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The tea and its cosmetic application

Authors:
  • Dr Seidel foundation Warsaw Poland
  • Higher School of Engineering and Health

Abstract and Figures

The growing interest in the green tea application is caused by its various, very often beneficial in-fluence on human body. According to the manufacturing process the green tea is the richest kind of tea in catechins. It has been documented that compounds contained in this plant display beneficial influence on human skin, hence the wide application of green tea as a raw material in cosmetology. The green tea displays antioxidant and astringent activity as well as influences the microvessel sy-stem. All of these features make it very common ingredient of anti-age formulations and products influencing microvessel system. The scientists still work on the evaluation of new methods that could increase our knowledge about green tea and enable to find new applications for it. Riassunto Il crescente interesse dimostrato dall'utilizzazione sempre più frequente del tè verde è dovuto alle sue benefiche influenze nei confronti del corpo umano. In dipendenza dei processi produttivi il tè verde rappresenta la fonte più ricca di catechine. È stato così ampiamente documentato come la presenza di questi antiossidanti svolga un ruolo bene-fico nei confronti della cute umana. Da qui l'ampio uso del tè verde come materia prima nel settore della cosmesi. I suoi attivi svolgono infatti attività antiossidante e vasoattiva influenzando così anche il microcir-colo cutaneo. È per tutti questi motivi che gli studiosi continuano ad incrementare le conoscenze di questa diffusa bevanda cercando di trovare nuove applicazioni all'uso del tè verde.
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J. Appl. Cosmetol. 21, 117-127 (July/September 2003)
THE TEA AND ITS COSMETIC APPLICATION
Jacek Arct
1
, Barbara Bielenda
2
, Anna Oborska
1
,Katarzyna Pytkowska
3
1
Warsaw University of Technology, Faculty of Chemistry, Poland
2
Bielenda Herbal Co., Poland
3
Academy of Cosmetics and Health Care, Warsaw, Poland
Received: February 2003
Key words: Key words: Tea, Camellia sinensis; Plant extracts; Catechins
Summary
The growing interest in the green tea application is caused by its various, very often beneficial in-
fluence on human body. According to the manufacturing process the green tea is the richest kind of
tea in catechins. It has been documented that compounds contained in this plant display beneficial
influence on human skin, hence the wide application of green tea as a raw material in cosmetology.
The green tea displays antioxidant and astringent activity as well as influences the microvessel sy-
stem. All of these features make it very common ingredient of anti-age formulations and products
influencing microvessel system. The scientists still work on the evaluation of new methods that
could increase our knowledge about green tea and enable to find new applications for it.
Riassunto
Il crescente interesse dimostrato dall’utilizzazione sempre più frequente del tè verde è dovuto alle
sue benefiche influenze nei confronti del corpo umano.
In dipendenza dei processi produttivi il tè verde rappresenta la fonte più ricca di catechine.
È stato così ampiamente documentato come la presenza di questi antiossidanti svolga un ruolo bene-
fico nei confronti della cute umana.
Da qui l’ampio uso del tè verde come materia prima nel settore della cosmesi.
I suoi attivi svolgono infatti attività antiossidante e vasoattiva influenzando così anche il microcir-
colo cutaneo.
È per tutti questi motivi che gli studiosi continuano ad incrementare le conoscenze di questa diffusa
bevanda cercando di trovare nuove applicazioni all’uso del tè verde.
117
4 art_THE TEA AND ITS COS ARCT 16-07-2003 15:38 Pagina 117
INTRODUCTION
The tea is one of the most consumed beverages
in the world and it has been popular for over
4000 years. Its popularity is attributed to the
sensory properties and potential health benefits.
The tea was first introduced into European
countries from China by Portuguese and Dutch
explorers [1]. Bulk spectrum of biologically ac-
tive substances present in this plant caused it
wide application in cosmetology. At the present
time, one of the most important trends in mo-
dern cosmetology is application of active sub-
stances of natural origin. Raw materials of plant
origin possess wide spectrum of multidimensio-
nal activity and can assure many beneficial pro-
perties to the cosmetic product. The cosmeto-
logy is interested in plants used for many years
in traditional medicine as well as looks for com-
pletely new raw materials.
Various kinds of teas are produced mainly from
the same plant species named Camellia sinensis.
