The Healing Powers Of Green Tea In Skincare
Recently, green tea has gained wider acceptance due to the promotion of its beneficial health effects.
Indians consume huge amounts of tea which is not surprising given that we have long been one of the world’s leading producers of this beverage. Black tea has been a largely preferred type of tea for India.
However, research has shown that green tea has important components which help eradicate infectious agents and can also prevent infections. The health benefits of tea extend beyond merely ingestion; they also include its mending effects on the skin and hair. Tea is a product of the plant known as camellia sinensis. Of course, the majority of us favour black tea, which goes through a series of processes including fermentation before hitting the stores. However, green tea, which is packed with antioxidants, anti-inflammatory and anti-ageing components, is produced from fresh leaves and does not undergo the fermentation process. Instead, it is processed by drying and sunlight exposure to avoid fermentation. The sourcing and storage for green tea is of critical importance to ensure the efficacy of the phytochemicals, which drive the benefits of the product.
Are you aware that green teas also undergo different processing methods? Matcha green tea is an interesting case in point. It is produced with pre-harvest tea leaves that are dried almost 90% in shade, resulting in a richer flavour and higher antioxidant content.
Triggered by the findings on the health benefits of green tea, the beverage market has been flooded with a wide range of green tea products. As shared by dermatologist Dr. Divya Sharma, green tea has a very good amount of catechins or polyphenols, which have multiple benefits for the skin because of their antimicrobial properties. The reason there are the highest concentrations of catechins in green tea unlike in other teas is because of the manner in which it is processed after it has been harvested.
A 2012 review Trusted Source of 20 studies revealed that green tea extract has been potentially effective when applied to the skin. With the increasing burgeoning market trend for plant-based cosmetics and skincare products, it is little wonder green tea option ranks amongst the top favourites. The efficacy of green tea antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties in combating oily complexions and acne comes from the presence of the catechin, EGCG, which helps in improving oily skin conditions. As EGCG is anti-androgenic and lowers lipid levels, it reduces sebum (oil) excretions from the overactive sebaceous glands located just below the pores of the skin; this in turn, helps to retard or even stop the development of acne.; high or fluctuating levels of androgen, a hormone, are the culprit behind the sebaceous glands releasing too much oil. EGCG is used both orally and topically largely because of its high efficacy in health benefits.
The four primary catechins found in green tea are epicatechin (EC), epicatechin-3-gallate (ECG), epigallocatechin (EGC), and-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). EGCG and EGC are present in the highest amount. The catechin content in green tea is the riding factor of its benefits for skin and hair as well.
A cautionary note here to help you keep in mind that EGCG is unstable at higher temperatures and at basic pH values.
Green tea, according to Dr Sharma, delays ageing and strengthens the blood vessels, which helps improve microcirculation to the skin. Elaborating further she says catechins are very potent anti-oxidants and hence they scavenge the free radicals, such as environmental issues like UV radiation and pollution, that damage the skin causing pigmentation, uneven skin tone, premature ageing and dullness of skin. Catechins also help in improving the skin tone; they are also good for your hair as they help prolong the growth pace of the hair; hence, green tea extract in shampoos can promote hair growth.
Green tea also increases the longevity of the hair and helps in energising and giving that bounce in your hair, she says.
The anti-ageing properties of green tea have also served as a base for many brand options in the skincare market through vehicles such as wrinkle-reducing eye creams, cleansers, serums, moisturisers, masks, face washes, and sunscreens. A small 2005 study Trusted Source of 80 women showed an improvement of skin elasticity in participants treated with a combination regimen of topical and oral green tea. The EGCG component in green tea is an active combatant against DNA damage in skin cells by promoting DNA repair. Green tea is great in smoothing out the signs of sun damage such as fine lines, rough skin and even hyperpigmentation.
Green tea has generally been considered safe to use in skincare products and suitable for all skin types–and taken orally. But caution is needed as green tea supplements and oils can contain significantly higher amounts of EGCG. If you are on any form of birth control pills, anticoagulants, antidepressants, phenylpropanolamine or amphetamines, it is best to check with your physician when in doubt.
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