Are Tea Bags on Your Face Good for Pimples?

Sipping tea for its calming benefits might be more effective than applying tea to your face.
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Chamomile tea is soothing, and green tea is known for its antioxidants and other health benefits. Tea bags are often suggested as a home remedy for everything from undereye bags to poison ivy. While there's little evidence tea bags will help with an acne outbreak, they probably won't hurt.

1 Join the Club

Acne is common in teens and young adults: About 80 percent of them have pimples at some time. It starts when glands under the skin create too much oil and clog the pores. Genetics, hormones and stress all play a role, and while fatty foods and chocolate are no longer blamed, too much sugar might be involved. Too-frequent face washing and scrubbing can make things worse.

2 Tea for You?

Sipping chamomile tea might alleviate the stress factor, but cooling the tea bags themselves and placing them on the zits -- while touted as a remedy -- hasn't been scientifically shown to have benefits. One online recipe for a facial mask suggests steeping tea made with three green tea bags and boiling water for an hour and then chilling the tea in the refrigerator. Mix the chilled tea with sugar and a little lemon juice and then apply it to your face and neck for 15 minutes. Dermatologist Doris Day, in an article for CNN, says citrus juice can irritate the skin. She suggests white tea for the antioxidants and honey for its wound-healing properties.

3 The Real Deal

If you're bothered by acne outbreaks, keep your skin clean. Gently wash once or twice a day and try over-the-counter remedies with benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. Check with a dermatologist for other available treatments.

Bonny Brown Jones has been a writer, columnist, copy editor and senior copy editor for newspapers that have included the "Orlando Sentinel," "Miami Herald" and "Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch." Jones has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Ohio State University.