Updated: Sep 20
In 2009 scientists found that green tea antioxidants combined with NIR LED therapy accelerated the effects of LED Light Therapy by 10x.
The the idea of speeding up the effects of any skin rejuvenation treatment is very intriguing .
But, 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.
How LED Light Therapy works.
The action of LED bulbs have been tested on Mitochondria.
LED light is shown to target the cells in the extracellular matrix. This phenomenon can undo damage that has occurred to structural proteins, lipids and DNA over time.
ATP is a compound found in all animal cells and is responsible for energy within a cell. ATP is produced in the mitochondria, the powerhouses of our cells, by the electron transport chain. The more ATP that is found within a cell , 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.
Collagen is the main protein responsible for skin structure and helps to maintain a youthful appearance. Collagen begins drastically decreasing in our later 20s and by the age of 30 our bodies do not produce it any longer .
Loss of collagen leads to fine lines and wrinkles, skin folds and skin sagging. Collagen and elastin are the two ingredients present in ALL youthful skin.
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 beneficial .
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.
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, for best results it is necessary to also control the amount of free radicals produced. The best method found to control free radicals than to use a free radical scavenger is in the form of a potent 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 therapy and green tea have complementary actions – the red light produces an excess of free radicals and the green tea antioxidant disintegrates them.
Using a pure green tea extract with LED Light Therapy not only drastically accelerates its therapeutic effects by as much as 10x , but more importantly protects your skin from oxidative stress and cell damage.
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.
Green Tea & LED Light Therapy
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.
Backed by science from the Nelson Mandela Institute, Research studies show that pure green tea extract has comparable antioxidant capacity to high grade pure grown green tea leaves and root. Like green tea, green rooibos acts as a free radical scavenger and increases cell survival rate.
The Nelson Mandela Institute research confirms that pure medical grade green rooibos extract is a true bioactive ingredient for cosmetic application and offers high antioxidant protection.
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.
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. 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 our Green tea extract with your LED