Green Tea Beverage Improves Skin Protection and Structure

April 28, 2011

Research published yesterday in the Journal of Nutrition has linked consumption of a green tea beverage to improved skin protection and skin structure in women.

Research published yesterday in the Journal of Nutrition has linked consumption of green tea polyphenols to improved skin protection and skin structure in women.

Supported by the Coca Cola Company Beverage Institute for Health and Wellness, German academic researchers assigned 60 women to consume a one-liter beverage with green tea polyphenols (1402 mg of total catechins) or a control beverage daily for 12 weeks in double-blind, placebo-controlled fashion.

Skin photoprotection, structure, and function were measured at baseline, week 6, and week 12. In order to understand assess skin vulnerability to UV light, subjects were exposed to minimal radiation from a solar simulator and any appearance of erythema (skin redness) was documented.

At week 12, subjects consuming the green tea beverage showed increased blood flow and oxygen delivery to the skin along with improvements in structural skin characteristics. Blood flow increased by 29% in the green tea group compared to a 0.9% in the control group. Skin hydration in the green tea group improved by 17% compared to a 5.2% increase in the control group (likely attributed to increased fluid intake with the one-liter beverage). Water loss in the skin (transepidermal water loss) decreased 12% in the green tea group compared to a 0.9% increase in the control group. Skin elasticity, toughness, scaling, density, and water homeostasis were also positively affected by the intervention.

At weeks 6 and 12, UV-induced skin redness was decreased by 16 and 25% with green tea consumption, compared to placebo.

“In summary, the present study demonstrated that dietary constituents protected skin and improved overall skin quality,” concluded the study’s author. “Regular consumption of a beverage rich in tea flavanols contributed photoprotection against harmful UV radiation and helped maintain skin structure and function.”

Similar improvements in skin characteristics have been observed in previous research on catechins from cocoa, according to the study's scientists.