The Ultimate Guide to Whitening Your Skin with Green Tea

Green tea has powerful health and nutritional benefits ranging from boosting brain function to helping fight cancer and aiding weight loss. It’s also known to have lots of benefits for the skin.

Green tea is rich in polyphenols, amino acids, catechins, minerals, and vitamins that all contribute to maintaining healthy skin cells and radiant skin. In this article, you will discover the skin whitening benefits of green tea and how to use this power plant to achieve glowing skin.

green tea

Table of Contents

How Green Tea Contributes to Skin Whitening

Whether applied topically or ingested as a beverage, green tea is effective in whitening the skin due to the presence of several antioxidants (phytochemicals). Below are the main ways through which green tea can improve your skin’s complexion.

Tyrosinase inhibitor

Green tea contains epigallo-3-catechin gallate (EGCG), a catechin (antioxidant) known as an effective compound for skin whitening via its tyrosinase inhibiting capacity.

Tyrosinase is the enzyme present in skin cells that is responsible for triggering the production of melanin in the skin. Melanin often makes the skin appear darker, therefore by inhibiting this process, it is possible to have brighter and more radiant skin.

A 2020 study revealed that the catechins found in green tea were more effective in whitening the skin than arbutin. This makes green tea a great choice for clearing dark spots and improving your skin’s complexion.

Protection against free radicals

One of the things that contribute to dull and dark skin is the exposure of skin to free radicals that damage cell DNA and cause premature photoaging. Thanks to its high concentration of polyphenols, green tea is able to provide strong antioxidant protection against photoaging and leaves the skin looking brighter and more youthful.

Moreover, the anti-inflammatory properties of green tea make it an excellent choice for those with oily skin. Its catechins reduce sebum production, which can lead to acne, making it a natural remedy for managing oily skin conditions.

Treats hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentation leads to the development of dark patches on the skin due to the overproduction of melanin in the skin.

Green tea, renowned for its powerful anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants, is effective in clearing hyperpigmentation by preventing the production of excess melanin production and gets rid of dark spots. Additionally, it can improve skin inflammatory conditions such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis.

A 2009 scientific review of the use of natural ingredients in the effective management of hyperpigmentation revealed that green tea extract can effectively reduce melasma, a severe form of hyperpigmentation, and reduce the effects of sunburn on the skin by whitening the affected areas for a more uniform and radiant skin tone.

How to Use Green Tea for Skin Whitening

To give your complexion a strong boost, here are a few tips on how to incorporate green tea into your skincare routine.

Quick and Easy Green Tea Bag Application

For a simple yet effective application, you can also cool down used green tea bags and apply them directly onto your face, especially under the eyes, to reduce puffiness and brighten your complexion. This method is not only economical but also environmentally friendly, making use of green tea bags that would otherwise be discarded.

Green tea and rice flour whitening face pack

Green tea and rice flour in this recipe are two effective ingredients used to obtain fair skin by natural means at home.


  1. Brew 1 or 2 teaspoons or sachets of green tea and let it sit at room temperature.
  2. In a bowl mix a tablespoon of rice flour and one teaspoon of raw honey.
  3. Pour in the cool green tea to form a paste of medium consistency.
  4. Wash your face with lukewarm water, then apply this face mask on the face and let it dry.
  5. Next, sprinkle a little bit of water and scrub off the mask.
  6. To finish, rinse your face with warm water.

Green tea whitening face mask

This face mask recipe will work well to clear dark spots and give you fair and radiant skin.


In a bowl combine some green tea leaves, a pinch of turmeric, a tablespoon of raw milk, 2 tablespoons of gram flour, and some rose water to form a paste. Apply it all over the skin and leave it on for 15-20 minutes. Wash it off with lukewarm water.

There are many other green tea face mask recipes online and you can also buy a green tea face mask, like Matcha Oat Milk Nourishing Mask. Just keep in mind that it’s not normally recommended to leave green tea face mask overnight, to avoid any irritation and drying out the skin. But it really depends on the ingredients in the mask. If you are not sure contact the manufacturer.

Green tea skin lightening toner

Using green tea as a toner not only helps to whiten the skin but also provides a dose of hydration for healthy skin.


