There are also a few other green tea studies. The problem is that none of them are definitive. The study you referred was mostly in vitro, though it also had an in vivo part. These studies are interesting and provide some evidence for green tea and EGCG but the problem is that they don't have proper controls. Once we see a few studies with 100 or so participants that compare EGCG cream to BP head to head then I can say that there's reasonably good evidence for it. Such studies exists for vitamin B3 and vitamin C derivates.
I'm not arguing against the statement that BP has side-effects, or that it's an oxidizing agent and causes oxidative damage in the skin. I argue against black and white thinking that's so prevalent here. I argue against statements like 'BP causes oxidative damage, therefore it's automatically bad and should be shunned'.
Here's the point that argument misses. ACNE itself causes a lot of oxidative damage on the skin. So if something reduces acne it most likely reduces inflammation in the skin.
The way I see it is that BP causes little oxidative damage to prevent bigger damage from occuring. This is evident from the fact that for many people, but not for everybody, acne goes away and skin becomes less red and irritated when they use BP.
I'm the first person to admit that BP can also make your skin worse. If you use too much of it or the concentration is too strong. And with moisturizers or antioxidant creams you can mitigate the damage even further.
If you can find a natural cream that gets the same results, then fantastic. So far there has been done, and I'm pretty up to date with research on acne. As I said, there are some promising candidates, like niacin and vitamin C derivates. Green tea catechins might also work, but so far the studies have been way too small and inconclusive to say for sure.
I'm not aware of the study you are referring to. This is the latest green tea related acne study in the PubMed index:
There's little evidence that BP, when used properly, causes any harm. And just like every other medicine out there, BP has both positive and negative effects. The art of medicine comes in choosing medicines that do more good than harm.
If BP reduced your acne, then you are among the minority. The other sections of this forum are filled with people who say that BP indeed has reduced their acne and skin redness. Not to mention tens and tens of clinical studies that show efficacy from BP.
Why use BP? Because at the moment it's one of the best anti-acne topicals. No 'natural ingredient' has similar demonstrated efficacy. Some antioxidants, like niacin and vitamin C derivates, show promise and might even turn out to be more effective than BP. That's for the future science to show. But it doesn't take away the fact that BP does work.
I think it's a little simplistic to shun away from BP just because its oxidizing effect. Yes, inflammation is very bad for the skin and probably the very thing that triggers the acne formation process.
At the same time BP can reduce inflammation in the skin. It destroys the bacteria that escalate inflammation and also the cells that initiate the inflammatory process in the skin.
Not to mention the fact that BP reduces acne and redness of the skin. Though, when used improperly, it can also damage the skin.
Also, if you want to reduce inflammation, why bother with spearmint oil or other herbal stuff? Straight vitamins B3, C and E are likely to be much more effective - not to mention easier to find in products.
As Omnivium mentioned, you can't generalize from one group of people to another. Topically applies zinc has at least some 5-alpha reductase activity. It's also one of the few supplements where there's evidence to show it's effective in acne.
BBC recently reported about a study that showed zinc can keep immune system in check. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-21372790
This could explain why zinc works for acne.
Sorry for my late reply. I haven't had much time to visit the ORG lately. For the past 4 months I've been busy researching and writing, or updating, my book. So glad to get this monkey off my back
I'm not a cosmetics chemist, so I can't give you authorative answers. But I think there are 2 reasons why antioxidants don't degrade in creams. One is that the manufacturers add stabilizers and preservatives, such as vitamin C. Another one is less exposure to the elements. One reason why antioxidants in brewed tea degrade so quickly is that they are constantly exposed to light and oxygen, both of which can degrade them. In a sealed container there's much less interaction with both of those elements.
Hmm.. don't take this the wrong way, but maybe you've confused antioxidants and anti-inflammatory. In practical terms they are the same thing. Antioxidants, like vitamin C, quench free radicals and thus has an anti-inflammatory effect.
Antioxidants by their very nature are very reactive with free radicals and other prooxidant molecules. That's why they always degrade quite rapidly.
