When some people were children, they were not allowed to have any tea. If they tried to sneak a sip, their parents would warn them of the effects. Some of these included the darkening of the skin.

But as it turns out, this was likely a myth geared towards instilling fear in kids. And it worked because most people would not dare touch the tea and were content with taking in the sweet aromas.

Does tea really darken your skin? While tea may not necessarily darken skin, it may play a part in the change of pigmentation. Caffeine in tea can cause anxiety in some people, which can result in skin changes. The problem is not the tea, but rather the high caffeine content in the tea.

Your Skin Color

People have different skin colors, and all this comes down to the presence of melanin, which is a natural pigment. It determines if you are black, brown, white, or in-between.

This pigment is genetic such that if you come from a line of white people, you are likely to come out white. The same goes for black and brown colors. Thus, tea does not affect your skin color, and we will get into this later.

Anxiety caused by tea can cause skin color change

Did you know that drinking tea can cause anxiety in some people? The presence of caffeine is known to induce jitteriness, especially when consumed in high amounts. If you go for herbal teas, you end up with the opposite effect.

But with the caffeinated options, you can end up with skin changes, which is some truth behind the myth. The more caffeine you consume, the more anxious you are likely to feel, more so if you were already anxious before the consumption. Here are some possible effects of anxiety:


When some people get anxious, their skin becomes paler and lighter. It is especially so when someone is having a panic attack as the blood rushes from their skin to their heart. In such a case, one would lose some of their pigmentation. People who see you in such a state may notice the difference and ask if you are okay.


Other people react to anxiety by becoming red-faced. It is like when a person is extremely angry or embarrassed. It owes to the dilation of capillaries in the skin, which allows more blood in the face. This change can be accompanied by sweating and other symptoms associated with anxiety attacks.


Most people’s faces get darker when they are undergoing anxiety. That is why some people think that tea is making them dark, but that is not the case. It is what they are going through. And the more tea they consume, the darker their faces will be.

From these changes, you can see that the myth was not so far off. However, the problem is not the tea, but rather the high caffeine content. If you tend to become more anxious after having this drink, you should consider taking decaf or reducing your consumption.

Note that often, these changes could also point to something else happening in your body. If you have not been out in the sun and are darker, start by consulting a doctor. It might not be the anxiety and could point to another problem.

What causes skin darkening?

Skin darkening may not necessarily be due to anxiety and could owe to other problems. If your skin has darkened or dulled, developed spots and blotches, or other such effects, you should consult your doctor.

These changes can owe to skin darkening, which many people refer to as hyperpigmentation. It results from the production of too much melanin. Note that it is not always harmful.

The second involves darkening owing to exposure to the sun. In this case, you would develop age and sun spots, as well as liver spots. These are common in people who often stay out in the sun.

The third form is melasma, which occurs due to hormonal changes. Here, some parts of the skin get pigmented as your body goes through the changes.

Now, you may wonder why skin darkens. Here are some likely causes:


It could be that someone in your family has undergone skin darkening in the past. You could inherit the gene responsible for this change in skin complexion. If you notice such instances in your family history, you can bring them up during your medical assessment.


Some skin disorders affect the skin and darken it by causing blotching or thickening it. You should look into whether you have any underlying skin conditions that could be to blame for the change. Some are treatable, while others may not be. Your doctor is best tasked with deciding the best course of action.

Nutritional Deficiencies

If your diet lacks vitamins, you could easily undergo changes in your body, including the darkening of your skin. In some cases, your skin can also become rough and look dull. Essential vitamins to include are A, E, B, and C.

To be on the safe side, you should eat a balanced diet and include supplements under the guidance of your doctor.

Liver Problems

Your liver is one of the most hardworking organs in your body. If it fails to perform as needed, your system ends up suffering. If your skin has recently darkened, it could be that you have a liver disorder. Tests can confirm or rule out this possibility.

Hormonal Changes

During pregnancy, skin darkening is likely to take place. Most of the effects go away after childbirth. The same is the case with any other hormonal changes as they can affect how your skin looks.

Sun Exposure

Each time you are out in the sun, you get exposed to harmful UV rays that give you a tan. Skin tanning, which most people enjoy, can cause some adverse effects on your skin. It can lead to the production of more melanin, which can darken the skin. It can also expose you to burns.

How to prevent skin darkening

Some of the causes are not preventable, such as hormonal changes during pregnancy. Others, such as darkening owing to sun exposure, are preventable as follows:

One, you should not expose your skin to sun rays directly. If you wish to enjoy the sun, wear a hat, sit under shade, or use some form of protection. This direct contact with the rays can darken your skin and put you at risk of some cancers.

Secondly, you should always have sunscreen on before leaving the house. Note that even with this protection, you should work on avoiding direct exposure to the UV rays.

Drinking water has been proven to keep systems working as they should and can prevent some problems that can lead to skin darkening. Aim at drinking at least two liters of water to prevent dehydration.

Also, avoid spicy and oily foods when you can and, instead, embrace a healthy diet. Adding fruits and veggies to your diet is a sure way to keep your skin healthy.


While tea may not necessarily darken skin, it may play a part in the change of pigmentation. You should thus watch out for any anxiety attacks when consuming this beverage and make changes as needed.

If you have noticed skin darkening, you should consult your doctor first before making any changes.