It has been a hot second since I’ve done a Skincare ABCs post (whoops), so today’s post is long overdue. The ingredient we will be discussing today is epigallocatechin gallate, also known as EGCG.
What is it? How does it work?
EGCG is the most abundant catechin in green tea. Which basically is fancy talk for the fact that EGCG is a polyphenol, meaning it has both skin-soothing and antioxidant properties. The antioxidant properties come in handy for several reasons. I’ve discussed them more in-depth in the Vitamin C skincare post, which can be found here. The short version of the antioxidant story is this: antioxidants help prevent damage to your cell’s DNA from exposure to environmental stressors like pollution and UVA/UVB damage.
EGCG differs from most skincare ingredients because the user can see benefits from both topical use, as well as ingestion. EGCG can be found in green tea, as well as in a variety of skincare products. Most products will probably not directly list EGCG on the label as an ingredient. However, if you see green tea in a product name or label, you’ll likely be getting the benefits of EGCG.
A recent search of Sephora’s website yielded 233 products with ‘green tea’ in the name or ingredient label. A search of ‘epigallocatechin gallate’ yielded one product, while a search of ‘EGCG’ yielded five results, almost all of which had ‘tea’ in the name of the product.
All-in-all, I wouldn’t say that green tea or EGCG are incredibly important skincare ingredients. In fact, I would say that you could have a flawless regimen without ever using them. However, EGCG belongs to an entire class of ingredients (antioxidants) that you DEFINITELY want in your skincare routine. In fact, none of the ‘current’ skincare I own contains EGCG. However, I’ve added photos throughout this post containing several products I’ve tried that contain antioxidants.
Until next time,
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