Because of its intensive antioxidant benefits, green tea extract is frequently found in anti-aging creams and serums, and the burgeoning beauty-from-within trend has seemed like an ideal way to get green tea in strengths that wouldn’t be safe topically. However, despite manufacturer claims that these supplements can help stave off signs of photoaging, taking green tea internally may do little or nothing for UV damage in the long run.
Recently published in the Journal of Dermatologic Surgery, a Stanford University study observed women between the ages of 25 and 75 for two years. Half of the women were given green tea supplements featuring 250mg of polyphenols (70% catechins), and half were given a placebo; neither the women nor the examining dermatologist knew who had which kind of pill.
After six months, it appeared that the women taking the green tea supplements had an overall reduction in sun damage that the placebo group did not. However, after 24 months, these results had essentially disappeared. There was no notable difference in the signs of sun damage-namely, wrinkles and hyperpigmentation-between the green tea group and the placebo group.
Does this mean you should stop taking your green tea supplement? Not necessarily. While there’s no scientifically proven benefit when it comes to sun damage, green tea has been shown to help improve digestion, regulate blood sugar, prevent fatigue, fortify bones, and generally support overall health. Just don’t count on it to erase wrinkles from within.
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