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LED/tea combo for wrinkles

In Germany, the search for eternal youth has led to tea time.

In Germany, the search for eternal youth has led to tea time.

German researchers have coupled high-intensity light exposure with a lotion made of green tea extract to create a wrinkle-fighting concoction they say could replace invasive cosmetic procedures.

Andrei P. Sommer and Dan Zhu found facial wrinkles were reduced when skin was exposed to high-intensity light-emitting diodes (LEDs), like those used in computers and automotive taillights, on a daily basis for several months.

But because intense LED light can trigger production of high levels of reactive oxygen species known to damage cells, the scientists coupled the light treatment with a potent antioxidant found in green tea extract, called epigallocatechin gallate.

A volunteer sat under a LED light every day for a month. Before exposure, a lotion made of green tea extract was applied for 20 minutes to the volunteer’s face.

The researchers said the treatment worked 10 times faster than the application of LED light alone. According to their work, the volunteer’s skin showed “less pronounced wrinkle levels, shorter wrinkle valleys, and a juvenile complexion.”

“There is a flood of LED devices in the market. A few operate in the range found by us to be effective,” Sommer said by email. He said the device they used for their study was professionally designed for wound healing and pain alleviation in military personnel.

Dr. Anne Curtis, director of the Dermatology Laser Centre at Women’s College Hospital in Toronto, said both components are already fairly well established in the fight against the effects of aging.

She said one of the challenges with LED treatment is the inconvenience of having to come in to a clinic or doctor’s office every day.

“To make it practical to do something on a daily basis the patients are going to have to buy home-use LED devices,” Curtis said.

 
 
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