There are so many beauty terms that it can make your head spin. Confused as to what it all means? Our Glam Glossary will help you sort it all out. Follow Allison each week in her quest to decode popular beauty terms, from Alpha Hydroxy Acids to Zinc Oxide.
What it is: Of the three main varieties of tea (black, green and white), green tea is often currently touted as carrying the most health benefits. However, it has actually been a presence in Chinese and Indian medicine practices for a long time. Teas differ in how they are harvested and processed. Green tea is made from leaves that are steamed directly after being harvested; this method prevents fermentation and allows the moisture to remain. As a result, green tea is the least processed of teas.
What it does: Green tea reportedly contains a higher concentration of polyphenols, chemicals with powerful antioxidant properties (like fighting free radicals), than any other tea because it endures the least processing. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, the antioxidant effects of polyphenols appear to be even greater than Vitamin C. Of the tea’s polyphenols, the most studied and most active compound is apigallocatechin gallate, also known as EGCG.
In 2003, ScienceDaily reported on the findings of a study by the Medical College of Georgia in which it was observed that EGCG reactivated dying skin cells. The report says EGCG “seems to be a fountain of youth for skin,” but concedes that the benefits were limited to the outer layer of the skin because green tea’s polyphenols were not absorbed past the epidermis.
However, many clinical studies agree that while green tea has potent anti-inflammation and anti-oxidant properties, there is not sufficient long-term, human-skin-based research available to determine the extent of green tea’s benefits.
Possible beneficial uses include: Acne remedy, weight loss inhibitor, anti-aging remedy, UV protection, bad breathe neutralizer.
Photo Credits: Tea in Cup – Andrzej Gdula; Tea bags – Bruno Neves