July 4, 2011

Ingredient Update: Green Tea

People have been enjoying the taste and health benefits of Green Tea for many years.  Drinking Green tea regularly significantly lowers heart disease and decreases developing certain types of cancer.   I am sure you have heard the buzz about Green Tea and highlights of its topical antioxidant properties in the media.  Many skincare companies have started adding this antioxidant to its formulations. Today it is considered one of the most effective plant based antioxidants in skin care, containing anti-inflammatory benefits to help reduce redness and even out skin complexion.

Green Tea in higher concentrations helps minimize free radical damage in the skin. Green Tea is said to be the #1 source for Polyphenols.  Green tea uniquely has high levels of this antioxidant and is said to be the “Super Antioxidant” containing 200 times more potent antioxidants than Vitamin E. Science shows that the polyphenols in green tea helps reverse damage in the skin.

What are Polyphenols?
Polyphenols are compounds that are found in nature.  Polyphenols consist of a large group of natural plant products found in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, flowers and bark. Polyphenols are known to be a powerful natural antioxidant to help improve health. Plant polyphenols have been getting more attention lately because they can inhibit, reverse, or slow down the process of UV damage in the skin. These antioxidants help to eliminate free radicals which are unstable molecules that can cause aging or disease in the body.

Green Tea and the Sun
When highly concentrated formulas are applied to the skin, green tea polyphenols get into the skin and help reverse sun induced damage. It is suggested that polyphenols can supplement sunscreen protection and may be helpful for skin diseases associated with UV induced inflammation, oxidative stress and DNA damage.

The harmful effects associated with UV exposure are mostly result of errors in DNA repair, which can lead to mutations.  Investigations have reported that a sunscreen containing different concentration of green tea extracts provided significant protection against photo aging. Studies have shown that topical application of green tea polyphenols prior to UV exposure can also result in protection from solar-simulated UV.

Routine topical treatment of Green Tea formulas may provide protection against harmful effects of solar UV radiation. Using formulas with Green Tea antioxidants with sunscreens or skincare lotions can provide an effective strategy to make UV radiation less severe. When using a sunscreen try to use a formula that is broad spectrum with at least an SPF of 30.

Products that contain Organic Green Tea:

Nichols JA, Katiyar SK. Skin photoprotection by natural polyphenols: anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and DNA repair mechanisms. Arch Dermatol Res. 2010 Mar;302(2):71-83.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.