Green tea has a complex history as a medicine and more recently, an antioxidant-rich caffeine-containing ‘superfood’ that is also capable of boosting your metabolism. Skincare is the logical next step.
The plant we call green tea is called Camellia sinensis, which is fresh-picked tea leaves quickly heated to prevent them from wilting or being oxidised – they remain green. The way we make other sorts of tea – white, black, oolong and others – is to use some form of wilting, oxidation or fermentation of the tea leaves to create the many varieties. The way the plant is grown and processed is key to every tea you find on the shelf.
Green tea use in skincare products
Green tea extracts are present in a variety of cosmetics and other products, with a lot of research backing up the usefulness of green tea extracts. Problematically, manufacturers may claim a product is related to green tea in some meaningful way, when the useful ingredient is far down the list, indicating there isn’t much of it in the product.
Studies of green tea show us:
- In vitro, green tea extract suppressed IgE (a type of antibody) production and has a positive effect on the immune system
- Antioxidants in green tea modulate fibroblast behaviour in vitro, with fibroblasts being your skin cells
- A combination of green tea polyphenols, resveratrol and caffeine (antioxidants) was found to reduce facial redness in rosacea
Green tea extracts are proving useful in many areas of our lives, with the skin another notch in its belt. In fact, a novel product has been developed called sinecatechins ointment, an ointment containing 15 per cent sinecatechins, a browny-green sludgey extract of C. sinensis. This ointment is being used in the treatment of genital warts that are driven by human papillomavirus (HPV).
Sinecatechins extract is made up mostly of catechins, a type of antioxidant, and has shown promise in completely clearing these types of warts even after three months.
Study results of green tea extract
- 54 per cent of people with genital warts in the trial had complete clearance
- 35 per cent of those with perianal warts had complete clearance
- After three months, 93 per cent of those who achieved complete clearance remained symptom-free
Problematically, a 30g tube sells for $1,000, making this wart treatment out of reach for most people.
Skincare science using green tea
There are many studies underway examining the role green tea’s many antioxidants might have in managing a multitude of skin conditions. The most popular of these is anti-ageing, but that’s not where green tea’s magic stops. While many products are still under development, a regular cup of green tea still doesn’t go astray.
We use the best ingredients in our skincare range.