Grandma Myths: Does Tea make the skin turn darker

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Jun 06, 2014

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Quick Bites

  • Tea can't change skin tone.
  • Skin tone is determined by genetics and sunlight exposure.
  • Health problems and ailments can affect the skin tone.
  • People drink more tea when not feeling well.

It’s only a common and typical disbelief that tea can darken your skin tone. Your skin tone determines the color of your complexion and personality and it can change due to various reasons however tea is not one of them. Drinks like tea, coffee or even other caffeinated drinks basically don't have any effect on your skin tone. It's just that all forms of tea contain more antioxidants than found in fruits and vegetables. Antioxidants are good for our health and can help prevent heart disease and cancer. Although tea is a beverage, however drinking a lot of tea can cause dehydration which may result in a change in the skin. The dehydrated skin looks dry and lifeless, which is often confused with darkening of skin. Even though tea doesn't cause darkening of the skin tone it should still be taken in moderation. The key to tapping the most benefits is having it in moderation-which roughly translates to not more than 3-4 cups a day. If you find your skin tone change, be sure that it's not because of tea. It's possibly because of lack of sleep, stress or some other health issue.


Since generations it has been believed that drinking more tea will result in a darker skin tone. It was a common belief to blame tea for triggering the changes in the skin tone. However, skin tone usually changes due to the exposure to the sun or a health condition. Sunlight is a common factor behind most skin tone changes. Sun tanning is a common phenomenon used to get a desired skin tone, however drinking tea, regardless of the number of cups, is not going to bring any change in the skin tone. The usual colour of the skin is determined by the genetics or the person and the exposure to sunlight. Drinking tea has got nothing to do with a change in the skin tone.

What Is The Actual Reason?

 If someone starts getting a darker skin tone right after increasing the intake of tea, the change in the skin tone of the person is still not because of the tea. There will be some other reasons for the change in the skin tone, possible some disease that has not been diagnosed yet or some minor change in the health. Common problems like anxiety can cause change in the skin tone and may be easily confused with tea. A person who is suddenly more anxious is more likely to drink more tea as it may help him feel relaxed for some time. However massive skin tone changes are rare even in case of anxiety, if they happen at all. There are reports that also claim that stress and anxiety can cause liver dysfunction, which may lead to yellow skin tone caused by jaundice, but the darkening of skin tone is usually a fairly minor change.


 Anxiety, which usually increases the cups of tea taken by a tea lover, is associated with following types of skin color changes.

Lighter Skin: Anxiety can make you look paler as it can make your skin appear much lighter. It's common for those with anxiety to be described as looking pale during an anxiety attack. This occurs because blood rushes away from the skin towards the heart, which causes the body to lose some of its natural pigmentation.

Redder Skin:  On the opposite end, anxiety can also cause skin to be redder, especially around the face and head. This is caused by capillaries in the face dilating, which allow in more blood and can make the skin of the face noticeably red.

Skin Darkening: However the most common effect of anxiety and other similar problems is that of skin tone darkening which is sometimes confused to be caused by drinking too much of tea.

It wouldn't be wrong to call it a granny's myth or disbelief to blame tea for skin darkening. Tea is a wonderful beverage with so many benefits to offer, if taken in moderation. However, more importantly if someone notices skin tone change without any change in the exposure to sunlight, it's always better to consult the doctor to find out the actual reason behind the skin tone change.


Image Courtesy : Getty Images

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