Yes, even if the tea evaporates from your skin it would leave a residue layer, but as far as I understand that layer won't actually do anything. For EGCG to reduce sebum production and inflammation it has to penetrate the top layer of the skin, or the skin barrier and down to where the relevant cells are. Just having something sitting on your face wouldn't do anything.
The problem is that the skin barrier is very good at repelling water. This same function that keeps us alive (and prevents your body from getting flooded when you swim or take a shower) also keeps tea out. Fat soluble substances penetrate the skin barrier much more readily, but water soluble substances have much lower skin penetration.
This is why skin care products have all those chemicals in them. Some of them allow water and fat soluble substances to mix while others help the product to penetrate your skin.
Hope this was helpful.
I noticed that somebody asked about how long this kind of toner stays good. A while back I looked at some research related to this. Unfortunately the catechins in green tea degrade quite rapidly. Under normal conditions you would find at home 50% were gone within the first 7 hours. Now, that's 50% starting from a lower concentration than what you get with so many teabags in a cup of water. Regardless, I wouldn't expect any tea to retain antioxidants for very long. You can extend the shelf-life somewhat by adding some vitamin C powder into the mix.
Could be many reasons for this. Fermented dairy is easier to digest. So if you have problems with lactose or milk proteins, fermenting could help. It also reduces IGF-1 levels in milk by 75%, if I remember correctly. Compared to milk yogurt has less of an impact on postprandial insulin and IGF-1 levels. Could also be that probiotics in fermented dairy help your gut.
Nuts and coconut. Could be sensitivity reaction or omega-3/6 balance issue?
Homeopathy is to medicine what Deepak Chopra is to quantum physics. The fact is that most homeopathic "medicines" are diluted to the point where they have not even a single molecule of the active ingredient left. They are pure water (plus the contaminants that got in during the manufacturing process) infused into sugar pills.
And even if they would have active ingredients in them it wouldn't be much better. Because of the, quite frankly, ridiculous theory homeopathic "medicines" are based on. For example, a homeopathic drug for celiac disease would be manufactured like this: Take little bit of wheat and dilute it with this ratio, 1 part wheat and 100 parts water. Remember to shake vigorously. Then take 1 ml of that solution and mix it with 100 ml of water. Again shake. Repeat that dilution 30 to 200 times, always remembering to shake vigorously with each dilution, and you'll have your medicine.
It's based on sympathetic magic and that water supposedly has memory (makes you wonder what water remembers during all its passes through the toilet!).
Homeopathy has been studied a lot, there's your tax payer dollars at work. While poorer quality studies show mixed results, some even positive because of laws of statistics, higher quality studies show homeopathy is no better than placebo.
So yes it can work for some people, but that's because of placebo effect and not because of any healing property of the "medicine".
Yeah, I wouldn't jump to any big conclusions from that study. Most plant extracts show some anti-inflammatory effects in test tube studies.
I don't doubt that white tea is good for acne, both topically and when drunk. My point was that I haven't seen any evidence that it's in anyway better than green tea. They are both made from the same plant anyway. White tea may be fresher, but that's probably meaningless by the time it reaches store shelves.
Shameless self-promotion But glad to hear you liked the site! I think there's a clear lack of critical and evidence-based information about natural and alternative treatments.
It's possible that even so-called healthy foods cause acne for some people. Whole grain wheat is one good example. Some people just have problems with gluten, and it triggers an inflammatory reaction in them that often leads to acne.
Green tea is probably your best option. But you have to drink it in sufficient quantities to get any real effects. Something like 5 cups per day. I make green tea 1 liter at a time, chill it and then drink it in place of water. Studies have also shown that green tea has a small, beneficial effect on weight loss.
I don't think researchers have really sorted this question out properly. Saturated and trans fats are definitely implicated in causing insulin resistance. MUFA and PUFA don't do that when taken in moderate quantities. I'm not sure we are entirely clear on what happens when MUFA and PUFA make up a significant portion of calories (>40%). There was the KANWU study that showed that the benefits of MUFA over SAT fat disappear once fat as % of calories goes over 37%. But I'm not aware of any other studies on this.