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Green tea: The most studied antioxidant

Posted by Lara Schimweg on
Grüner Tee


Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract

Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract

Camellia Sinensis Leaf Water (Green Tea)

Camellia Sinensis Leaf Powder

Effect: antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, prevents skin cancer

Tolerability: very good

Green tea is a product from the tea plant Camellia sinensis . It can be used as a food and as a cosmetic ingredient .

In a care routine for sensitive skin, acne, rosacea/cuperose , neurodermatitis or other inflammations, green tea should be included in at least one skin care product. No other ingredient can replace green tea because green tea is so versatile and has been very well researched.

Green tea differs from other types of tea, such as black or white tea , in the way it is processed. Matcha is a special form of green tea, a finely ground green tea powder that has an even stronger antioxidant effect thanks to special shading during cultivation.

Green tea can be used in many ways: as a tea infusion or Matcha for drinking, as Matcha in food and as an active ingredient in cosmetics. This article is about the use of green tea as an ingredient in cosmetic products . The INCI name for tea is Camellia Sinensis . An addition in brackets can indicate which type of tea it is.

Green tea: effect

Green tea extract is the most studied antioxidant in skin care. Effects have been proven in numerous scientific studies. Green tea extract is very compatible with the skin and is therefore an ideal active ingredient, especially for people with skin problems. Green tea is so special because it is naturally rich in polyphenols. To be more precise, there are many catechins in green tea. There are four main types of catechins: The most common and active is EGCG (EpiGalloCatechin Gallate). Other important types are ECG (EpiCatechin Gallate), GCG (GalloCatechin Gallate) and EGC (EpiGallo Catechin).

Green tea as an antioxidant

The polyphenols in green tea are powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants scavenge free radicals that drive skin stress and aging and inflammation. The less stress your skin has, the firmer and healthier it is. Studies have shown that green tea reduces UV-related skin irritation and skin redness (erythema). Green tea extract can also reduce the number of sunburn cells. Green tea is therefore particularly good in your daily products.

Matcha contains even more EGCG and therefore has an even stronger antioxidant effect than green tea.

And when skin is stressed, sensitive skin can hardly get enough antioxidants. That's why Matach is the highest quality green tea your skin can get.

Green tea prevents skin cancer

A preventive effect of green tea arises from its strong antioxidant effect, so that sun rays cannot cause as much damage. However, a serum or cream with green tea does not replace sunscreen . However, it is a great supplement during the day to keep the skin young in the long term and protect it from damage.

Green tea can inhibit DNA damage and activates some enzymes that aid in DNA repair. Therefore, green tea is useful for preventing non-melanoma type skin cancer. Green tea makes a lot of sense in skin care, especially if you have a high risk of skin cancer. You can tell whether your risk of skin cancer is high by these features:

  • light skin
  • Skin cancer in the family
  • blue or green eyes
  • frequent previous sunburns
  • certain types of birthmarks (best discussed with a dermatologist)

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Green tea has an anti-inflammatory effect

Inflammation is a natural process in the skin and does not have to be serious. Inflammation shows that the immune system is responding adequately to protect itself when attacked. However, if inflammation gets out of hand, it can fuel skin aging, skin diseases and further skin damage. The catechins naturally contained in green tea are not only amazing antioxidants, but also have anti-inflammatory effects. For this reason, green tea particularly benefits people with skin diseases such as acne, rosacea/cuperose, neurodermatitis, psoriasis or other skin problems that are associated with chronic skin inflammation.

Green tea has an antimicrobial effect

Did you know that? Green tea has an antimicrobial effect against some unpleasant bacteria. This property is particularly interesting for people whose skin is prone to acne. Atopic dermatitis also improves with green tea skin care.

Differentiation of tea types in the INCI list:

The INCI for all types of tea is “Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract ” or “ Camellia Sinensis Leaf Powder” for tea extract or “Camellia Sinensis Leaf Water” for a tea infusion, regardless of whether it contains green, white or black tea. You can only tell what type of tea it is if the manufacturer states this in brackets in English, e.g. “Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract” for green tea extract or “Camellia Sinensis Leaf Water (Green Tea)” for a green tea infusion.

White tea White tea: Lots of antioxidants for the skin
Black tea Black tea: Why you should also use it in skin care

Note: If there is green tea extract in your skin care product, it may always appear a bit brownish. This is not a bad sign, but a good one. The naturally green color of green tea always appears in the product in a green-brown color.

Camellia Sinensis: Growing and Harvesting Green Tea

Green tea is produced directly during harvest using a special drying process . This way you can ensure that the green tea contains its active ingredients.

The most tender tea leaves are harvested in spring. At this time of year the leaves have the highest content of high-quality vitamins, minerals and flavors. After harvesting, they are laid out on mats to dry. They lose a lot of moisture in the process.

Tea plant
tea plant Camellia Sinensis; Photo by Rashid on Unsplash

After drying (withering), the tea leaves are briefly heated, roasted or steamed. This closes the leaf pores and prevents the leaf from oxidizing. This prevents the leaf from decaying and losing its active ingredients. In order to remove any remaining moisture from the tea leaves after they have cooled, the briefly heated leaves are rolled. Finally, the green tea leaves are dried in a hot air oven so that the leaves hardly contain any residual moisture towards the end. The dry product can now be used in food and cosmetics as desired.

Cultivation of matcha

Matcha powder

Matcha is made from the same plant as green tea - Camellia Sinensis. However, it contains a significantly higher amount of EGCG . The greener the raw matcha powder is, the better the quality. The higher the quality, the more expensive it is. The differences in quality of matcha are reflected in the antioxidant effect and the amount of EGCG.

The tea plants are protected from bright sunlight three to four weeks before harvest time. From the beginning of May , the fields are covered with bamboo, straw mats or fabric nets so that the green tea plants can continue to grow in the shade. This promotes the formation of chlorophyll and ultimately gives matcha its natural green color , which is so attractive. In contrast to normally harvested green tea, the leaves grow for a full two months longer if matcha is to be made from them. Shading allows green tea to produce more tannins. This also leads to the slightly bitter taste of matcha compared to green tea. The amount of natural tannins makes matcha so anti-inflammatory and strong antioxidant.

The more stress the green tea has due to the shade during the growth phase, the more antioxidants it produces to protect itself.

Skin care with green tea

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