Skin Benefits Of Matcha & One Caution
I am a huge fan of matcha.
I'm betting on the fact that you heard of this superfood drink? It's definitely trendy nowadays.
But unlike like some other trendy skincare ingredients or products, this one actually packs TONS of benefits for your health and your skin.
What is Matcha
Matcha comes from Japan and it has been around for centuries. It is composed of the plant called Camellia sinensis (which are green tea leaves) and it is naturally dried and crushed. Unlike green tea though, it uses the whole leaf and it is never heated and minimally processed. It is super green in color because the leaves are kept in the shade for about 3 weeks before harvest so it packs tons of chlorophyll. This makes matcha more potent and therefore wayyyyy more powerful for your health compared to its other superstar...green tea.
I'm all for this cup of green goodness!
Just so you realize how much punch it packs: Just one serving of matcha tea is the nutritional equivalent of 10 cups of regularly brewed green tea and it contains 125x the antioxidants compared to spinach!
Whoa! Packs a punch, huh??
Benefits of Matcha
As you've probably guessed, it's a superhero in the health department! It contains potent disease fighting ingredients, boosts your metabolism, lowers cholesterol and blood sugar, and overall contains many vitamins and minerals that benefit your health.
Plus, it puts you in a better mood and helps your concentration. It's the perfect way to start your day...with a bowl of matcha! When I made the switch from starting my day with a cup of coffee to matcha, I definitely noticed a difference in my focus and energy level and there is none of that crappy jittery feeling or crash that follows.
I can go on forever here... but let's fast forward to the real reason why you are probably reading this....
Just like matcha has many benefits for your health it packs TONS of benefits for your skin! A study has shown that topical and oral EGCG (antioxidant found in matcha) application can improve skin structure after 8 weeks! Not to mention, it is a great all natural ingredient with no side effects.
I'm alllll for that! In fact I'm writing this with a matcha mask on my face right now. Yea, you can probably imagine me behind my Mac looking like a mean, green monster right about now....
Anyway, let's move on from the image!
How Matcha Benefits Your Skin:
Detoxes Body And Skin: Matcha is super green in color because it contains a high amount of chlorophyll inside. Chlorophyll acts as a detoxifying agent for our bodies and blood and gets rid of all the nasty chemicals, toxins, heavy metals and impurities. Love that! Riding your body of these toxins means your skin will be detoxed as well, leaving it clear and glowing!
Protects Against Sun Damage, Photo-Aging And Free Radicals: The high antioxidant value in matcha means it will do a great job combating and controling the effects of the sun and free radicals attacking your skin and body, from the inside out. The EGCG antioxidant in matcha can actually reduce the amount of sunburn cells and DNA damage you have from the sun! Ah, can my tanning days be reversed?! Praying here...LOL!
Fights Inflammation: The antioxidants are know to fight off inflammation in the body, which as you may or may not know, shows up on your skin through acne and rosacea, just to name a couple.
Fights Against Wrinkles And Aging: Since matcha is very high in the antioxidant EGCG, it does an amazing job in supporting your skin structure and even rejuvenating your skin cells! Damaged skin cells lead to signs of aging such as wrinkles, sagginess, dryness, etc. By fighting off the process of your cells being destroyed by free radicals, you will delay the process of aging and you can see smoother, healthier, wrinkle free skin.
Improves Skin Structure And Elasticity: The polyphenols in matcha help increase blood flow and oxygen delivery to your skin. This in turns helps the structure of your skin by positively effecting the elasticity and hydration levels as well as eliminating roughness. We all know plump, hydrated skin with no dry spots equals youthful skin and we all strive for that!
Helps With Oily And Acne Prone Skin: Matcha has been proven to promote healing of your skin by fighting off certain types of bacteria and reducing inflammation. Matcha also reduces sebum production, after 8 weeks it has been shown to be reduced by 70% in one study! Since the antioxidant EGCG has antimicrobial activity it is great at surpressing the growth of the P.acnes bacteria which leads to acne.
Fights Puffiness And Dark Under Eye Circles: Matcha is such an amazing energy booster and it has lots of caffeine, when placed under the eye area it can reduce puffiness and dark circles by promoting better blood circulation.
So many benefits! What's not to love about it?
Word Of Caution:
So now that you know all the skin benefits of matcha I'm sure your either dying to try it or eager to drink more of it!
Am I right?
Matcha lattes are everywhere now! Every coffee shop I visit...every corner I turn... there seems to be someone selling you ready made matcha!
It's important for you to know that matcha QUALITY MATTERS! One word of caution...AVOID the matcha lattes at Starbucks! Yup, you're beloved Starbucks is serving you up crap when it comes to this what should be super healthy superfood drink!
Ugh! That just makes me so freakin' mad!!
Starbucks uses Tazo matcha and when you look at the ingredients, first thing listed is SUGAR (you may know that ingredients are always listed from the most amount to the least). So yes, more sugar is loaded into Starbucks matcha then matcha itself!!
WHAAAAT??? Way to destroy the nutroinal value of matcha itself, which by the way, is super low in calories and has ZERO sugar.
So you may be going to Starbucks thinking you're all healthy and what not... because you traded in your coffee addiction for a cup of matcha instead.
Nope... you're not!
You're actually flooding your body with tons of unnecessary sugar and not to mention, the sugar that is already in that matcha latte, because of whatever milk substitute you added.
Which by the way guys, Starbucks is probably not the only one serving up fake matcha so please read the labels and be informed. If the barista does not know nutritional value ask to see the package!
Drink it the way nature intended it to be and make it at home so you know exactly what you're getting...
The way the Japanese have been drinking matcha is simple: matcha powder and water. Nothing more, nothing less. So simple and pure right?
I know those matcha lattes are so delicious! One thing I learned is that adding milk to matcha can kill or reduce the antioxidant power. After dong some research on this I found some sources saying this to not be proven and some saying this is what the studies have shown.
It can reduce the antioxidants because the proteins found in milk can can bind to the tea polyphenols reducing the capacity of the antioxidants. But the study that was done on this also showed that both groups, weather they drank it with milk or without, received some antioxidant power.
So if you want the full antioxidant powerhouse that match provides, get rid of the milk and drink it with water. But if you hate the taste, add some milk girl! Because drinking it with milk is better than not drinking it at all!
Make Your Own Matcha Tea Steps:
You will need:
- 1 teaspoon organic matcha powder
- I cup boiled water and cooled down a bit
- Mesh sifter
- Bamboo wisk
- Matcha bowl
By the way, look below to shop my picks for these items! I also linked some of my favorite skincare products that contain green tea or match in them.
Sift the powder into your matcha bowl and slowly add hot (but not boiling) water. Start whisking away with your matcha bamboo wisk in M and W motions until you see cute little bubbles appear... meaning it's time to drink up!
Enjoy that good ole' cup of Japanese goodness!
p.s. I like to add some pure maple syrup or honey into mine to add some sweetness since the taste in very potent! Experiment with it and see what works for you!