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* Botanical Ingredient *
* An extract of the leaves of the tea plant camellia sinensis. Commonly referred to as green tea extract. See Truth In Aging's Green Tea Article.
Biologically speaking, a significant amount of scientific evidence points to the antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic properties of green tea. Many studies, including those conducted by the American Association for Cancer Research and in the journal Preventative Medicine, have demonstrated how drinking green tea can help prevent the formation of cancerous tumors, in both mice and humans. While there are only limited studies to prove its effects on the skin (Source: Photodermatology, Photoimmunology, and Photomedicine, February 2007, pages 48–56), most skin experts generally recommend green tea as a powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-aging ingredient.
The cosmetic and dermatological communities fervently laud green tea, mainly due to the fact that it contains the polyphenol epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). EGCG polyphenols are widely known for their anti-carcinogenic and antioxidant abilities, and have been shown to inhibit the body's immune suppression and skin cancer induction that typically follows UVB exposure. A 2001 study in the journal Carcinogenesis demonstrated how, after exposure to sunlight, the dermal application of EGCG can effectively reduce the body's oxidative stress and increase its enzyme and amino acid activity (mainly catalase and glutathione).
With regards to its anti-inflammatory effects, a 2003 study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry demonstrated how green tea also works to reduce UV induced inflammations (as measured by double skin swellings). It's been shown to be an extremely effective treatment for reducing the redness and irritation associated with Rosacea. Furthermore, recent research suggests that EGCG indirectly acts as a sun-protecting ingredient by quenching the body's UV induced free radicals, in turn preventing the breakdown of collagen and reducing the skin's UV damage (Source: Journal of Dermatological Science, December 2005, pages 195–204). In fact, green tea has been shown to enhance and work synergestically with other UV absorbing ingredients.
There exists far less research to support green tea's ability to diminish the appearance of wrinkles and sagging skin. Considering its well documented antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, it no doubt can help slow down the development of some of the visual signs of aging. Yet whether green tea can actually reverse some of the damage done and improve the appearance of aging skin, further research is warranted. In a 2005 study, 40 women with substantial photoaging were administered a combination of green tea supplementation and green tea face cream. ON one hand, after 8 weeks their skin showed no visible differences in clinical grading than that of the placebo group. On the other hand, laboratory skin biopsies of the women treated with green tea showed a significant improvement in their elastic tissue content.
While more research is required to prove the ingredient's benefits on mature skin (wrinkles, sagging), there's very little doubt surrounding the preventative anti-aging benefits of green tea, particularly when it is used in conjunction with sunscreen ingredients. Traditionally, the topical application of only high doses of the extract were thought to have subtstantial effects on the skin. Recent research, however, suggests that concentrations as low as .4% can benefit the skin. You may find camellia sinensis leaf extract in virtually avery type of personal care product such as facial moisturizer, cleanser, body lotion, anti-aging treatment, sunscreen, foundation, shampoo/conditioner, hair dye, rosacea treatment, acne treatment and shaving cream.
Recommended Products w/ camellia sinensis leaf:
Kronos Phyx Overnight Repair Masque, Ole Henriksen's Truth Serum, BRAD Biophotonic Ultra Elastin Lift (1.7oz/$210 in the shop), Arcona Triad Pads ($30 in the shop)