Green tea and matcha lattes sure taste good. But did you know that they have aesthetic benefits, too? Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is an active ingredient of green tea, a natural compound, and popular antioxidant. Antioxidants prevent the oxidative damage that comes from environmental and sun exposure. Theoretically, they can stop brown spots and skin cancers in their tracks! Unfortunately, they are less effective as anti-aging and wrinkle reducing treatments.
Antioxidant’s anti-tumor and anti-inflammatory properties make them a necessary step in the skin care regimens of redheads, freckled folk, and those with a particularly high risk for, or past history of skin cancer. Green tea is non-toxic and safe for all.
EGCG is of particular interest to product formulators because it is easy to combine with other topical ingredients because of their mutual attraction to water. However, like Vitamin C and other antioxidants it poses a challenge because it is not a stable ingredient, losing its effectiveness when exposed to oxygen and to high temperature. Recently, researchers demonstrated that EGCG is more stable when combined with alpha lipoic acid or when enclosed in nanocapsules, Although these additions add stability and enable EGCG to reach high concentrations in the skin when applied topically, they do not allow EGCG to to get absorbed systemically.