Molecular mechanisms of green tea polyphenols with protective effects against skin photoaging

Eunmiri Roh, Jong Eun Kim, Jung Yeon Kwon, Jun Seong Park, Ann M. Bode, Zigang Dong, Ki Won Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

107 Scopus citations


Whereas green tea has historically been consumed in high quantities in Northeast Asia, its popularity is also increasing in many Western countries. Green tea is an abundant source of plant polyphenols exhibiting numerous effects that are potentially beneficial for human health. Accumulating evidence suggests that green tea polyphenols confer protective effects on the skin against ultraviolet (UV) irradiation-induced acceleration of skin aging, involving antimelanogenic, antiwrinkle, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects as well as prevention of immunosuppression. Melanin pigmentation in the skin is a major defense mechanism against UV irradiation, but pigmentation abnormalities such as melasma, freckles, senile lentigines, and other forms of melanin hyperpigmentation can also cause serious health and aesthetic issues. Furthermore, UV irradiation initiates the degradation of fibrillar collagen and elastic fibers, promoting the process of skin aging through deep wrinkle formation and loss of tissue elasticity. UV irradiation-induced formation of free radicals also contributes to accelerated photoaging. Additionally, immunosuppression caused by UV irradiation plays an important role in photoaging and skin carcinogenesis. In this review, we summarize the current literature regarding the antimelanogenic, antiwrinkle, antioxidant, and immunosuppression preventive mechanisms of green tea polyphenols that have been demonstrated to protect against UV irradiation-stimulated skin photoaging, and gauge the quality of evidence supporting the need for clinical studies using green tea polyphenols as anti-photoaging agents in novel cosmeceuticals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1631-1637
Number of pages7
JournalCritical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition
Issue number8
StatePublished - May 24 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • Green tea
  • UV irradiation
  • photoaging
  • polyphenols
  • skin


Dive into the research topics of 'Molecular mechanisms of green tea polyphenols with protective effects against skin photoaging'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this