The timely review by Katiyar et al1 on green tea and skin discusses the anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic, and antioxidant properties of green tea polyphenols. Another potential beneficial effect of green tea is worth noting. Liao and Hiipakka2 have shown that the green tea catechins (-)epigallocatechin-3-gallate and (-)epicatechin-3-gallate are potent inhibitors of type 1,5α-reductase.2 While controlled human studies have yet to be conducted to prove clinical efficacy, these findings suggest the potential for the use of green tea polyphenols in the treatment of androgen-mediated skin disorders such as androgenetic alopecia, hirsuitism, and possibly acne.
Shaw JC. Green Tea Polyphenols May Be Useful in the Treatment of Androgen-Mediated Skin Disorders. Arch Dermatol. 2001;137(5):664. doi:
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