Acne: here's why green tea works!
The story so far...To understand why green tea works, it's important to understand how acne is caused in the skin. Science has told us so far that the blocking of pores leading to the proliferation of a species of bacteria, Propionibacterium acnes, causing inflammatory response on skin, has been the mechanism for acne formation.
Sebum is a natural secretion of sebacious glands found on skin. It is rich in waxes, and squalene, and protects the skin from dryness, microbial attacks and in keeping it supple, by forming a thin layer over the skin. "Oily skin" really is a condition of over-eager sebacious glands that produce more than what the skin requires, leading to an "oily" appearance on face. Too little sebum, and you have dry skin. Nature knows how to protect, naturally, but some times, needs a little nudge in either direction to stay on track, that's all!
Why does oily skin increase risk of acne?
Here's where the fresh evidence comes in. Besides what we know about the bacteria, it has now been proven that sebum is highly prone to oxidation by air and other free radical species (pollutants, and from stuff we eat). The squalene in the sebum, which is normally liquid, tends to become solidified when it oxidises (or peroxidises, in scientific terms). AND from our article on comedogenicity, we know that solidified waxes+ already excess sebum = blocked pores, and blocked pores + bacteria = acne! Understood? Also, the oxidated squalene by itself has been shown to trigger inflammation in skin cells - result, again: acne.
Got it, how does green tea help?
Before you rush to the store...
- Green tea can be a part of your full CTMP regimen (read our article on green tea in CTMP), besides of course drinking it which has lots of health benefits.
- Make the sure ingredients in any leave-on product you buy are non-comedogenic, and do not contain irritating chemicals that can aggravate your skin problem.
- Green tea is not the only way to treat acne, but it's a modern, safe and natural way of doing it. Antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and keratolytic treatments are also available, but make sure you know what you are getting into, before using it on your face!