‘Green’ Tea Antioxidants and LED Light Therapy – A Perfect Pairing!
GUEST POST - Bev May Sanderson, Founder Maysama with added commentary from Mito Red [MR]
Content creators, like US You Tuber and Master Aesthetician Penn Smith, are talking about LED light and green tea antioxidants as a powerful duo for skin rejuvenation and, when used together, they can speed up the results from Red Light Therapy.
In fact, in 2009 scientists reported that green tea antioxidants combined with LED Light accelerated the therapeutic effects of LED Light Therapy ten-fold!!!
‘Rejuvenated skin, reduced wrinkle levels, and juvenile complexion, previously realized in 10 months of light treatment alone were realized in 1 month.’
Whilst the idea of speeding up the effects of any skin rejuvenation treatment is hugely appealing, what is more important is why using an antioxidant with your LED Light Therapy will help protect your skin from free radical damage caused by high doses of LED light. So, to put this into perspective, let’s take a look at how LED Light Therapy works.
LED light targets the cells in the extracellular matrix and can undo damage that has occurred to structural proteins, lipids and DNA over time. The most widely spoken about action of LED Light Therapy is that it increases ATP production. ATP is a compound found in all animal cells and is responsible for energy within a cell. It is produced in the mitochondria, the powerhouses of our cells, by the electron transport chain. The more ATP we have, the more energy our cells have, to drive all cellular processes, from muscle contraction, to nerve impulses and even protein synthesis, which includes collagen production. Yes, collagen production! We all know that collagen is the main protein responsible for skin structure and helps to maintain a youthful appearance. Loss of collagen leads to fine lines and wrinkles, skin folds and skin sagging, so anything we can do to help increase collagen levels, bodes well for pro-aging.
But here’s the wrap – the mechanism by which ATP is produced also releases free radicals. A small amount of free radicals is important for activating signalling pathways, but an excess of free radicals is NOT good. To take an analogy, a little bit of sugar would give your energy, but too much sugar would make you sluggish! Excess free radicals, or Reactive Oxygen Species [ROS], can inhibit cellular processes and lead to a condition of oxidative stress. And prolonged oxidative stress can lead to cell damage and ultimately programmed cell death, also known as apoptosis.
([MR] This is why we continually stress that more is not necessarily better. We are looking always for the optimal dose. A more detailed article on RLT dosing will be published soon.)
High doses of LED Light Therapy can lead to excess free radicals, so control of ROS levels can be crucial to prevent oxidative damage to cell components. So, we need to be able to control the amount of free radicals produced. And what better way is there to control free radicals than to use a free radical scavenger? An antioxidant!
Green tea is an excellent free radical scavenger. It serves as an antioxidant to undo cell damage caused by free radicals and to increase cell survival rate. LED light and green tea have complementary actions – the red light produces an excess of free radicals and the green tea antioxidant mops them up, which is why using a green tea serum with LED Light Therapy accelerates its therapeutic effects, but more importantly protects your skin from oxidative stress and cell damage. So, the use of a potent antioxidant with your LED therapy is highly advisable.
Green Rooibos – the new ‘Green’ Tea
Green Tea comes from the plant Camellia sinensis, native to China. Green tea is rich in polyphenols, with Epigallocatechin gallate [ECGC) being the most abundant polyphenol. Green Rooibos Tea comes from the plant Aspalathus linearis, native to South Africa. Strictly speaking, rooibos is a tisane or herbal tea, which, like green tea, is rich in polyphenols, particularly Aspalathin, the main polyphenol responsible for its antioxidant potential.
Depending on how it is processed, you can get black, white, red or green tea. ‘Green’ describes tea that has been produced from ‘fresh green’ leaves and has not undergone oxidation. Both green tea and green rooibos have a higher polyphenolic content, because the flavonoids have not been destroyed by oxidation, and a higher polyphenolic content means a higher antioxidant potential.
Backed by science from the Nelson Mandela Institute, British skincare brand, MAYSAMA, formulate with pharmaceutical grade green rooibos extract for its superior antioxidant capacity. Research studies show that MAYSAMA’s green rooibos extract has comparable antioxidant capacity to high grade green tea. Like green tea, green rooibos acts as a free radical scavenger and increases cell survival rate. Perhaps not surprisingly then, MAYSAMA Green Rooibos Pressed Serum is also proving popular for use with LED Light Therapy.
It is worth noting that the antioxidant potential of any extract will depend on the extraction process used. MAYSAMA’s green rooibos extract is produced with a patented extraction process which concentrates the main polyphenol, Aspalathin, and produces a highly concentrated and potent Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient. Maysama’s research collaboration with the Nelson Mandela Institute confirms that their medical grade green rooibos extract is a true bioactive ingredient for cosmetic application and offers high antioxidant protection.
Will MAYSAMA Green Rooibos Pressed Serum speed up the results from LED therapy?
Of course, MAYSAMA cannot make this claim and nor can any brand that formulates with green tea because NO cosmetic brand has done the claims testing. But if you are looking for a potent antioxidant serum to use with your LED therapy, MAYSAMA Green Rooibos Pressed Serum is exactly that.
Can I use my DIY green tea with LED light therapy?
With the accessibility of information through social media, DIY skincare is increasingly popular and home recipes for green tea scrubs and toners are not uncommon. Many people have asked if they can just make up green tea or green rooibos tea, stick it in the fridge, and use it with their LED therapy? Of course, you can but there are several reasons why a cosmetic serum will serve you better than a DIY product. Three main things to consider are potency, purity and stability.
Cosmetic ingredients generally have a much higher antioxidant potential than just a tea beverage. Cosmetic ingredients have superior extraction processes and are sold based on data that supports their antioxidant potential. Tea is sold based on flavour, not its antioxidant capacity.
Maysama’s medical grade green rooibos extract is 70 x more potent than red rooibos in terms of its antioxidant capacity. By comparison, standard green rooibos has just 10 x the antioxidant potential of red rooibos.
MAYSAMA’ green rooibos is of pharmaceutical grade. This not only means that it is a highly potent ingredient, but one that meets strict regulatory guidelines for purity, ensuring that the bacterial count is very low. This is not the case with organic or natural products.
Cosmetic products have undergone regulatory testing to ensure that they meet strict requirements for stability. They will contain a preservative system that ensures bacteria cannot grow in the product.
So, cosmetic products may seem expensive relative to boiling a cup of green tea and sticking it in the fridge, but the greatly improved efficacy is worth the expense.
With the increase of devices available for home use, LED Light Therapy is proving increasingly popular. If you are looking for an LED device, please do check out my recent blog; Red Light Therapy – Best Value LED devices for home use. When using a high dose of LED light do remember that it is advisable to combine your LED therapy with a potent antioxidant serum or toner, to protect against oxidative damage.
([MR] This is the RLT equivalent of having your cake and eating it too. The goal is to maximize the collagen supporting energy production, while simultaneously minimizing any potential downsides related to increased cellular activity.)
And, if you are using Red Light Therapy, or any colour of LED light, I hope that you will consider using MAYSAMA Green Rooibos Pressed Serum for superior antioxidant protection.