Catechins are a group of polyphenolic compounds that belong to the flavonoid family. They are natural substances found mainly in plants, especially in tea, red wine, chocolate, fruits and certain herbs.
They are known for their antioxidant properties and have several potential health and aesthetic benefits. As such, they are used in topical products and treatments to help improve the appearance of the skin, as they can help protect against damage caused by free radicals and ultraviolet radiation, thus contributing to a healthier, more youthful appearance.
Benefits of catechins
Catechins offer a number of general health and aesthetic benefits due to their antioxidant properties and other bioactive effects:
- They are powerful antioxidants that can neutralize free radicals, harmful substances that can damage cells and accelerate skin aging. By fighting free radicals, catechins help maintain skin health and prevent premature aging.
- Catechins, particularly those present in green tea, have been shown to help protect the skin against damage caused by ultraviolet (UV) radiation. This can reduce the risk of sunburn and the development of wrinkles and skin spots.
- Some catechins can promote better blood circulation, which can contribute to healthier, fresher-looking skin.
- Catechins also have anti-inflammatory properties, which can be beneficial in treating inflammatory skin conditions such as acne or rosacea.
- The catechins present in green tea have been associated with weight loss and reduction of body fat, which can have a positive impact on physical appearance.
- The consumption of catechins has been found to be associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease by helping to maintain healthy cholesterol and blood pressure levels.
- Finally, catechins can also fight bacteria in the mouth, which can be beneficial for dental health and cavity prevention.
Where are catechins found?
Green tea is one of the best known sources of catechins. These substances are found in tea leaves and are responsible for many of the health benefits associated with green tea consumption, including its ability to fight skin aging.
Although in smaller quantities than green tea, black tea also contains catechins, although some of them have been oxidized and converted into other compounds during the fermentation process.
Red wine is another source of catechins, especially resveratrol, which is a type of catechin found in the skin of red grapes.
Dark chocolate contains catechins, especially when it has a high cocoa content. These catechins may contribute to some of the health benefits associated with moderate consumption of dark chocolate.
Some fruits, such as apples, pears, grapes and cherries, contain catechins in their skins and pulps. Nuts such as walnuts and almonds also contain catechins in small amounts.
When catechins are consumed through food, beverages or supplements, they can be absorbed by the body and have effects throughout the body. This way of acquiring catechins may offer broader benefits, but its effects on the skin are minor.
When applied topically to the skin through skin care products, catechins tend to exert their effects in a more localized manner. This means that they focus on protection against oxidative stress and free radical damage on the skin surface.
Use in aesthetic medicine
Catechins are used in the aesthetic sector to take advantage of their properties and achieve a healthier skin. In general, it is used in the following applications:
- Incorporated in skin care creams, serums and lotions, these products are applied directly to the skin or scalp. They can help protect the skin against damage caused by free radicals and ultraviolet radiation, as well as act as an anti-inflammatory and lighten the skin, making them useful in the treatment of conditions such as acne and skin blemishes. As a hair treatment, they can help strengthen hair and improve its appearance.
- Some aesthetic medicine procedures, such as chemical peels, may include catechins in their formulations to improve skin texture and reduce blemishes. These treatments can help remove dead skin cells and stimulate cell regeneration.
- In some cases, catechins can be applied before or after laser treatments to reduce inflammation and improve skin recovery. This is especially useful in procedures such as tattoo removal or laser facial rejuvenation.
- Catechins can also be taken as dietary supplements. While this is not specific to aesthetic medicine, ingesting catechins through supplementation can help improve overall skin health from the inside out.
Although catechins are mostly safe when consumed in normal amounts through food, beverages or supplements, in some cases they can cause mild side effects such as stomach upset or insomnia, especially when taken in excess.
The appropriate amount of catechins to be consumed may vary depending on the source and the purpose of use. It is important to follow the dosage recommendations provided on the products or consult a healthcare professional to ensure proper and safe use.
Commitment to quality
This text on catechins has been prepared by professional editors. In addition, we have relied on experts in medicine, engineering and aesthetics as a source of information, as well as specific studies to maintain the quality of what we publish.
At Sisneo Bioscience we are committed to publish truthful and contrasted information. And to update or correct it as soon as new knowledge becomes available.
Among others, we have used the following sources:
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- Isemura M. «Catechin in Human Health and Disease» en Molecules. 2019 Feb 1;24(3):528. doi: 10.3390/molecules24030528. PMID: 30717121; PMCID: PMC6384718.
- Hernández Figueroa, Tania T; Rodríguez-Rodríguez, Elena; Sánchez-Muñiz, Francisco J.. «El té verde ¿una buena elección para la prevención de enfermedades cardiovasculares?» en ALAN. v. 54, n. 4, p. 380-394, dic. 2004. Disponible en http://ve.scielo.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0004-06222004000400003&lng=es&nrm=iso. accedido en 29 agosto 2023