We all strive to achieve beautiful-looking skin by following a regular skincare routine and using the best active ingredients that work effectively for our skin. However, finding the right ingredients isn’t as easy as it may seem. Natural active compounds are widely raved about due to their natural skin benefits and minimal or no side effects.
Tea extracts are among the top favorites in the skincare realm when it comes to treating and preventing all sorts of skin woes. White tea extract, in particular, is known as a highly effective and potent tea extract that offers plenty of skin benefits. If you’re not already using it to take care of your skin, let us help you decipher why you should consider adding it to your skincare routine.
What is White Tea Extract?
White tea extract is procured from the buds and leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant before they are fully open. The name of the tea originates from the tiny and slender white hair on the buds of the plant when picked. The plant is known for its high antioxidant constituents, encompassing polyphenols (about 30% of its dry weight), tannins, and flavonoids. Catechins, a type of polyphenols, are the most abundant antioxidant in white tea extract.¹ White tea is also rich in natural anti-inflammatory and protective ingredients, which work to fight off various skin problems. White tea extract is procured at an early stage from young and baby tea leaves, giving it a different aroma and flavor compared to other teas.
Difference between White Tea Extract and Other Teas
There are two other key players out there when it comes to teas, black and green tea, but what makes white tea extract so special? Let’s get to it! The way tea leaves are harvested and processed affects the levels of antioxidants and the effectiveness of compounds because harvesting and processing can alter the chemical composition of active compounds in the leaves. It can lower the amount of catechins and other elements in the tea leaves.
White tea leaves and buds taken from the Camellia Sinensis plant undergo a certain degree of processing to obtain white tea extract. However, the leaves and buds are least processed to maintain the potency and concentration of natural compounds present in the white tea plant. The unmatched antioxidant properties of white tea are the main reason behind its rapid and wide popularity in the skincare world. Black tea undergoes the process of fermentation, while green tea is dried during the processing. Both actions reduce the levels of catechins in the resulting product.
Benefits of White Tea Extract for the Skin
Now that you know a bit about white tea extract, let’s dive into its amazing skincare benefits and why it should be in your skincare products:
- Protect Against Sun Damage - One factor that damages the skin cells and paves the way for many skin issues is UV radiation. No matter how much we try, it’s hard to dodge exposure to the sun. The best defense against these harmful rays is to prepare your skin to fight the damage caused by them. White tea extract can help you do that—antioxidant agents in white tea guard the skin cells against sun damage.
- Fortifies the Skin’s Barrier - White tea extract has natural protective, repairing, and soothing abilities, restoring and boosting the skin’s immunity and supporting a healthier outer barrier. A damaged skin barrier can allow outside agents to enter the skin and cause cells damage. By strengthening the lipid barrier, white tea extract enables the skin to fight off harmful external elements and maintain a healthy, supple, and glowing complexion.
- Offers Anti-Aging Effects - Our skin tends to age due to several internal and external factors. Common external damaging elements, which lead to the development of early signs of aging, like fine lines, age spots, wrinkles, and dullness, are free radicals, UV rays, toxins, bacteria, and other pollutants in our surroundings. White tea extract can ward off contaminants, ensuring the health and vitality of skin cells. The topical application of white tea extract also constraints the action of matrix metalloproteinases enzyme, which can have a negative impact on the synthesis of elastin and collagen in the skin. The anti-aging actions of white tea extract can reduce and delay the signs of aging in the long term.
