How Green Tea Can Improve and Protect Your Skin
These days, in a world obsessed by beauty, everyone wants to find new ways to improve their skin and to slow down the effects of ageing. One of the ways that you may not have thought of is by including green tea in your diet, and, surprisingly, it can have significant results.
Yes, as well as having numerous other health benefits, green tea can be a great way to keep your skin healthy. One of the ways it does this is by reducing the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation, the leading cause of sunburn, skin damage and skin cancer.
Researchers at the Department of Dermatology at the University of Alabama looked at the effects of green tea in relation to UV radiation, finding that green tea polyphenols can significantly suppress the cancerous activity of such radiation. It also had an effect in relation to sunburn and even sun-induced ageing of the skin, with Yusuf et al suggesting that, when used in combination with sunscreen, green tea could be an effective way to protect the skin from any undue effects caused by the sun and UV radiation.
A similar study confirmed the findings. Schwarz et al, from the Department of Dermatology at University Kiel, looked at the effects of green tea in relation to skin cancer caused by UV radiation, and found that the risk of skin cancer was significantly reduced after admission of green tea phenol extracts.
A further study, this time conducted by Chiu et al at the Department of Dermatology at Emory University, looked at the ability of green tea to improve the appearance of photoaging skin. They found that, after oral and topical administration (administration directly to the skin) of green tea extract, subjects had significant improvement in the elastic tissue content of their skin, with lack of elasticity being a primary reason that skin appears to age.
These studies show that green tea really can help to both improve and protect our skin, largely because it can be a barrier to the harmful effects of UV radiation. This is mainly down to its high levels of antioxidants and also its anti-inflammatory properties, with both playing a part in the ability of green tea to protect our skin from damage and also to improve its appearance.
So, if you’re worried about the effects of UV radiation or even if you want to improve the appearance of your skin, make sure to consider consuming some organic, edible green tea. You could even try the various creams and moisturisers out there that contain green tea extract to see if it makes a difference, but above all make sure to include it in your daily diet and reap the rewards. Your skin will thank you for it. Yusuf N, Irby C, Katiyar SK, Elmets CA. Photoprotective effects of green tea polyphenols. Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed. 2007 Feb;23(1):48-56.  Schwarz A, Maeda A, Gan D, Mammone T, Matsui MS, Schwarz T. Green Tea Phenol Extracts Reduce UVB-induced DNA Damage in Human Cells via Interleukin-12. Photochem Photobiol. 2008 Jan 7  Chiu AE, Chan JL, Kern DG, Kohler S, Rehmus WE, Kimball AB. Double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial of green tea extracts in the clinical and histologic appearance of photoaging skin. Dermatol Surg. 2005 Jul;31(7 Pt 2):855-60; discussion 860.
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