Friday 30 May 2014

Green Tea – How Anti-ageing Is It?

Ginvera: Green Tea Skincare Range
Do you drink green tea? I have tried so many times to enjoy a cuppa, but I can’t get my taste buds around the flavour. That goes for herbal varieties too. I love tea. I drink loads of it. But it has to be black, caffeinated and given a choice, Assam.

Why am I so bothered about drinking green tea? Scientific studies have indicated that green tea could protect against cancer, heart disease, and osteoporosis, as well as help weight loss. But if I really don’t like something, no matter what the benefits (unless it’s life-saving, of course), I won’t partake.

Which brings me on to skincare. In recent years there has been a bit of a trend for adding green tea to lotions and potions. The theory is that green tea taken topically has anti-ageing benefits. More specifically green tea contains large quantities of polyphenols and these have been shown to have antioxidant, anticancer, antibacterial, and antiviral properties. 

Antioxidants are found in many different forms in skincare. They are commonly added as they can protect skin against inflammation and free radical cell and tissue damage from UV exposure, one of the biggest causes of premature ageing. The antioxidants in green tea are particularly potent.

It all sounds swell. Except some experts say it is not clear if the amounts of green tea in topicals is enough to deliver benefits, and that more studies need to be done on green tea generally, particularly in cancer protection.

That said I’m a bit of a sucker for topical green tea. For a start I don’t have to drink it, which helps! I also appreciate active ingredients derived from natural sources and I’m keen to lap up a load of anti-oxidants. In the arena of green tea skincare one brand that has caught my eye is  Ginvera. The products are in-store at Harvey Nichols and the UK distributor Janiro took a stand at the recent Anti-Ageing Health & Beauty Show – did you see them?

Ginvera was founded nearly 30 years ago in Singapore and has a large beauty and healthcare product portfolio. Its two green tea hero products are Green Tea Exfoliating Marvel Gel and Green Tea Nude Cover BB Cream. I was recently given samples of the two hero products to try. Both have been around for a little while, though I have never sampled them before.

Ginvera Green Tea Exfoliating Marvel Gel


This is unconventional with a capital ‘U’. It neither looks like an exfoliator nor is applied like one. Yet it works superbly. Out of the tube it is a minty green gel with no visible exfoliating particles. You apply it to dry skin with dry fingers (yes, DRY!). You dot the gel around the face and massage in for about a minute. As you do small beads of dead skill cells are removed – it’s quite a fun process to do and see! Rinse off with water or cleanser.

This gel is so smooth and so gentle that it is safe to use daily. It leaves skin beautifully moist and soft. Vitamins C + E (found naturally in green tea) are both super moisturisers, as is the added ingredient Soybean extract - another polyphenol!

I am truly impressed with this exfoliator. It has been a revelation for me and fits a skincare need I didn’t even know I had! I am currently using it as the first step in my daily skincare regime, before cleansing.

Ginvera Green Tea Nude Cover BB Cream

Ginvera: BB Cream out of the tube
Ginvera: BB Cream blended

This looked really dark on my skin straight out of the tube but it blended to match my tone. Blending was a doddle and the coverage even with a matte finish. Sun protection is bang on the mark with broad spectrum 30SPF and there are some sound actives here, notably the anti-ageing staple hyaluronic acid, ginseng (skin strengthening) and angelica (hydrating and whitening).

I’ve not used it long enough or in isolation to test the anti-ageing claims but the matte coverage lasted me all day, with no sign of caking or any dry patches developing.

Final Say     

Of the hero products I preferred the gel. It is the gentlest exfoliator I have ever used, it’s novel and it works marvel-lously (sorry, I couldn’t resist!). The BB cream is a good natural choice with all the skincare essentials but there are a lot of really good alphabet creams out there – we’re a bit spoilt for choice! Also, the Ginvera product is only available in the one Nude shade. While this didn’t pose a problem for my fair skin, you may want to test patch first. 

Ginvera Green Tea Marvel Gel costs £15.90 for 60g and Ginvera Green Tea Nude Cover BB Cream is £14.95 for 25ml and £19.95 for 40ml. More info here.
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