As mentioned last week, in Part 1, EGCG is a miracle molecule. Its versatility in treating all skin conditions safely, it’s compatibility with most skin types and its protective benefits makes it the ultimate staple in any skin routine. We discussed aging last week but let’s look at some common skin indications that can be improved safely and effectively by including topical EGCG into your routine:
Acne is usually caused by a combination of factors including hypersecretion of sebum, inflammation and presence of P.acnes bacteria. Hormonal triggers are very common and there is usually an unbalanced production of androgenic hormones, which are influenced by testosterone and DHT, a super-charged testosterone. Topical ECGC reduces acne lesions in three ways – it reduces the amount of sebum produced (especially when combined with niacinamide, as found in our Balance Cream and Sensitive Micellar Cleanser), inflammation and the viability of P.acnes. The antimicrobial benefits of green tea is a great way to treat any patient that suffers from Acne vulgaris despite their age or the grade of acne.
Rosacea can often be misdiagnosed as acne, due to the fact that it presents with a lot of the same features. This includes acne-like lesions, redness, disturbed barrier function and severe inflammation. The anti-inflammatory benefits of EGCG are particularly helpful in the treatment of rosacea. Another factor that makes it such a great choice is the fact that rosacea is a long-term, chronic and incurable skin disease which means that whatever is prescribed to treat it, must be suitable for long-term use. Green tea catechins will not only drastically decrease the inflammation associated with rosacea but will also improve barrier function and reduce the severity of flare-ups.
Melasma is a particularly stubborn, resistant and difficult to treat form of hyperpigmentation. There are many external influences on melasma including excess unprotected sun exposure and harsh chemical peels. Melasma is highly influenced by hormonal fluctuations and chronic inflammation, and once it’s there it can be particularly difficult to treat as it has a tendency to reappear even in the cases where it has been treated successfully. EGCG has a long-term beneficial effect on hyperpigmentation as it reduces the damage that occurs to the melanocyte due to sun exposure, the free radical damage is reduced and chronic inflammation is combatted. EGCG has the ability to reduce melanin transfer to the skin cells so it will reduce the overall severity of hyperpigmentation and prevent it from worsening in the long run.
Why drinking green tea isn’t necessarily the best route to getting your daily dose of EGCG
Green tea contains quite a lot of caffeine, approximately 40mg per cup (about half the level of black tea). Catechins make up about 50-100mg per cup, depending on tea plucking season and method, the way it is brewed etc. Of this, EGCG can be as high as 70mg BUT the presence of minerals in water makes a huge difference on the activity of EGCG, especially calcium and magnesium. In areas with hard water, this could mean that most of the EGCG is rendered ineffective.
Then consider what EGCG needs to overcome in the gastrointestinal tract – harsh pH conditions, enzymes and other digestive processes – the so-called “first-pass metabolism”. In fact, this is why EGCG is being used as a dietary supplement. Studies indicate that green tea catechins, particularly EGCG, interfere with the emulsification, digestion, and micellar solubilization of lipids, critical steps involved in the intestinal absorption of dietary fat, cholesterol, and other lipids. Based on the observations, it is likely that green tea or its catechins lower the absorption and tissue accumulation of other lipophilic organic compounds. The available information strongly suggests that green tea or its catechins may be used as effective lipid-lowering therapeutic agents, although over doing it may cause liver damage, even acute liver failure.
Five cups of green tea a day should give you the recommended EGCG dose of 200mg/day. Just remember to use purified water and steep the tea for 3-5 minutes. Any longer won’t extract any further EGCG, it will just increase bitterness. And … preferably use a decaffeinated green tea.
So, the question is: after first-pass metabolism, how much EGCG left to be of benefit to our skin? And, isn’t the direct, topical route better?
Our topical Green Tea Serum is the perfect serum to use in combination with other protocols that address the individual skin conditions mentioned above. It will drastically improve the condition of the skin, whether it is a younger or more mature skin type. EGCG is also the perfect post-procedure product and can be applied after micro-needling procedures and non-ablative laser procedures or chemical peels, to protect the barrier, soothe irritated skin and will speed up the healing process.
With daily use of this hero product, you simply cannot go wrong!