Green tea is a delicious drink for the past 5,000 years since the Chinese Emperor Shen Nung accidentally discovered how well you know. Soon after, as the story goes, green tea became known as a health aid. Since then, science has been trying to discover its beneficial properties, one of which appears to protect the skin from the ravages of harmful UV rays and cancer.
Certain components of green tea are important antioxidant properties and have been used in preparations for the care of the skin to treat aging skin. This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of combination therapy of oral supplementation of green tea and skin cream for aging skin. For this study, 40 women were divided into two groups and given either green tea supplementation or placebo for eight weeks. It was observed that the taking and application of green tea supplements had an improvement in elastic tissue content. However, clinically significant changes were not demonstrated.
Green tea contains certain compounds with well-documented anti-cancer properties, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. These components also assist in regulating certain proteins involved in skin damage and disease. Experiments have shown that constituents of green tea could stimulate skin cells to renew old cell division. Although clinical studies have highlighted the use of green tea as mentioned above, there are no studies involving a large population have been conducted. This study is one of very few to investigate both oral and topical application of a green tea supplement and study its possible effects on aging skin.
* This study involved 40 women with mild skin aging. They were not taking any medication that could moderate the tone of the skin.
* There were two groups. Those in the intervention group received 300 mg of green tea supplements twice a day and were asked to apply a cream with 10 percent of green tea extract on the face and arms, and also to use a cleanser and sunscreen. The placebo group was given the same without green tea extracts. The study was carried out for eight weeks.
* Both groups were asked to stop taking any new medicine, including nonstudy topical treatments, or new nutritional supplements and other topical products on the treated areas.
* Clinical examination of skin biopsies and skin, at baseline and at the end, helped in evaluating the influence of green tea.
* There were no clinically significant differences in both groups when evaluated by a physician.
* However, biopsies obtained after study showed improvement in elastic tissue content in the group treated with green tea extract.
* Many patients find creams containing 10 percent of green tea extract to be dried and also complained of irritation.
As both oral green tea supplements and topical creams were used in this study, it was not clear that the mode of delivery was responsible for improving the skin. Neither group received only one or the other treatment. Study duration was short and the authors suggest a prolonged study for best results.
Although the study period of eight weeks was insufficient for this study, significant differences were observed in cells treated participants with green tea extracts. There was an increase in elastin content, a substance that provides elasticity to the skin and reducing wrinkles. This is also concurrent with the antioxidant properties of green tea extracts. As shown in this study the duration of eight weeks would not have been enough for visible changes in the skin, despite the cellular changes were seen. Other studies involving more participants and longer duration are needed to demonstrate the changes visible green tea extracts on skin.