Friday, March 20, 2009 | Tips & How-Tos, ingredient close-ups
Its benefits on the body have been known for millennia; but what makes green tea so special to the skin? With the launch of its Get a Little self-tanning lotion—which features this miracle plant of the East—Pür examines this burning (but never burnt) question in detail.
While green tea drinkers have long enjoyed the brew’s health-promoting properties from within, growing evidence suggests that its effects are just as dramatic when applied directly to the skin. Functioning as an antioxidant—a free radical-absorbing substance—green tea has been shown to minimize radical-induced damage following UV overexposure.
The secret is a compound called epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG.
An antioxidant some believe to be more powerful than vitamin C, EGCG is found in abundance in green tea leaves (which, coincidently, are also high in vitamin C). Because of its anti-inflammatory nature, the EGCG in green tea helps diminish the look of wrinkles and sagging skin when incorporated in anti-aging moisturizers like Day Renewal Complex SPF 20. So effective is this compound in neutralizing harmful free radicals that current research is exploring its potential in treating skin cancer.
In addition to minimizing UV-induced free radical damage, EGCG has been shown to target skin impurities and bacteria which can lead to breakouts and irritation. Another green tea component—tannins—has been shown to act as a natural astringent. Together, these detoxifying elements are a boon to those with oily and problematic skin, offering a natural alternative to harsh, synthetic chemicals that can dry out and irritate the skin.