However, the word “tea” is very often applied
also for other plants that can be used in prepara-
tion of hot beverages from leaves, flowers or
flowers. Thus, the name “tea” is used also very
often for rooibos tea (the beverage obtained
from South African plant Aspalathus linearis) or
honey-bush tea (Cyclopia intermedia). The tea
belongs to plants used by a man for many years
for different aims, also in cosmetic purposes.
The leaves of Cammelia sinensis are very rich
source of anti-radical substances what reasoned
in a wide application of this plant in anti-age
formulations.
FERMENTATION PROCESS
According to the manufacturing process four
different kinds of tea are distinguished – black,
Oolong, green and white. The classification of
the tea depends on the degree of fermentation:
fully fermented black tea, partially fermented
Ollong tea, unfermented green tea and unfer-
mented white tea manufactured from buds.
To produce the green tea, the leaves of Camellia
sinensis are harvested and subjected to withe-
ring. After this process leaves are steamed or
panfried and than rolled, shaped and dried. Stea-
ming at 95-1000C for 30-45 seconds aims at
inhibiting enzymes, which are responsible for
fermentation, hence the green tea belongs to un-
fermented teas. This method is used mainly in
Japan, Chinese method is based mainly on roa-
sting.
The fermentation process does not require mi-
crobiological activities. The main difference
between manufacturing of green and black tea is
the additional step in the case of black tea: the
leaves are bruised and crushed what induces the
process of fermentation [2]. The substances re-
sponsible for this process are oxidizing enzymes
contained in tea leaves – mainly polyphenol
oxidase. In the presence of polyphenol oxidase
catechins present in high level in green tea are
converted into theaflavins, thearubigins and
other complex polyphenols which are characte-
ristic for fermented teas [3]. The degree of fer-
mentation is responsible for biological proper-
ties, taste and aroma of the tea. Carotenoids and
unsaturated acids are recognized as the influen-
tial precursors for aroma. It is documented that
enzymatic oxidation of linolenic and linoleic
acids can result in production of the unsaturated
aliphatic compounds that are responsible for the
tea aroma. Simple indicator of the fermentation
degree can be changes of colour in the tea lea-
ves.
THE GREEN TEAX: ITS
COMPOSITION AND
COSMETIC APPLICATION
Chemical composition of the tea depends on age
The tea and its cosmetic application
118
4 art_THE TEA AND ITS COS ARCT 16-07-2003 15:38 Pagina 118
of leaves, season, climate in which the tea was
growing as well as on the fermentation degree
and variety of the tea shrub [4,5].
The chemical composition of tea leaves has
been widely investigated. The main group of
chemical substances characteristic for the tea
are polyphenols [6]. The level of these substan-
ces in the leaves can reach 25-35 % of dry wei-
ght [7]. The very characteristic group of
polyphenols are catechins (flavan-3-ols) belon-
ging to the group of flavanols. One of the most
significant catechins are: (-)-epigallocatechin
gallate (EGCG), (-)-epigallocatechin (EGC), (-
)-epicatechin (EC), (-)-epicatechin gallate
(ECG) and (+)-catechin. [8]. The general for-
mula and full content of catechins detected in
tea leaves has been introduced in the table be-
low.
J. Arct, B. Bielenda, A. Oborska, K. Pytkowska
119
Table I
Catechin’s present in tea leaves.
The tea leaves contain many different catechins
but it is worth noticing that the level of these
substances is different in each kind of tea. The
studies have proven that the highest level of (-)-
epigallocatechingallate (EGCG) and (-)epigallo-
catechin (EGC) can be detected in green tea [9].
4 art_THE TEA AND ITS COS ARCT 16-07-2003 15:38 Pagina 119
The studies introduced in the literature reports
on relatively low concentration of (-)-epigallo-
catechin, (-) –epigallocatechin gallate, (-)-epica-
techin and (-)-epicatechin gallate in black tea.
This situation is the reason of polyphenol oxida-
se activity that causes condensation of cate-
chins into theaflavins, thearubigins and other
substances. The concentration of caffeine is the
lowest in Oolong tea.
The tea leaves contain also other flavonoids be-
longing to the group of flavonols – quercetin,
myricetin and kaempferol as well as glycosides
of these compounds. It has been documented
that the level of myricetin, quercetin and
kaempferol is particularly high in green tea Sen-
cha [10]. The content of flavonols in different
kinds of tea has been introduced at the Figure 2.