  1. Mix together 1 tablespoon of green tea, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons of honey.
  2. Add in 1 tablespoon of witch hazel, 3 drops of vitamin E, 4 drops of tea tree oil, and 1 tablespoon baking soda.
  3. Pour the mixture in a spritz bottle and spray on dry skin after cleansing your face. Or apply the toner using a cotton ball and pat the mixture into your skin and follow with your moisturizer.
  4. Store your toner in the fridge for up to 3 weeks and shake well before each application.

You can also try to buy a ready-made green tea toner online if you don’t have time to create your own recipe.

Homemade green tea whitening and anti-ageing cream

This green tea anti-ageing cream recipe is ideal for a clear complexion and more youthful skin.


  1. In a bowl mix 4 ounces of cold green tea, 2 ounces of pure pomegranate juice, 1 tablespoon aloe vera gel, and half a teaspoon of cornstarch.
  2. Thoroughly blend all ingredients and transfer them into a clean cosmetic container.
  3. Apply a peanut size amount of your brightening cream to your skin every night before bed.
  4. Store your cream in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Watch for possible discolouration.

Green tea essential oil

Green tea essential oil contains a high concentration of active ingredients that can improve the skin’s complexion for fair and acne-free skin.


Dilute a few drops of green tea essential oil into a carrier oil (preferably a lightweight oil) and use it on your skin as a facial oil at night after your moisturizer.

Green tea extract

Green tea extracts are crafted by steeping leaves in an alcohol solution to capture their key antioxidants and polyphenols. Offered as liquids, powders, capsules, and tablets, these extracts enhance skincare routines or are ingested to promote lighter skin.

Unlock the skin-lightening and nourishing benefits of green tea extract with these practical applications:

  • Serums and Creams: Prioritize serums and creams that feature green tea extract prominently. Ideal for post-cleansing application, they infuse your skin with potent antioxidants to diminish melanin production, lighten dark spots, and even out skin tone.
  • DIY Masks: Whip up your own whitening masks using green tea extract powder. Blend it with yogurt or honey to create a nourishing paste, apply to your face for 15-20 minutes, then rinse. This method not only lightens the skin but also moisturizes and calms.

Drinking Green Tea for Brighter Skin

One of the amazing benefits of green tea is that it works to clarify the skin when applied topically as well as when ingested. Drinking green tea does not only contribute to facilitating weight loss, treating and preventing cancer, but also helps whiten the skin.

A 2020 study carried out on 244 middle-aged Japanese women revealed that a high intake of polyphenols in both coffee and green tea was highly effective in suppressing skin hyperpigmentation and signs of photoaging leading to clearer skin. Drinking green tea daily will therefore help you get healthy and glowing skin.

Drinking green tea helps detoxify the skin and get rid of impurities. It also increases blood circulation and the oxygenation of blood vessels for more plump and bright skin.

How to Drink Green Tea for Skin Whitening

Brew a teabag of green tea or add 1-2 teaspoons of green tea leaves to boiling water and drink it as is or mix in a teaspoon of honey to sweeten it a little bit. Adding some lemon juice will boost the antioxidant effect of your tea.

Establish a daily routine of green tea infusion for progressive skin whitening over time.

Possible Side Effects of Green Tea for the Skin

When applied topically, products containing green tea are mostly safe for adults, including those with sensitive skin, thanks to its soothing properties. However, as a precaution, it is preferable to carry out a patch test on clean skin (forearm) to ensure there is no allergic reaction.

When ingested, green tea is usually safe when consumed in reasonable amounts (no more than 5 cups per day). However, green tea contains caffeine which could be harmful when consumed in excess. Some common side effects of overconsumption include:

  • dizziness
  • vomiting
  • diarrhoea
  • headaches
  • Iron absorption deficiency

What’s the Best Green Tea for Skin Whitening?

Choosing how to introduce green tea into your skincare routine is a matter of preference. Whether by using skincare products infused with green tea leaves and extracts, making your homemade preparations or by drinking organic and pesticide-free green tea, you will be able to whiten your skin in complete safety.

To get you started, here are some of the best green tea brands for clear and radiant skin.

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Petra Nakashian (previously Kravos) is a dedicated natural health and beauty blogger, driven by the loss of her parents to cancer, which led her to meticulously research beauty product ingredients. With over 10 years of experience, her in-depth knowledge has made her a trusted expert in the field. Founder of Be Healthy Now and Green Beauty Talk, Petra recently expanded her expertise with Beauty Insights Hub, exploring a wider range of beauty treatments. Committed to transparency and honesty, her work is a vital resource for navigating the complex world of beauty.