If you’ve been looking for your new favourite natural skincare go-to – look no further. While you may associate matcha with the unmistakable bright green tea that has skyrocketed in popularity due to its many health benefits, it also makes for a powerful skincare ingredient.
Used for centuries in traditional Japanese tea ceremonies, this super ingredient is full of potent antioxidants and packed with vitamins, including A, C, E, K and B-complex vitamins.
What is matcha?
Before we get into the benefits, it’s worth knowing a little more about this tea-time favourite. Like green tea, matcha comes from the Camellia sinensis plant. However, it’s prepared a little differently. Unlike traditional teas, matcha is grown in shade during the last few weeks of harvest. This protects the leaves from the sunlight, slowing down growth to give the leaves distinct characteristics. After harvested, this tea is ground down into a fine, bright green powder.
Matcha has evolved out of the teacup, being used in cooking, baking and now skincare.
Matcha for your skin
While you can certainly reap the benefits of matcha in its tea form, applying it directly to your skin can help harness all its skincare advantages. Studies have found that matcha can be a powerful tool in treating acne and fungal infections, as well as protecting skin from sun damage and pollution. Plus, matcha does wonders for the appearance of your skin, evening out tone for a youthful and glowing effect. There’s so much to love about matcha, so let’s dive in and discover all the reasons why your skin won’t be able to get enough of it.
Benefits of matcha for skincare
Whether it’s the food we eat, exposure to the sun or pollution in the air, our skin is constantly subject to stress, which in turn produces free radicals. Free radicals are balanced out by antioxidants; however, when there is an imbalance, too many free radicals can damage our cells, leading to a lack of oxygen and collagen (the protein that keeps our skin looking young and healthy).
The big reason why matcha is so damn good for our skin is that it is so high in antioxidants. Unlike other teas, which are made from only parts of a leaf, matcha uses the entire leaf. The result is a highly-refined powder packed with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Here are some of the main ways that matcha can help your skin:
- Protects the skin from damage: Matcha has a high chlorophyll content, which helps absorb damaging UV rays (in the same way plants use chlorophyll to absorb energy from the sun). All in all, the protective properties of matcha can help prevent premature ageing and maintain healthy skin.
- Can help reduce acne: Matcha has a great ability to help reduce sebum, making it ideal for those who suffer from an oily complexion or acne.
- Helps soothe irritation: It’s easy for our skin to become inflamed – not to mention conditions like eczema and dandruff. Packed full of plant-based goodness, matcha is great for helping reduce irritation and soothing the skin.
- Leaves your skin looking healthy and glowing: The antioxidant properties combined with the vitamins B2 and E of matcha can have a noticeable effect on the appearance of your skin, increasing hydration and levels of collagen of your skin.
How to make your own DIY matcha face mask
There are so many incredible matcha skincare products on the market, but the best part about matcha is it’s so easy to create your own DIY remedies. In fact, you can make a matcha face mask with nothing more than some matcha powder and water. Simply mix one teaspoon of powder with a small amount of warm water to form a 1:1 ratio. This will create a spreadable texture that you can apply to your face using a brush or even your fingers in circular movements. Leave on for 15 minutes, then remove using a warm facecloth. It’s as simple as that!
You can also add some extra ingredients to your face mask, like oats or honey, to benefit fromextra exfoliation properties.
One of the best things about matcha is that it can offer something for everyone, no matter your skin type. With so much to discover about the wonderful world of matcha, if you’re anything like me, this may very well be the start of a new skincare obsession.