Harnessing Green Tea Skin Benefits in Your Soap
Try Using Green Tea for Skin Complexion in Your Soapmaking Projects
The benefits of green tea are becoming widely known. One way that we can receive green tea skin benefits is by using tea and extract in our soap and other bath and body products. While some studies seem to confirm that we can receive many of green tea’s benefits through the skin, other studies are inconclusive. However, that has not stopped our society from embracing green tea extract as the new holy grail of skincare. While you may find green tea as an ingredient in many beauty products at the store, it is hard to tell just how much is in there. The manufacturer may have only added enough to put it on the label but not to actually give benefit. When you make your own products and add in the green tea, you know exactly what you are getting.
Green tea extract can be found in liquid, powder, pill, and tablet forms. The liquid and powder forms will be most relevant for adding botanical extract benefits to soap making and skincare. When we use green tea extract, we must remember that it is much more highly concentrated than green tea. It is possible to overdose with too much of a good thing. About 400-500mg of powdered green tea extract is equivalent to approximately five to 10 cups of green tea.
Some of the purported benefits of green tea and green tea extract applied topically to the skin are related to its high amount of antioxidants. These antioxidants help fight the signs of aging such as wrinkles and dull skin. Green tea extract has also been found in studies to benefit rosacea, acne, and atopic dermatitis. Also because of its high level of antioxidants, it is believed to be helpful in cancer prevention. The caffeine found in green tea is invigorating to the skin and has been purported to help reduce the appearance of cellulite. Caffeine also aids in the anti-inflammatory properties of green tea, soothing redness and swelling. Green tea may even help reverse some UV damage to the skin. If you are using a powdered extract, then it may even give some gentle exfoliation properties to your soap.
When including green tea as a soap ingredient, it can be incorporated in several different ways. You may substitute (chilled) brewed green tea as your liquid when dissolving lye or making lotion. If using tea instead of water in cold process soap, the natural sugars in the tea can cause the lye to overheat and scorch the sugars. This is why the tea must be chilled prior. If you are very concerned about overheating, you may even freeze your green tea as ice cubes before adding in your lye. Another method is to infuse one of your oils with tea leaves for several weeks prior to making the batch of soap. This can be done by measuring out some liquid oil in advance and adding dried green tea leaves. Typically you can add one to two tablespoons of tea leaves per four ounces of oil. Let the oil sit for three to six weeks (longer makes a stronger infusion) then strain out the leaves. You can also do a hot infusion where you add the tea leaves to warmed oil. This process is faster than the cold infusion and if you keep it hot it can be ready in only a few hours. You could also use liquid or powdered green tea extract which you would add as one of the final steps in your process. In cold process soap, this would be at light trace when you add any soap scents and colorants. Typically you would use one teaspoon of extract per pound of product. One word of advice, however, is that using green tea will color your soap. The powdered green tea extract, especially, may overpower any other color you desired for your final product. That can be used for your benefit if you like coloring soap naturally, though.
Another green tea you can consider is matcha. This is is essentially green tea that has been processed differently. The leaves are kept in the shade for a time before harvest, then steamed, dried, and powdered. The powder is dissolved in hot water as tea rather than being steeped then strained out, making the tea much more potent than traditional green tea. With matcha you can use the vivid green powder straight in your soap or body products to give similar green tea skin benefits.
Green tea has high amounts of antioxidants and other beneficial properties that can be absorbed through the skin. We can reap many green tea skin benefits by adding tea or extract to our soaps and bath and body products. There are many different ways to incorporate green tea in your products, and it is so simple to use. Your skin will appreciate the extra love that green tea will give!