Wrinkles are a natural part of getting older. We all eventually get them, however some of us seem to get more of them at a younger age than others.
As we age our skin begins to thin, collagen production declines, and we lose moisture and elasticity – which makes us more prone to fine lines and sagging as we grow older.
Free radicals are bad news when it comes to our health, especially for our skin. Free radicals are one of the main culprits when it comes to wrinkles and skin aging, and are linked to the development of cancer and other chronic diseases.
Various environmental and dietary factors and even certain daily activities can increase the presence of destructive free radicals in the body. These include exposure to sunlight, environmental pollutants like exhaust fumes, cigarette smoke, strenuous exercise, and glycation and elevated blood glucose levels from eating sugary foods.
Free radicals play a major role in driving skin aging, as it breaks down collagen, which decreases the skins suppleness and elasticity, along with damaging DNA, and promoting inflammation, which can trigger inflammatory skin conditions like eczema (1,2).
Thankfully mother nature has provided us with plenty of powerful antioxidants, to help fight free-radical damage and reduce premature ageing.
Drinking green tea regularly is a fabulous way to maintain beautiful healthy skin and prevent signs of aging. Green tea is rich in polyphenols, namely catechins and epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which are powerful antioxidants that can reduce premature skin aging and offers protection against many types of cancers. EGCG slows down collagen breakdown and can help regenerate aging surface skin cells.
Catechins benefit the skin by inhibiting the breakdown of collagen and elastin, which is a major cause of fine lines and wrinkles. Catechins prevent the death of fibroblasts, which are cells within the dermal layer of the skin that responsible for making connective tissue (collagen and elastin) and supporting healthy wound healing (3).
An Arizona study found that the more hot tea people drank rich in these anti-cancerous compounds, the less likely they were to develop squamous cell skin cancer (4).
Consuming polyphenol-rich foods like green tea can also improve blood flow and oxygen supply to skin cells as well as helping to reduce inflammation.
A study revealed women who consumed catechin-rich beverages daily noticed a oost in their overall skin health, with improvements in skin hydration, elasticity and roughness. They also felt their skin was better protected against the suns damaging UV rays (5).
Aim to drink 3 cups of organic green tea daily to fully reap all of it’s wonderful skin benefits.
(1) Masaki, H., et al. Role of antioxidants in the skin: anti-aging effects. J Dermatol Sci (2010): 85-90.
(2) Fisher, et al. Collagen fragmentation promotes oxidative stress and elevates matrix metalloproteinase-1 in fibroblasts in aged human skin. Amer J Pathol (2009) 101-114.
(3) Tomoko Tanigawa1, et al. (+)-Catechin protects dermal fibroblasts against oxidative stress-induced apoptosis. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine (2014), 14:133
(4) Iman A. Hakim, Robin B. Harris, and Ute M. Weisgerber. Tea Intake and Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Skin: Influence of Type of Tea Beverages. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, (2000);July, 9;727.
(5) Heinrich, U., et al. Green tea polyphenols provide photoprotection, increase microcirculation, and modulate skin properties of women. J Nutr (2011):1202-8.