Oxidative damage by reactive oxygen species (ROS) plays a major role in skin aging, carcinogenesis and inflammation. Little is known about the protective effects of green tea extract (GTE) on toxic ROS-induced skin death. We use an in vitro model of normal human skin fibroblasts (AG13145) to study the effects of green tea extract (GTE) on hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)) induced necrosis. Cell morphology, numbers, apoptosis, necrosis, and ROS were assessed by epifluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry. This study demonstrates that GTE protected from H(2)O(2)-induced necrosis in a dose-dependent manner, with highest dose GTE (100 ng/mL) resulting in the most protection from necrosis, as assessed by improved cell morphology, increased cell numbers, and decreased necrosis. The protective effects of GTE on H(2)O(2)-induced necrosis appear to be mediated directly by decreasing intracellular ROS. The present study suggests that pretreatment with high doses of GTE could protect from toxic ROS-induced injury of skin in the clinical setting. However, additional studies are necessary to determine the clinical utility of GTE for decreasing skin cell ROS, necrosis and inflammation.