After three days of information about green tea, surely we've covered everything? What more could we include? We've covered caffeine, proanthocyanins, and tannins and catechins. Are there still more interesting things to be found in green tea?
We find selenium behaving as an anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory in green tea. It is a co-factor in the formation of an important protective enzyme (gluathione peroxidase) and it inhibits inflammation after UV exposure.
We also find methyl salicylate at about 0.6%. This is both an anti-inflammatory and a warming agent (it's found in wintergreen as well).
Quite a few studies have shown that the application of green tea extract before exposure to the sun will produce less damage to the skin, less redness, and less inflammation compared to the control group. Other studies have shown the application of green tea extract to the skin for 10 minutes, 3 times per day, could help people with skin damaged by radiation (improvement was seen in 16 to 22 days). The anti-oxidants in green tea may help with the symptoms of rosacea and may prevent retinoid dermatitis. One study showed it might help with pigmentation disorders, like vitiligo.
So what does all of this mean for us as formulators? Well, I think we can see that green tea is awesome, but how specifically awesome is it and how can we get that awesomeness into our creations?
Powdered green tea extract is easy to find from our suppliers. Use it at 0.5% to 1% in the cool down phase of your recipe. Get a little warm water, mix the green tea extract into it, and dissolve well before adding. You can also get liquid green tea extract, which is pre-dissolved into something like glycerin or propylene glycol, which you'd add at 5% to 10% in your creations. As liquid green tea extract can differ between suppliers, check to see their suggested usage rates.
You can add green tea extract into any of our water based creations. I like it in a toner, summer spray, lotion...well, just about anything! Join me tomorrow for fun formulating with green tea extract.