphenols found in tea mainly belong to the subtype called catechins. Green tea has more catechins than black tea (about 25% vs. 4%). White tea is almost as rich in catechins as green tea but is different in composition and less well studied. The main catechins in green tea include gallocatechin (GC), epigallocatechin (EGC), epicatechin (EC), and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).

Numerous studies have shown tea polyphenols to have protective effects against free radicals, cardiovascular damage, some cancers,

Skin benefits of green tea

There have been a number of encouraging studies of the benefits of green tea with regard to skin. Animal studies showed protection from skin cancer. Both animal and human studies have credibly demonstrated that topical green tea formulations appear to reduce sun damage. Green tea seams to exert sun damage protection by quenching free radicals and reducing inflammation rather than by blocking UV rays.

How to use green tea in your skin care

As the sun protection benefits of green tea are particularly well documented, it could make sense to apply a green tea formula under your sunscreen when venturing into the sun. It is best to combine green tea with zinc oxide-based sunscreens because zinc oxide is chemically inert and should not react with green tea (which some chemical sunscreens might do, especially in sunlight).

For an all natural alternative to store bought preparations try making a freshly brewed pot of green tea to keep in the fridge and use as a fresh low cost toner.

You can also drink lots of green tea or take green tea extract in capsules.

Don’t however rely on an occasional cup of tea to protect your skin from the Sun, you should still:

Seek shade from 10am -4pm

Wear a hat sunglasses and sun protective clothing

Use a broad spectrum sun screen that protects against UVA & UVB rays


About sunnysleevez

I'm a freckly red head, originally from London now living in LA with 2 pale children. Frankly with our coloring we have no business being such an outdoorsy family and living in southern California. I grew up in a time when factor 8 sun milk was considered the best protection available to combat the hot rays of a holiday in southern Spain, that lead to 3rd degree burns and the rest of the vacation spent in the shade of our apartment. As a family we love to be outside, going to the beach, camping, swimming & hiking. We can't completely avoid the sun (nor should we) but taking sensible measures to avoid unnecessary UV damage is a priority. How do we do that? By staying in the shade in the middle of the day, wearing sun protective clothing (that's why I created Sunny Sleevez), a broad brimmed hat, UV rated sunglasses, using chemical-free broad spectrum sun screen on exposed areas & eating a healthy diet with as few chemicals as possible & lots of antioxidants.
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7 Responses to Drink your sun protection

  1. chvandergriff says:

    Great post. Thanks for sharing the tips

  2. GREAT info! Thanks for sharing. Being an Oklahoma tea drinker….I did not know of these added benefits! YAY! ♥ paula

  3. I know tea is supposed to be good for you, but I just don’t like it. I’ll have to stick with my margarita. lol

  4. Anissa Mathias says:

    Very nice post. If you do not mind, I will reblog it to my Herbal Blog. 🙂

  5. glad to know there is one more good reason to drink tea! thank you!! 🙂

  6. Allison says:

    Nice article! We can teach our kids from a young age to love green tea. I have come up with a solution by making a Ms. Green Tea Bag Set out of felt! They’re really cute & perfect for kids! Here’s a link to my WP blog: http://mymoopig.wordpress.com/2012/05/11/new-product-ms-green-tea-bag/

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