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Cosmetics Compact: Leafing through the benefits of green tea

By Katie Bird , 13-Aug-2009

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The antioxidant properties of green tea have lead many researchers to investigate its potential as an anti-aging ingredient, both for topical application and as a supplement. However, a new study suggests this might not be the miracle extract the world has been waiting for.

The following is a transcript of this podcast:

Welcome to the latest Cosmetics Compact. I’m Katie Bird - Bringing you the highlight of all things sciencey, in miniature.

This week we leaf through the journals to uncover the hidden qualities of a nice brew. Now, its antioxidant power means that tea is more than just a drink to go with jam and bread.

Tea, especially the green variety, has been causing quite a stir in skin health, with some studies claiming anti-cancer and photo protective effects. So, the green light for green tea as an anti-ageing ingredient, topical and oral?

Well, apparently not. This week the results of a two year, randomized, placebo controlled study on the effects of green tea supplements on photo-aged skin, found that it had little effect. Fifty six women took supplements twice a day for two years, half received 250mg of green tea polyphenols and half got the placebo.

Wrinkles, fine lines and pore size were studied by dermatologists, and participants were asked to rate their own skin. Samples also went under the microscope, but none came up with a significant difference between green tea and the placebo.

Intriguingly, both groups, green tea and placebo saw a decrease in overall solar damage over the two years. The scientists say this could be because participating in the study made people more conscious of sun damage skin, but more research is certainly needed to iron out that little wrinkle.

So, a steaming cuppa might not be the route to eternal youth after all.

For more information on this study please click here .

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