We have the following data about green tea and skin from research performed over the past 20 years:
In animal models, drinking green tea or topically applying green tea or EGCG, the active biologic constituent in green tea, provided significant protection against UV radiation-induced tumor formation in the skin. Green tea in the drinking water of lab mice protected against UV-induced tumor formation, inhibited skin cancer progression in some, and even caused partial regression of established cancerous skin papillomas.
In humans, the topical application of green tea on the skin prior to UV exposure reduced the usual UV-induced skin redness and inflammation, the number of sunburned cells, as well as UV-induced DNA damage.
Dr. Stefanie’s take: Although a beneficial ingredient, green tea does not replace or decrease the need for daily broad-spectrum sunscreen.