Has anyone made a Green Tea/caffiene lotion?
June 13, 2005 12:45 PM   Subscribe

I am trying to make a topical lotion using epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), an antioxidant extracted from Green Tea. Does anyone have advice or experience doing this? I am especially interested sources for the EGCG and recommended potency. The intention is to make a treatment to help reduce to effects of sun exposure, while there are lotions available with EGCG as an ingredient, I would like to make one using it as the primary ingredient.
posted by worstkidever to Health & Fitness (1 answer total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Sigma-Aldrich is usually the gold-standard supplier for this kind of thing. They list two 50mg products guaranteed to various levels of purity, but both are pretty expensive for home projects ($33 for the 80% pure version). There seem to be some dietary supplements available that are far more affordable, but they contain more impurities (eg caffeine) and other catechins which may be less biologically effective. If this is a problem you'll need to be very good friends with a biochemist to purify it; basically everyone extracts it using HPLC, which requires a fancy apparatus. Once you've selected your product, you'll probably have to select a topical base to dissolve it in; talk to your pharmacist and see what he has in stock. Also take note that EGCG seems to degrade rapidly in water to other catechin isomers; again, if this is a problem you will have to experiment with a chromatograph to find which bases have the best/worst protective effect on the isomer.
Pubmed sez that maximum effectiveness on mouse epithelial cells in vitro was at about 1 micromolar (.458 milligrams/liter), but in those experiments the stuff didn't have to penetrate through the skin and could sit around for a while and stew- the effective lotion dose could be tens to thousands of times higher.

Short recommendation: buy some of the nutritional supplements, and ask your pharmacist for a topical base to suspend 'em in.
Also ask her/him if there is a pharmacopeia entry for EGCG- it might be helpful. Break open/crush the tablets, and make a couple of 10 mL or so batches- the first with none, the second with one, the third with two, the fourth with 4, 8, 16, etc. until you're out of tablets. Then test-apply the batches to a small area on your skin, lowest concentrations first. Give it like an hour to do something before moving upwards in concentration. Any redness, heat, swelling, or pain should lead you to back way off on the concentration. If inflammation persists or gets worse, go to a doctor immediately. Also, I should probably say that I am not a doctor, do not give this advice as a professional, and am not responsible if you keel over dead from anaphlactic shock. Good luck!
posted by monocyte at 6:29 PM on June 13, 2005

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