Red LED Light & Green Tea is a Sticky Business
Scientific studies show that antioxidants can help accelerate the results from red led light therapy treatments for skin rejuvenation. Whilst many antioxidants will bring you some benefit, green teas, in particular, have the ability to act at source to target free radicals in the mitochondrial membrane, where they are produced by the action of your red led light treatment device.
UK Skincare brand, Maysama, are renowned for their hero ingredient, Green Rooibos Extract, which is a special form of ‘green’ tea from the plant Aspalathus linearis, native to South Africa, rather than the more popular green tea, Camelia sinensis, native to China. Maysama’s Green Rooibos Pressed Serum is popular for use with Red Light Therapy and is the purest form of ‘green’ tea available on the market for cosmetic application. Tea’s can be black, white, or green, and ‘green’ simply refers to tea prepared from fresh leaves, which have not been oxidised, resulting in a high polyphenolic content and correspondingly high antioxidant potential. Maysama’s Green Rooibos Extract comes from sustainable farming and undergoes patented extraction, which increases its antioxidant potential 70-fold.
If you have followed my earlier blog ‘Combining Green Tea and LED Light Therapy’ you will already know that wavelengths of red LED light and near infrared act as a biostimulator to activate mitochondria, helping to produce more cellular energy in the form of Adenosine triphosphate [ATP]. This increased cellular energy drives cellular processes, including collagen production, which is why Red LED Light Therapy is popular for skin rejuvenation.
The effect of green tea antioxidants with red light therapy was first talked about by the renowned scientist and lead researcher in the field of photobiomodulation, Andrei Sommer, in his 2009 published paper ‘Green tea and red light – a powerful duo in skin rejuvenation’ , which demonstrated that pretreatment of the skin with green tea significantly improved outcomes of phototherapy for skin rejuvenation. In 2022 Maysama are excited to be working with Professor Andrei Sommer in their next line of research, to optimise protocols for the use of ‘green’ tea antioxidants with Red Light Therapy treatments.
In dialogue with the scientist, Sommer revealed to Maysama that he has ‘struggled to source green tea extracts which are not contaminated with heavy metals.’ Environmental pollution control in China and India is not as effective as that in South Africa, resulting in many green tea extracts, even organic green tea extracts, being contaminated with heavy metals. The issue is the lead in the soil from the overuse of fertilizers. South African farming methods use less fertilizers, so heavy metal contaminants in South African teas, like rooibos, are inherently less of a risk. Maysama’s Green Rooibos Extract is classified as a phytopharmaceutical ingredient [API].
For Sommer’s research team, Maysama’s high-performance extract will help reduce variability, offering better repeatability for research studies. For Maysama’s customers, our API ingredient ensures a highly pure and potent active for cosmetic application. Maysama Green Rooibos Pressed Serum is formulated for use with Red LED Light Therapy and is popular globally with estheticians and home users in combination with phototherapy treatments.
Working with Sommer, Maysama are delighted to be expanding their insight into how Red LED Light Therapy works at a cellular level. Andrei Sommer’s team at the University of Ulm in Germany have more recently been studying the effect of red LED light therapy for the uptake of cancer drugs, including Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) from green tea. Sommer tells Maysama that Red Light has an impact on interfacial water layers by reducing the viscosity of ‘sticky’ water.
‘The viscosity of ‘sticky’ water is 1 million times that of normal water’
We know water in three forms; water, ice, and steam, but there is a fourth phase of water, referred to in science circles as structured water, or ‘sticky’ water. The viscosity of this ‘sticky water’ is 1 million times that of normal water. This glue-like water only exists in the body, in cell membranes and in the extra cellular matrix. Sticky water is a result of free radical build up; the more free radicals there are, the more viscous the water becomes.
Why does this matter? Well, if we look at how cellular energy is produced, the last enzyme in the mitochondrial respiratory chain is ATP synthase. This enzyme is like a little nano-motor that produces ATP. If you imagine a motorboat in water, then it speeds through the water with little resistance. But if you imagine the same motorboat in molasses, or treacle, there is a lot of resistance, and it wouldn’t move very fast. It’s the same with our little nano-motor that produces ATP. If the water is like molasses, because of a build up of free radicals, then it can’t produce ATP very efficiently.
