We have all heard how green tea is good for us. It is a well-known antioxidant and has become an ingredient in many topical skin care treatments. A closer look at the compounds in green tea reveals that the polyphenols in the green tea have a great impact on our bodies and on our skin.
Polyphenols are a group of chemical compounds that have a lot (poly) of phenol (carbolic acid). Different types of polyphenols are responsible for the bright colors in fruits and vegetables. So, it is thought that the polyphenols in fruits and vegetables are some of their healthiest components. Here are three ways that polyphenols in green tea have a positive impact on your skin.
Acne is essentially an inflammation in the pores of your skin from the buildup of dirt or other substances. Green tea extracts have an anti-inflammatory effect and aide in the treatment of acne. A 2009 study in the Journal of Drugs and Dermatology reported that, when patients with acne were given a topical solution of green tea extract twice daily over 6 weeks, there was a 58 percent reduction in the patient’s acne. They concluded that the green tea extract was a safe and effective treatment for mild to moderate acne.
Preventing Aging of the Skin
Oxidation is the attack of free radicals. Free radicals are compounds that are missing one electron, and they wander around our bodies stealing electrons from other compounds, thus preventing them from working correctly. Antioxidants give free radicals the needed extra electron. In turn, they do not have to steal it from other compounds. This is why green tea, an antioxidant – rich substance, is so useful. When our skin is damaged by exterior pollutants or from the sun, free radicals are created. By applying green tea extracts to the skin, you are making sure there are antioxidants available to attend to the free radicals created from sun exposure.
Free radicals in the skin and subsequent inflammation lead to the formation of wrinkles and aging. Green tea has anti-inflammatory effects that help decrease the wrinkle formation process. This can help keep the skin from aging excessively.
Preventing Skin Cancer
UV rays from the sun are known to be carcinogens, or cancer-causing agents. Repeated exposure can lead to the formation of different types of skin cancer. Different studies have shown that a certain polyphenol in green tea prevents the cancer-inducing activity of UV rays. Free radicals and inflammation also are precursors to some types of skin cancer, and the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory components of green tea are helpful here as well.