The tea and its cosmetic application
120
Fig. 1 The contents of individual catechins, gallic acid and caffeine in teas (mg/g tea)
Fig. 2 Content of flavonols in different teas (g/Kg of dry leaves)0
4 art_THE TEA AND ITS COS ARCT 16-07-2003 15:38 Pagina 120
As it has been presented at the diagram, the
quantity of myricetin and kaempferol is the
lowest in black Ceylon tea. It is worth noticing
that contents of two green teas – Sencha and
Zhejijang differ from each other.
Other substances, very characteristic for fully
fermented teas are theaflavins, thearubigins,
theaflavinic acid and proanthocyanidin poly-
mers formed by oxidation of polyphenols du-
ring processing [11]. The structure of theaflavin
has been introduced below
The tea contains also many diverse amino-acids
but one of them – theanine is very specific to
the tea plant, accounting for 50% of all amino-
acids. Other common amino-acids are arginine
and aminobutyric acid. The tea contains also
purine alkaloids such as caffeine and theobro-
mine as well as phenolic acids – gallic, caffeic
and p-cumaric acid [11].
Chlorophyll, carotenoids and lipids are not
major constituents of the tea plant but they play
an important role in the plant biochemistry [12].
It is worth mentioning that tea leaves contain
many different minerals [13]. The comparison
of minerals’ level in black, Oolong and green
teas has been introduced in the table II.
Fig. 3 Theaflavin
J. Arct, B. Bielenda, A. Oborska, K. Pytkowska
121
Analyzing the table presented above one can
notice that the highest content of sodium, ma-
gnesium and zinc can be observed in black tea.
Red, Oolong tea contains high level of potas-
sium and calcium. The highest quantity of iron
has been determined in green tea.
Other important constituents of the tea plant are
vitamins presented in the Table III.
Tab II
Minerals in different kinds of tea (expressed in ppm).
4 art_THE TEA AND ITS COS ARCT 16-07-2003 15:38 Pagina 121
The tea and its cosmetic application
122
It is worth noticing that different green teas –
Gyokuro and Sencha display not the same profi-
le of vitamin’s quantity. Sencha contains more
than two times of vitamin C comparing to
Gyokuro but the highest level of vitamin A can
be determined in Gyokuro. Black tea seems to
be the poorest in vitamins except for quite high
quantity of niacin [14].
Generally, it can be also observed that green tea
contains more chlorophyll and organic acids but
black tea possesses more products of polyphe-
nolic oxidation such as theaflavins and thearubi-
gins. The comparison of poyphenols present in
green and black tea has been introduced in the
Table IV.
Tab III
The content of vitamins in different kinds of tea
Tab IV
Phenolic components of green and black teas (% dry solids)
4 art_THE TEA AND ITS COS ARCT 16-07-2003 15:38 Pagina 122
As it has been shown above the green tea con-
tains much more catechins than the black. Black
tea is very reach in theaflavins and thearubigins
that are formed in the oxidation process of cate-
chins.
High content of catechins and gallic acid, di-
splaying strong radical scavenging activity
makes the green tea priceless ingredient for the
cosmetic industry. Free radical occurring in the
environment can trigger chain reactions, which
cause damage of biological structures, including
skin. Mechanism of free radical scavenging by
EGC has been introduced below:
J. Arct, B. Bielenda, A. Oborska, K. Pytkowska
123
The antioxidant activity of the green tea cate-
chins is the result of their molecular structure –
the presence of at least five hydroxyl groups in
the molecule assures strong antioxidant activity
to the polyphenolic substance. The every deci-
ding factor is the presence of two hydroxyl
groups in the ring B, situated in ortho position.
It has been documented, that antiradical activity
of esters of gallic acid and catechins is higher
than activity of catechins, tocopherol and other
gallates [15]. The antioxidant activity of green
tea catechins has been studied in vitro on eryth-
rocytes by Ramarathnam and Osawa [16]. The
inhibiting effect of catechin on the oxidation
process of polyunsaturated fatty acids contained
in erythrocytes has been determined.
Fig. 4 Mechanism of free radical scavenging by ECG
4 art_THE TEA AND ITS COS ARCT 16-07-2003 15:38 Pagina 123
According to the Figure 5 the highest antioxi-
dant activities display EGCG and ECG. It has
been also documented that the activity of natu-
ral mixture of green tea catechins is higher than
activity of each substance determined separately
[16].
