Isn’t Green Tea great?
It must be almost 20 years ago now this wacky flavor sort of showed up and took America by storm. For a while it seemed like green tea was everywhere: the coffee shop, the candy aisle, but by now the rich, earthy flavor of green tea has integrated itself into the fabric of American life. When you walk into a coffee shop, you sort of expect to see it on the menu now, right?
And have you ever had those very popular green-tea wafer candies from Japan? They are something else!
Green Tea has, of course, found its way into skin care as well, and with good reason.
When we’re convinced of the efficacy of an active, we use it in our products! If you look through Dr. Sivak’s Glossary, you’ll see that Green Tea appears in many of our products, including some of our fan-favorites such as our classic Collagen Serum and Ultimate De-Puff Eye Serum.
But those of you who are dialed into the DIY community may have noticed that we sell two different types of green tea on our web store. Why is this, what’s the difference?
Find out more below!
Green Tea For Skin
While green tea may be very delicious, it has a lot of great uses for skin. Before we start breaking down the two types of green tea that Skin Actives carries (EGCG and caffeine), let’s discuss what green tea can do for you from the top down.
When we are talking about an active ingredient, and why we use it, we are usually discussing what constituent chemicals are in the ingredient to create desired chain reactions that will have a long-term positive impact on our skin’s health. This is where the discussion of active ingredients moves away from pictures of beautiful trees, fruit, and ground powders into a perhaps more esoteric world of wire-frame looking Lewis Structures illustrating the bonds between molecules.
In this case, green tea has two different properties that we are interested in as skin health connoisseurs.
First, green tea is dense in chemicals called polyphenols which act as antioxidants. Specifically, green tea contains a lot of (now, careful here, this word may require some sounding out), epigallocatechin gallate, or as we say simply: EGCG.
EGCG is a type of polyphenol called a catechin. Catechins are a specific type of antioxidant that are found in great abundance in tea. This is where tea gets its reputation as a healing drink, though scientists disagree about the specifics of tea’s reputed “healing” properties.
And that is all well and good for what’s going on inside of you. But what we’re concerned with is what is going on with your skin. As we have learned before: your skin is susceptible to physical aging from the forces of oxidation present in your environment. From pollution in the air, to the natural oxidants released by your skin in the sunlight, it is integral to support your skin’s antioxidation efforts topically.
Green tea is also a great source of caffeine. This is what makes green tea a favorite at your local coffee shop, but it’s also something that can be used for skin care.
In addition to being an antioxidant in its own right, caffeine is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, very often being used to reduce puffiness or bloating. There are a couple of theories on why caffeine may do this. The most common one is that, as a vasoconstrictor, caffeine causes red blood cells to contract in size. Some suggest that this contraction may reduce inflammation and puffiness.
Additionally, caffeine has been shown in some studies to have a small but measurable reductive effect on body fat. There are some that suggest caffeine can work to negate under-eye puffiness over a long period of time but reducing the amount of body fat in this area.
Caffeine may even promote the reduction of hair loss in both women and men. A 2017 study showed that caffeine had the potential to block the effects of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a hormone present in both men and women that causes hair loss.
So, if you’ve been reading closely, you can probably see why Skin Actives packages green tea into two different forms: Green Tea EGCG is refined to extract the EGCG catechin for their antioxidant properties. Green Tea Caffeine is refined to extract the antioxidant caffeine, for the purposes of inflammation reduction.
Now, no extraction process is perfect! The Green Tea EGCG will have some residual caffeine content and the Caffeine will have some remaining EGCG. This way you’ll always manage to get a little of the benefit of the other. Take a look at Skin Actives line-up of products containing green tea and we think that you’ll be able to apply your new knowledge as to why they would be included into these particular and relevant formulations!
DIY Green Tea Extract Skin Moisturizer
Here’s a great little green tea skin moisturizer recipe we pulled out of the vault that is still good and still easy to put together yourself!
4 ozs of Hyaluronic Acid Serum
1 vial of Green Tea EGCG powder
1 vial of our Epidermal Growth Factor
Add the green tea to the Hyaluronic Acid Serum first and mix well. This may take some vigorous mixing to fully dissolve the green tea powder, so make sure you add this in first, the delicate protein strands of the epidermal growth factor will be damaged and lose activity if they are too violently mixed.
When the green tea is sufficiently mixed throughout the Hyaluronic Acid Serum, add in the EGF and mix gently.
This new product is now packed with antioxidant action and moisturizing activity all while promoting cell turnover and rejuvenation. It’s a home run!
Thanks for reading this Tuesday’s blog Skin Actives Family! We’ll be back again on Friday with a whole host of customer recipes for Labor Day Weekend! We look forward to seeing you here!