Flavonoids, a nutrient found in colourful fruits, vegetables, and teas, have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, which are beneficial for the barrier function of the skin.
A 2011 study published in the Journal of Nutrition evaluated the effect of green tea, an excellent source of flavanols, on skin structure, texture, circulation, and sensitivity to UV exposure, in 60 women in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Participants were randomised to consume either a beverage containing green tea flavanols or a control beverage. After the 12-week trial period, results showed green tea flavanols were protective against harmful UV radiation and helped improve overall skin quality of women, including skin elasticity, roughness, scaling, density and hydration. Researchers attribute improvements in skin structure to the flavanol-mediated increases in blood flow to the skin, which is important for supplying nutrients and oxygen to the cells. They found that cutaneous blood flow increased by 29% over the course of the trial.
Regular consumption of tea flavanols may be the key to youthful-looking skin!