Photo: Jeffrey Westbrook

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Green Tea
“This ingredient has some of the best science behind it,” Alexiades says. Experts have identified what’s likely responsible for it all—EGCG, the tea’s most abundant antioxidant. Studies have shown that when applied topically, green tea may prevent nonmelanoma skin cancers, possibly by neutralizing the free radicals generated by UVB radiation and absorbing the sun’s harmful rays. “There’s also some evidence that the ingredient can repair the DNA damage that may ultimately lead to skin cancer,” she adds. The green stuff can help you look younger, too. One study found that when used on skin, tea extracts could increase hydration and make skin feel smoother in just 30 days. One more for the list: Recent research suggests that green tea’s anti-inflammatory properties may calm pimples and reduce oil production, keeping pores clearer.

Find it in: St. Ives Matcha Green Tea & Ginger Cleansing Stick ($8; drugstores)