Like me, you may have switched to drinking more green tea and less coffee over time. Not only is it a delicious and stimulating drink, but in recent years it’s become touted as a health food that may help to prevent a variety of conditions, from heart and gum disease to cancer, weight loss and even skin aging.
The medicinal properties of this tea are attributed to flavonoid phytochemicals called polyphenols. The polyphenols found in tea mainly belong to the subtype called catechins (CAT-a-kins) and one of the most notable catechins in green tea known to have benefits for skin is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Yes, quite a mouthful to pronounce, let's stick to it’s acronym.
There have been a number of encouraging studies on the benefits of green tea for skin. These studies have credibly demonstrated that topical green tea formulations reduce the direct effects of sunburn. Researchers believe that green tea protects from sun damage by quenching free radicals and reducing inflammation rather than by blocking UV rays. Therefore, green tea may synergistically enhance sun protection when used in addition to a sunscreen. As an extra special bonus, both ingesting and topical application of green tea with EGCG is believed to reduce the metabolic changes in the skin that lead to skin cancer and wrinkles.
Since the sun protective benefits of green tea are particularly well documented, it makes sense to apply a green tea extract either under or incorporated into your sunscreen. It is considered best to combine green tea with a zinc oxide-based sunscreen because zinc oxide (ZnO), found naturally in the earth’s crust as zincite or zinc ore, is chemically inert and will not react with green tea in the way that some chemical sunscreens might do. Both our Raspberry & Green Tea Daily Defense Moisturizer and our Green Tea & Zinc Oxide Sunscreen pair 2% organic green tea extract with non-nanoparticle zinc oxide for the best and safest possible UVB and UVA protection.
If you're looking for the benefits of green tea extract without the zinc oxide, try using our Cucumber & Calendula Nutrient Mist containing 2% organic green tea extract. I developed this nutrient mist to enhance our Pomegranate & Argan Antioxidant Serum for a powerhouse of protective antioxidants. Although you wouldn't rely on antioxidants alone for sun protection, antioxidants will boost our natural immunity to sun damage making this pairing a serious dynamic duo.