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Green tea has been making headlines for several years due to its beneficial antioxidant effects. What’s important to know is that these antioxidant effects are not only beneficial internally, but externally, when applied to skin as well. Studies have shown that consuming at least two cups of green tea each day can protect you from developing skin cancer.  

In a study carried out last year, green tea’s disease fighting properties were shown to protect individuals from both Squamous cell carcinomas and Basal cell carcinomas, forms of skin cancer related to excessive sun exposure. Though they grow slowly over a period of months or years, Squamous cell carcinomas are generally found on the face and turn into ulcer like growths that don’t heal. Basal cell carcinomas appear as painless lumps that gradually expand in size. While they tend not to spread, they do require surgical removal.  

In the study, regular tea drinkers were found to be 65 percent less likely to have Squamous cell carcinoma and almost 80 percent less at risk of a Basal cell carcinoma. The biggest benefits were seen among long-term drinkers, especially those who downed several cups a day for more than 40 years.

Green tea’s beneficial effects were attributed to polyphenols, antioxidants that block the damaging effects of free radicals. Researchers concluded that despite the positive impact of green tea that that more research was needed to confirm if it was the tea and not some other lifestyle factor which offered protection against skin cancer.  

I've always enjoyed drinking tea and these days, you’ll find my cupboards stocked not only with Earl Grey tea (my personal favorite), but  Green and White teas. Apart from the sense of relaxation I get from a ‘cuppa‘, I’m also doing something good for my health. Now if that’s not multi-tasking, I don’t know what is!

Sharmani Pillay is a Registered Pharmacist who specializes in anti aging skin care. She owns and operates an online skin care store at [Link Removed] 

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