Does supplementation with green tea extract improve acne in post-adolescent women? A randomized, double-blind, and placebo-controlled clinical trial

Complement Ther Med. 2016 Apr;25:159-63. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2016.03.004. Epub 2016 Mar 7.


Background: Green tea is believed to have beneficial effects in the prevention and treatment of acne.

Objective: To examine the effects of a decaffeinated green tea extract (GTE), providing a daily dose of 856 mg of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) upon women with post-adolescent acne.

Methods: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial was conducted from May 2012 through October 2013. A final group of 80 subjects were randomly assigned to receive either 1500 mg of decaffeinated GTE or placebo (cellulose) daily for 4 weeks. Inflammatory lesion counts were used as the major outcome measurement. At baseline and after 4 weeks of treatment, anthropometric measurements, fasting glucose levels and a lipid profile were measured from both groups.

Results: Sixty-four of 80 women, from 25 to 45 years of age with moderate-to-severe acne completed the study. Statistically significant differences were noted in inflammatory lesion counts distributed on the nose, periorally and on the chin between the two groups. However, there were no significant differences between groups for total lesion counts. Within-group comparison revealed that the GTE group had significant reductions in inflammatory lesions distributed on the forehead and cheek, and significant reductions in total lesion counts. GTE resulted in significant reductions in total cholesterol levels within the GTE group.

Conclusions: GTE resulted in significant reductions in lesions located on the nose, perioral area and chin. More research is required to determine whether a decaffeinated GTE standardized for EGCG content will provide clinical benefits in women with post-adolescent acne.

Keywords: Acne vulgaris; Epigallocatechin-3-gallate; Green tea extract; Post-adolescent.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / drug therapy*
  • Adult
  • Catechin / analogs & derivatives
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Placebos
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Tea / chemistry*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Placebos
  • Plant Extracts
  • Tea
  • Catechin
  • epigallocatechin gallate