- Neutralizes Free Radicals - Free radicals are highly reactive harmful molecules, with unpaired electrons present in our environment that can enter our body and damage cells.² These unstable molecules steal electrons from the cells in our body, causing cell damage or oxidation, resulting in skin problems like premature signs of aging, infections, irritation, hyperpigmentation, and dehydration. Free radical damage can aggravate inflammatory skin conditions, like eczema, dermatitis, acne, and psoriasis. Polyphenols and other antioxidants in white tea extract neutralize these molecules, treating and preventing oxidative damage.³
- Soothes and Prevents Inflammation - White tea extract possesses natural soothing attributes, which can be beneficial in calming irritated, swollen, reddened, and itchy skin. The anti-inflammatory action arises due to the presence of catechins, a polyphenol compound, in white tea extract that can protect the tissue from damage and accelerate the repair and renewal of tissue. Inflamed skin is more susceptible to wrinkles, discoloration, infections, and dehydration. The soothing action makes white tea extract an effective ingredient for people struggling with inflammatory skin issues, dryness, and skin sensitivity. Moreover, inhibiting the action of enzymes that can cause elastin and collagen breakdown improves the skin’s ability to withstand and combat inflammation or infection.
- Safe and Effective Natural Ingredient - If your skin is prone to become easily red, dry, itchy, or flaky when you apply strong or synthetic skincare ingredients, you may want to try more gentle and natural ingredients. White tea extract is obtained and processed naturally, which yields a gentle, potent, and safer end product. Moreover, white tea extract's natural soothing and antioxidant properties make it suitable for most skin types, even if you have sensitive, dry, and dehydrated skin. So, if you’re after smooth, youthful, and radiant skin without having to stress about aggravating your skin, white tea extract may be the answer to your skin problems.
- Helps to Fight Acne and Bacteria - Catechins and tannins in white tea extracts are great antibacterial and acne-busting compounds. It helps make the skin resistant to bacteria and inflammation, reducing the possibility of infections and acne due to bacterial infestation and growth. Another way white tea extract can help acne-prone skin is by calming discomfort, redness, and itching due to acne and blemishes. White tea's repairing and protecting actions can also heal the skin faster and protect it from further damage.
How to Add White Tea Extract to Your Skincare Routine?
Given the benefits of white tea extract, using this natural ingredient as a part of your regular skincare routine is recommended. There are many skincare products in the market formulated with white tea extract. You can choose from a white tea eye cream, cleanser, serum, night cream, moisturizer, or masks to reap white tea extract's extraordinary antioxidant, anti-aging, antibacterial, and soothing powers.
With so many benefits white tea extract offers, we knew we had to include this powerful ingredient in our under-eye masks. Sundree’s Bio-cellulose Eye Masks contain white tea extract, copper peptides, cucumber, and CBD to help firm, brighten and hydrate the delicate eye area. These eye masks are great to help refresh the eyes, and we like to say these under-eye masks make the puffiness go poof! For a quick me up, just apply the masks, sit back and relax for 15 minutes for brighter, well-rested eyes. To top it off, these masks are free of parabens, sulfates, and phthalates, vegan, and cruelty-free.
While there is a plethora of skincare products with innumerable active ingredients, choosing the right ingredients can be quite overwhelming and frustrating. It's always great to opt for natural compounds that offer desirable results without posing adverse effects to the skin. When talking about ingredients, it’s hard not to mention tea extracts. White tea extract is among the major tea extracts, known for its natural antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, and protective abilities. Incorporating white tea extract into your skincare routine can help you treat and prevent wrinkles, inflammation, hyperpigmentation, fine lines, sunburn, and dehydration. So, what are you waiting for? Invest in a skincare product with a high concentration of white tea extract and start enjoying its incredible skin benefits.
- Hinton-Sheley, Phoebe, B.Sc. (2020). ‘What are Catechins?’, NewsMedicalLifeSciences. Accessed March 29, 2022. Available at: https://www.news-medical.net/life-sciences/What-are-Catechins.aspx
- Villines, Zawn. (2017). ‘How do free radicals affect the body?’, com, Accessed March 30, 2022. Available at: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318652
- Petre, Alina, MS,RD (NL). (2019). ‘What Are Polyphenols? Types Benefits and Food Sources’, Healthiline. Accessed March 30, 2022. Available at: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/polyphenols