The antiradical activity of green tea catechins
was studied by the determination of catechin
concentration that can decrease the level of free
radicals by 50 % [17].
The tea and its cosmetic application
124
Tab V
Concentration of catechins that can decrease level of O2- and HO* free radicals by 50 %.
Fig. 5 The antioxidant activity of different green tea catechins
comparing to the lack of the antioxidant (first column) and vitamin E
– activity has been expressed in % of oxidized lipids.
4 art_THE TEA AND ITS COS ARCT 16-07-2003 15:38 Pagina 124
J. Arct, B. Bielenda, A. Oborska, K. Pytkowska
125
The table V shows that the most effective sub-
stance against O2- and HO* free radicals is (-
)-epicatechin. (-)-Epicatechin gallate effectively
decreases the concentration of O2- but seems to
be insufficient against HO* radical.
It is known that polyphenols can hamper the li-
pid oxidation process by chelation of metals that
catalyse free radical reactions and by influen-
cing activity of enzymes.
It has been proven that green tea polyphenols
can also influence the absorption of UV B ra-
diation by the skin. One of substances contained
in green tea - (-)-epigallocatechin gallate can
inhibit the activity of enzyme that decomposes
urocanic acid, which is the natural protection of
the skin against UV B [18]. The results of re-
search concerning protection of the skin from
UV radiation have been introduced last time by
Kattiyar and Elmets [19].
Other feature of the green tea extract that can be
useful from the cosmetological point of view is
its astringent activity. The tea contains tannins
that are polyphenolic compounds being able to
create strong hydrogen bonds with proteins and
other compounds containing nitrogen and oxy-
gen. This group of substances can contain hy-
drolyzing tannins (e.g. gallic acid and its deriva-
tives) and condensed tannins (e.g. olygomeric
proanthocyanidins). The presence of these com-
pounds assures astringent activity to the green
tea.
It is widely known that green tea polyphenols
can influence microvessel system and microcir-
culation [20]. Mechanism of this activity is mul-
tidirectional. By inhibition of thromboxane
synthesis polyphenols display antiagregation ac-
tivity. The antiradical activity of these substan-
ces allows them for protection of prostacyclines.
It had been also documented that green tea
polyphenols, influencing the activity of recep-
tors can cause the increase in the microvessel
elasticity. The scientists have proven that tea
polyphenols can protect vitamin C from oxida-
tion. It is known that vitamin C is necessary for
the collagen synthesis, which is the very impor-
tant compound for the skin condition.
All of the features reported above make the
green tea plant and its extracts very important
raw material for cosmetic industry.
4 art_THE TEA AND ITS COS ARCT 16-07-2003 15:38 Pagina 125
The tea and its cosmetic application
126
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4 art_THE TEA AND ITS COS ARCT 16-07-2003 15:38 Pagina 126
J. Arct, B. Bielenda, A. Oborska, K. Pytkowska
127
Author Address:
Dr. Jacek Arct
Warsaw University of Technology
Faculty of Chemistry
Noakowskiego 3
01-664 Warsaw, Poland
Email: jarct@eranet.pl
4 art_THE TEA AND ITS COS ARCT 16-07-2003 15:38 Pagina 127
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Traditionally, tea, a beverage made from the processed leaves of the tea plant, Camellia sinensis, and herbal infusions have been primarily consumed for their pleasant taste. Nowadays, they are also consumed because they contain nutraceutical compounds, such as polyphenols. Grapes and grape/wine sub-products such as non-fermented/semi-fermented or fermented grapes, skins, and seeds are a rich source of health-promoting compounds, presenting a great potential for the development of new beverages. Therefore, these grape/wine sub-products are used in the beverage sector for the preparation of infusions, tisanes, and decoctions. Besides polyphenols, fermented grapes, skins, and seeds, usually discarded as waste, are enriched with other health-promoting/nutraceutical compounds, such as melatonin, glutathione, and trehalose, among others, which are produced by yeasts during alcoholic fermentation. In this review, we summarize the benefits of drinking herbal infusions and discuss the potential application of some grapevine fermentation waste products in the production of healthy beverages that we can call grape infusions.
... Either the cyclooxygenase or lipoxygenase pathway is used to transform the released arachidonic acid. Polyphenols may be responsible in inhibition of both reactions, most frequently due to the interruption of substrate binding to the enzyme by disrupting the hydrogen bonding system or due to ions chelated in the active center of the enzyme (Arct et al. 2003). ...
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