Today I’m sharing my favourite herbal teas to clear acne and improve your skin. In the UK, we drink 165 million cups of tea every single day! I think it’s fair to say we are definitely a nation of tea lovers, but do any of us know the amazing beauty benefits of certain teas? Tea not only offers warmth and hydration, it can also fight off infection, increase energy, promote relaxation and even fight acne and prevent wrinkles.
Whilst not all teas are created equal (you may want to switch up your builder’s brew for a less oxidised cuppa if you’re serious about clearing your skin) many teas have been used for their beauty enhancing properties for centuries. Rich in antioxidants and anti-ageing and anti-inflammatory properties, tea is one of the most powerful (and cheapest!) beauty must-haves you can pick up from your local supermarket.
Top herbal teas to clear acne + improve your skin
Green Tea is a powerful acne fighter, it’s high in antioxidants which help fight bacteria and infections and has higher antioxidant levels than spinach, dark chocolate and blueberries! These antioxidants will do their bit to promote healthier skin but the main acne-busting component in green tea is a polyphenol called EGCG. EGCG can help reduce inflammation, balance out hormones and blood sugar levels which are all major factors when it comes to clearing acne.
The acne-healing benefits of green tea don’t stop there either, it’s also shown fantastic results when used as a topical lotion. In one study, green tea was shown to be just as effective as 4% benzoyl peroxide in the treatment of acne and another study found that a 2% green tea lotion resulted in a 50% decrease of acne lesions in a 6-week trial.
Red Raspberry Leaf
Red Raspberry leaf is an excellent tonic for irregular periods, heavy flows, cramping and increasing fertility. Red Raspberry is known to be a ‘pregnancy herb’. But it is actually very good in regulating your monthly cycles as well. Red Raspberry is known to increase progesterone levels too and acts as a precursor in the process of making progesterone. Drinking 2-3 cups a day will help to regulate your cycle and reduce acne count if low progesterone is the root cause of your hormone imbalance.
Raspberry leaf is an excellent tonic for irregular periods, heavy flow, cramping + hormonal acne!
Dandelion root tea supports liver function and digestion, both of which are essential for healthy, happy skin! Dandelion root eases congestion of the liver and purifies the blood, bladder and kidneys whilst also containing calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc and vitamins B and C which are great for regulating hormones and protecting against free radicals.
Hailed as ‘The Botox Plant’, Hibiscus has the ability to increase skin elasticity, protect against free radicals and fight skin damage, even skin tone and repair and moisturise your skin from within.
Tulsi is the Sanskrit name for the holy basil plant. It has many medicinal uses, particularly in Ayurveda, but it’s primarily used because of it’s powerful adaptogen properties – meaning it’s great for helping the body copy with stress! Stress is probably the most common, yet most overlooked reason for unhappy skin so incorporating a daily dose of Tulsi could be just what you need to calm the mind, support your adrenals and reduce stress-related breakouts
Stinging Nettle tea supports healthy skin and boasts a rich vitamin and mineral content – containing Zinc, Selenium and Vitamins B and K. Like Red Clove and Dandelion, Nettle helps to purify the blood, resulting in clearer, firmer skin.Nettle tea is also a natural herbal DHT blocker. A few German studies have been carried out on nettle root and has shown its efficacy in lowering prostate swelling in men as well as reduction of DHT. Although fresh stinging nettles can cause irritation to the skin, the dried variety is totally safe and packs a pretty impressive acne-clearing punch!
Nettle tea is a natural herbal DHT blocker making it a potent #acne fighter!
Burdock Root is highly regarded as the king of skin herbs. It helps to promote beautiful skin by gently detoxing the liver, kidneys, gall bladder and lymphatic system. When these organs become overloaded with toxins, from hormone-disrupting preservatives in cosmetics to pesticides and additives in our food, the skin eliminates this toxic waste through the act of sweating and sebum production which can lead to skin conditions such as acne, eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis.
Red Clover is known to help purify the bloodstream and cleanse the liver which can lead to the improvement and reduction of skin conditions such as acne. Red Clover also functions as a diuretic which promotes the production of urine, allowing impurities to be flushed out via the kidneys and bladder. Red Clover is also thought to be one of the richest sources of isoflavones. These phytoestrogens can help reduce pre-menstrual and pre-menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes, cramps and breakouts.
Chamomile tea helps to protect your skin from sun damage, thanks to high levels of quercetin. This relaxing tea also promotes restful sleep which, in turn, can reduce stress and help balance hormones – leading to naturally calmer, happier skin.
Spearmint tea (not to be confused with peppermint tea) slows down and delays the oxidation of fats and helps to prevent the formation of blemishes. Essentially, spearmint tea can prevent the sebum found of the skin from ‘going bad’. When sebum oxidises in a pore it hardens and creates a plug, allowing acne-causing bacteria to colonize beneath the plug leading to inflammation.
Spearmint’s anti-androgenic properties make it an excellent herbal tea for acne sufferers!
Another way that spearmint tea is an effective natural acne treatment is through it anti-androgenic effects. A small study showed that PCOS women who drank 2 cups of spearmint tea everyday for a month showed a significant reduction in the level of excess androgens. Androgens (primarily testosterone and DHT) increase sebum production, inflammation and stimulate the growth of skin cells. These 3 factors provide the perfect conditions for acne to occur so by reducing the levels of free testosterone in the body, spearmint tea can prevent the hormonal imbalance that is known to trigger acne breakouts.
N.B: If you’re currently taking an oral contraceptive then it’s recommended that you check with a healthcare professional before supplementing with hormone balancing herbs as they can possibly interfere with the absorption and efficiency of the pill.
Common herbs that are known for promoting ovulation include:
- Red Clover Flower
- False Unicorn Root
- Nettle Leaves
- Red Raspberry Leaves
- Black Cohosh
- Don Quai Root
- Wild Yam
- Saw Palmetto Berry
- Sarsaparilla Root
Lack of research done on the interaction between herbs and birth control pills mean care should always be taken when mixing herbs with birth control pills. Having one stimulating menstruation (herbs) while another is trying to prevent it (the pill) may have negative consequences for those wanting to avoid pregnancy.
What’s your favourite herbal teas to clear acne and balance hormones? Let me know in the comments below!
Peace, Love & Clear Skin,