Green tea is well-known as a herbal drink, discovered in ancient civilizations millions of years ago. Today, it is not only known for its stimulant properties (thanks to a significant amount of caffeine), but also as a health ingredient that can ameliorate and prevent a wide number of internal and external conditions. While all tea comes from the same plant species, the methods of processing makes the difference between white, green and black tea.
Tea can attribute its medicinal properties to flavonoid phytochemicals known as polyphenols. Tea contains a specific subtype of polyphenolic compounds known as catechins. Green tea’s processing preserves more catechins than black tea (25 percent versus 4 percent). White tea also has a rich concentration of catechins, although this has not be as well documented as green tea.
Green tea for skin protection
There is a wide body of research into the skincare benefits of green tea. Animal studies have demonstrated some ability to protect the skin from cancer. Some human and animal studies have also shown that green tea is able to protect the skin from sun damage when used in topical formulations. It is thought to do this by attacking free radicals produced as a result of exposure to harmful rays and hence reducing skin inflammation, rather than preventing penetration of the rays themselves. Therefore, it can be included in sunblock formulations as an additional ingredient to curb the results of exposure.
Green tea for aging
There is much evidence pointing to the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of green tea. In addition, topical formulations containing green tea can help to slow down the skin ageing process, but it is still unclear whether it can act against skin sagging and wrinkling after they have already happened.
A study put together forty women with various degrees of moderate photo-aging into a regimen of 10 percent green team topical cream and 600 mg oral supplements daily or placebo for an 8-week period. The clinical grading report showed no significant difference between the treated and placebo groups. Historical grading of the skin biopsies showed that the treated groups havesignificant improvement in the content of elastic tissue – which slows down aging – compared with the placebo group.
With more research, we will gain more insight into the anti-aging benefits of green tea including its concentrations for optimal results.
A small body of evidence postulates that green tea extracts may inhibit the action of matric metalloproteinases (MMP) – it is thought that these enzymes in excess contribute to degradation of skin matrices,something that happens more as one grows older. A test-tube study in 2009 showed the extract inhibiting elastase and collagenase, two MMP subtypes that stimulate breakdown of skin proteins elastin and collagen, resulting in ageing.
How to use green tea for skincareIt will be helpful to have green tea in your regular skin maintenance routine by investing in natural skincare products that list green tea as one of the ingredients. One perfect example is our natural eye makeup remover, which is made from bio-active components preserved to ensure full benefits to your skin. You can also drink a lot of green tea to reap its internal benefits and protect your skin from the inside out.