Ingredient Spotlight: Green Tea For Skin

In this ingredient spotlight series, we’ll be highlighting active ingredients and how they are beneficial to your skin health. In this article, we will break down the active ingredient Camellia Sinensis, or green tea for skin, and go through the science behind its benefits for your skin.

What is green tea for skin?

When we talk about green tea as a skincare ingredient, we are typically referring to an extract from green tea leaves. This is as opposed to green tea oil, derived from the seeds instead of the leaves. Camellia Sinensis extract is highly concentrated, which in turn reaps more rewards for your skin. 

They also contain many active components such as polyphenols, or catechins, which have many antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. Epigallocatechin gallate (ECGC) is the most widely studied catechin in Camellia Sinensis. It has anti-androgenic benefits which lowers sebum levels in the skin.

Benefits of green tea for skin

“Camellia Sinensis contains ~4% of caffeine for skin, and has many benefits such as anti-inflammation, UV damage control, and anti-ageing, besides it’s plant-derived antioxidant oils,” accredited dermatologist, Dr. Teo Wan Lin.

Antioxidant activity

Polyphenols are micronutrients that we get from certain plant-base food. They are full of potent antioxidants that bring important benefits to your skin. The polyphenols in green tea are able to protect and restore the content of vitamin C in the body, an important coenzyme in the production of collagen. In short, this can stimulate the production of collagen in the skin, helping your skin appear more firm and youthful. 

Green tea extract also contains antioxidants that can battle out with the free radicals damaging your skin. Scientific research has proven that the antioxidants in green tea are effective in preventing increase of reactive oxygen species (ROS)that can damage your skin. Through inhibiting enzymes involved in the production of ROS. Green tea extract has also shown to help regenerate and protect the body’s natural antioxidant defenses such as vitamin C and E. It also enhances the production of our body’s antioxidant enzymes. All this work is done in order to combat the damage done by oxidative stress, which can age the skin prematurely, enhancing wrinkles and fine-lines. 

Protect against UV damage 

Research shows that green tea extract also has photoprotective abilities, protecting our skin from the harmful effects of the sun. Studies have shown that Green Tea extract can inhibit the production of collagenases. Collagenases are enzymes that break the peptide bonds in collagen, effectively breaking down the collagen in our skin. Studies have shown that UV rays can stimulate the production of collagenases, causing the skin to age prematurely. 

To combat the effects of increased sun exposure, try looking for sunscreen products that contain green tea extract. Recent findings show that green tea extract should combine with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide in sunscreen preparations. This combination protects the skin against damage caused by both UVA and UVB rays. Clinical studies also showed that topical treatment with green tea extract reduced UVB-induced inflammatory response and oxidative stress, helping our skin look healthier, even after sun exposure. 


Another benefit of green tea for skin is that it can improve the skin’s texture, increase moisture, and decrease oiliness. Research has proved that green tea extract can improve microcirculation. This is the circulation of blood in the smallest blood vessels. It also improves the condition of blood vessels, resulting in better skin nutrition and oxygenation. A clinical study showed that 6% Camellia extract applied to forearm skin revealed significant increase in water moisture and improved skin microrelief (skin texture). By means of reduced skin roughness and enhanced skin smoothness.

Furthermore, clinical trials also showed significant anti-greasy and anti-sebum activity of green tea extract increasing in these properties as higher concentration of green tea extract was used. This shows that green tea extract can reduce excessive sebum production, helping to prevent the development of acne. 

Is it too good to be true? 

While green tea extract can bring many benefits, some research express skepticism at the skin’s permeability to green tea catechins. Catechins are the compounds that contain high antioxidant activity in green tea. Catechins are very sensitive to light and oxygen, and require careful formulation to retain any of its benefits to the skin. 

But here’s the bottom line. Green tea has many benefits backed by concrete clinical data. It’s longtime presence in skincare products is testament to its benefits. This ingredient is suitable for all types of skin. Besides vitamin C, the Vita C Gold Serum also contains certain plant-derived antioxidants like Camellia Sinensis, to boost it’s anti-ageing effects.


Singapore Dermatologist Skincare Vitamins C - green tea for skin

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