Studies Show That Green Tea is Good For Your Skin

by Matthew Burgess on February 27, 2010

A commenter requested links to studies we’ve referenced regarding green tea’s power to protect the skin from a multitude of irritants, especially the sun. First of all, thanks for the inquiry. Secondly, we’re happy to oblige!

There have been many studies conducted on the various benefits of consuming green tea. Here are three studies that focused exclusively on the dermatological effects of green tea.

A pertinent study of the dermatological benefits of green tea was conducted in 2000 by Santosh K. Katiyar, Ph.D., Nihal Ahmad, Ph.D., and Hasan Mukhtar, Ph.D., of the Department of Dermatology at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio. The researchers’ goal was to test the polyphenolic compounds in green tea for their anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-carcinogenic properties.

(Remember EGCG from our earlier post, “Why is Green Tea Good For You?“)

The results of their study were published in the Archives of Dermatology, a monthly medical journal published by the American Medical Association, in an article entitled Green Tea and Skin (http://archderm.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/136/8/989).

So what was their conclusion?

Basically, researchers found that the polyphenols in green tea did indeed possess anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties. They also found that these same polyphenols protected the skin from both chemical and photocarcinogens (such as the UVA rays in sunlight). Pretty cool!

Other studies have been conducted on the skin-soothing properties of EGCG, the primary catechin found in green tea. Researchers at Rutgers University studied mice that had been exposed to harmful UVB light for 20 weeks and treated with topical ECGC. They determined that ECGC decreased the development of malignant tumors in the mice skin by 66%. The study was published by the National Academy of Sciences in 2002 You can read an abstract at JSTOR (http://www.jstor.org/pss/3073236)

A 2003 study conducted at the University of Alabama at Birmingham backs up the conclusions of the Rutgers researchers and suggests that a topical cream based on green tea polyphenols could be effective in preventing skin disorders in humans. The results were published in the Carcinogenesis Journal, with an abstract available for reading here (http://carcin.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/24/5/927).

Hope this info was helpful!

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Lynn April 16, 2010 at 6:56 pm

I have actually made a facial mask with matcha before and it was wonderful–brightened my skin and improved the texture. I’ve also made a paste (matcha + witch hazel) for a rash I had on the back of my hand. The rash disappeared in two days.

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