Antioxidant in green tea protects the skin from the the harmful effects of free radicals, which cause wrinkling and skin aging.
Green tea also helps fight against skin cancer.
Recent scientific studies have indicated that green tea could protect against cancer, heart disease, and osteoporosis, as well as aid in weight loss. And you can't walk into a cosmetics store these days without bumping into a skin care product containing green tea. Many believe the tea in skin products can help ward off skin cancer and signs of aging.
To know whether the green tea really be good for your skin?
An article published in the August issue of the Archives of Dermatology says yes -- in theory.
"There may be some benefits of green tea in the human skin products," Hasan Mukhtar, PhD, and colleagues say in the article, which summarizes all the known information about green tea's effects on the skin. Mukhtar is a professor and the director of research in the department of dermatology at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.
Still, Mukhtar says, it's not clear whether the amounts of green tea found in the skin products now available are enough to have any benefit. In other words, don't run out and stock up on green tea masks, creams, and bubble baths just yet.
Green tea is consumed mostly in Asian countries, including India, Japan, Korea, and China; it's not quite as popular as its cousin, black tea, which is consumed by more than 75% of tea drinkers. Like black tea and oolong tea, green tea comes from the Camellia sinensis plant -- but unlike the other two varieties, its leaves are not fermented before steaming and drying; they remain fresh.
Mukhtar believes, as do others, that green tea's antioxidant property is key to its skin-protective qualities. "Of all the antioxidants known to mankind, the components of green tea are the most potent," says Mukhtar. "Antioxidants are those agents which can counteract the effects of oxidant radicals." Oxidant radicals -- or free radicals, as they are commonly called -- are byproducts of the body that can cause damage to cells and tissues. Antioxidants bind to the free radicals, deactivating them before they can cause harm.
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