How green tea extract protects and smooths skin

The antioxidant ingredient that evens out skin tone and texture

There are many reasons to drink green tea on the regular—like protecting your brain or boosting your metabolism—but you don’t necessarily have to enjoy the earthy, caffeinated beverage to get its potential health benefits. You might consider another way to bring green tea into your self-care rituals: as a staple ingredient in your skincare routine. Here’s why green tea extract makes such a good matcha for your skin.

What is green tea extract?

Green tea extract, specifically the epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG component 1, is an active plant compound harvested from fresh tea leaves that’s responsible for many of green tea’s famed health benefits. 

What are the benefits of green tea extract for skin?

The EGCG component of green tea extract can support healthy skin in a number of impressive ways.

  • Protecting against damage: As an antioxidant, green tea extract can help defend the skin against unstable molecules called free radicals. Induced by UV rays, pollution, and other environmental factors, free radicals can damage skin cells and lead to signs of aging. But green tea extract scavenges2 and helps neutralize free radicals before they can do harm.
  • Minimizing hyperpigmentation: Beyond providing antioxidant protection from free radicals, green tea extract can help minimize the appearance of dark spots caused by sun damage, as it decreases production of melanin.3
  • Increasing moisture retention: As you age, your skin naturally becomes more dehydrated because it begins to lose an important water-retaining substance called hyaluronic acid. Green tea extract has been shown to increase the production of hyaluronic acid as well as decrease the enzyme4 that breaks it down, helping your skin to maintain its stores of hyaluronic acid and stay more hydrated.
  • Improving skin texture: Although more studies are needed, preliminary research suggests that moisture-retaining effects of green tea extract can benefit skin texture and minimize the appearance of wrinkles.5 Well-hydrated skin appears more plump and smooth.

Where can you get green tea extract?

If it’s in line with your skin goals, your Agency dermatology provider can include the EGCG component of green tea extract in your Dark Spot Formula, where it works alongside other ingredients with skin-brightening benefits and antioxidant activity.

You can also find green tea cleansers, serums, moisturizers, and masks over the counter. 

Are there any green tea extract side effects?

Topical green tea extract has a low risk for irritation and no notable side effects, so it is generally considered safe to use daily for all skin types and tones.

Want to know more about your Dark Spot Formula?

You know your skin—we’re here to help you know your skincare. Our team of dermatology experts has helped create guides to each of the hyperpigmentation-targeting ingredients in your Dark Spot Formula. 

Learn how these ingredients also help even out your skin tone: hydroquinone, kojic acid, azelaic acid

1. Hae-Suk Kim, et al. New Insights Into the Mechanisms of Polyphenols Beyond Antioxidant Properties; Lessons From the Green Tea Polyphenol, Epigallocatechin 3-Gallate. Redox Biology. (2014)

2. Eunji Kim, et al. Skin Protective Effect of Epigallocatechin Gallate. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. (January 2018).

3. Eunji Kim, et al. Skin Protective Effect of Epigallocatechin Gallate. Ibid.

4. Eunji Kim, et al. Skin Protective Effect of Epigallocatechin Gallate. Ibid.

5. Eunji Kim, et al. Skin Protective Effect of Epigallocatechin Gallate. Ibid.