Journal of veterinary science

Anti-melanogenic effects of black, green, and white tea extracts on immortalized melanocytes.

PMID 25643794


Tea contains polyphenols and is one of the most popular beverages consumed worldwide. Because most tyrosinase inhibitors that regulate melanogenesis are phenol/catechol derivatives, this study investigated the inhibitory effects of Camellia sinensis water extracts (CSWEs), including black tea, green tea, and white tea extracts, on melanogenesis using immortalized melanocytes. CSWEs inhibited melanin accumulation and melanin synthesis along with tyrosinase activity in a concentration-dependent manner. These inhibitory effects were superior to those of arbutin, a well-known depigmenting agent. The anti-melanogenic activity of black (fermented) tea was higher than that of a predominant tea catecholamine, epigallocatechin gallate. CSWEs, especially black tea extract, decreased tyrosinase protein levels in a concentration-dependent manner. These results suggest that the anti-melanogenic effect of CSWEs is mediated by a decrease in both tyrosinase activity and protein expression, and may be augmented by fermentation. Thus, CSWEs could be useful skin-whitening agents in the cosmetic industry.