Enter our red LED light hero, and its biostimulatory effect expands the water layers, reducing the viscosity of the water. This restores the normal function of mitochondria, including the synthesis of ATP by the rotary motor, ATP synthase, allowing the nano-motor to speed up again and produce more ATP.
‘Exposure to red led light expands interfacial water layers, reducing the viscosity of the water and allowing the ATP nanomotor to speed up.’
For best results from red LED light therapy for skin rejuvenation, Sommer recommends the pretreatment of the area with green tea, a powerful free radical scavenger. In his 2017 paper, Aging is a Sticky Business, Sommer’s explains that the most likely explanation for the biostimulatory effect of red led light is its impact on nanoscopic interfacial water layers in the mitochondrial membrane and the extra cellular matrix, where mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (free radicals) increase the viscosity of the water. Exposure to red led light immediately counteracts the increased water viscosity, and increases ATP output.
”Green’ tea antioxidants are the Batman to your red-light Robin, helping to buffer the amount of free radicals and keep our red led light working efficiently. ‘
But there is a hitch! Sommer explains that continued exposure to moderate intense near infrared and red LED light can lead to the production of excess free radicals in mitochondria as our body’s natural antioxidant defences become overwhelmed. And we now know that free radical build-up leads to ‘sticky’ water and less ATP output. That’s where ‘green’ tea antioxidants act as the Batman to your red-light Robin. Green tea, green rooibos tea, and similar high polyphenolic compounds, act as powerful antioxidants and free radical scavengers. ‘Green’ tea antioxidants mop up the excess free radicals produced by the continued action of your red LED light, allowing your LED light to drive the production of more ATP and work efficiently. It’s the equivalent of washing out the filter on you Dyson!!
Sommer’s studies also show that free radical bombardment has an adverse effect on elastin fibres in the skin by making the interfacial water layers surrounding the elastin fibres more hydrophilic and glue-like. This makes the fibres become stiff, which can induce permanent changes over time, leading to the loss of elastic fibre and the generation of more fibrous tissue. Hence the build-up of free radicals ultimately contributes to aging. Sommer advises that the application of ‘green’ tea polyphenols prior to red led light treatment will help protect against the free radical bombardment from your red led light device.
What makes ‘green’ tea antioxidants so special is that the target for green tea and green rooibos tea is the free radicals within the mitochondrial membrane. Mitochondrial respiration generates cellular energy in the form of ATP, but also generates the superoxide radical, which is a highly reactive and pernicious Reactive Oxygen Species [ROS]. Under normal conditions in healthy cells, any free radicals produced from mitochondrial respiration are mopped up by the enzyme superoxide dismutase. If the enzyme becomes overwhelmed by the production of free radicals, this can lead to a condition of oxidative stress, leading to damage to cellular components, such as lipids, proteins and DNA.
Green tea and green rooibos tea act as superoxide dismutase mimetics, essentially mimicking the action of superoxide dismutase to fight free radicals at the source, where they are produced in the mitochondrial membrane. In fact, chemical analysis shows that rooibos even contains a high level of the superoxide dismutase enzyme.
MAYSAMA Green Rooibos Pressed Serum
Formulated with 1.3% Green Rooibos Extract as an API ingredient, 3% niacinamide and loaded with humectants, including pure aloe vera gel, glycerine and sodium hyaluronate, Maysama Green Rooibos Extract is formulated for use with Red LED Light Therapy (or as a stand alone antioxidant serum). ‘Green’ tea extracts act as an accelerator for the effects of your red LED light device and humectants aid light penetration.
The recommended protocol is to apply the serum 20 minutes before your red led light session and then carry out your treatment for the recommended treatment time according to the manufacture of your device. After your treatment, there is no need to wash off the serum. The antioxidants will serve you well for the rest of the day or evening.
SHOP Maysama Green Rooibos Pressed Serum now for better outcomes from your Red Light Therapy treatment.
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Stay posted for further updates on Maysama’s insights into this field of research. Please share on social media to spread the word!
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