Trending Skincare Ingredient: Matcha Green Tea Extract

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Matcha is considered to be quite the superfood, with just one serving of matcha tea boasting the nutritional equivalent of ten cups of regular green tea.

As the incredible properties of matcha have become more widely known, matcha extract has been making its way into more and more skin care products, promising a wide array of skin-boosting benefits.

What Exactly is Matcha?

Matcha comes from the same plant as green and black tea, but is grown slightly differently.

Unlike with the other tea types, the plants for matcha tea are grown partially in the shade, which stimulates it to produce more caffeine and theanine.

It is also processed in a different way, resulting in a potent powder that is packed with even more benefits than other tea types.

Matcha is often compared to green tea, but, in addition to being much higher in nutrients, it differs from green tea in a few other ways:

  • Texture – matcha powder is a silky, fine powder, almost like talc, whereas green tea is grittier, because it has not been through the same processing methods
  • Tastematcha is extremely palatable, and does not need any sweeteners or dairy products added to it. It also does not have the same slightly bitter taste that green tea does
  • Colormatcha tends to be a much more vibrant shade of green than green tea
  • Preparation – green tea is often boiled, which destroys quite a few of its nutritional benefits, whereas matcha uses hot, but not boiling, water, preserving its powerful properties

Matcha as an Acne Treatment

Matcha is a natural antibiotic, which gives the ingredient such powerful healing properties.

When it comes to acne, matcha contains epigallocatchin-3-gallate, also known as EGCG.

Not sure what this is?

It is an organic compound that has been proven to help treat acne.

How?

In a few different ways, such as:

By targetting everything from sebum production to inflammation to the acne-causing bacteria itself, matcha tackles just about all of the factors that lead to acne, making this a fantastic ingredient when it comes to preventing and reducing breakouts.

Wondering how long it takes for matcha to make a difference to acne?

Clinical trials suggest around eight weeks, and this will give you a significant improvement in your acne.

Matcha Can Protect the Skin from UV Damage

UV damage is serious, and is responsible for up to 90% of facial wrinkles, significantly accelerating premature aging.

It goes without saying that the best way to prevent this from happening is to always wear sunscreen and to stay out of direct sunlight during the hottest hours of the day, but some amount of sun damage is usually still inevitable.

This is why everybody should be incorporating specific ingredients into their skin care routine that will help their skin to deal with all of this damage.

This is where matcha extract comes in…

Have you ever wondered why matcha is such a vivid shade of green?

The answer lies in all of the chlorophyll the powder contains, which are natural compounds that are essential for creating energy within the plant. In the same way that chlorophyll protects the plant, it can also protect the skin, not only shielding it from the harmful effects of UV rays, but also from other chemicals and impurities in the environment.

Matcha Has Powerful Anti-Aging Properties

As mentioned above, up to 90% of facial wrinkles are caused by UV rays.

However, protecting you from these rays is just one of the ways in which matcha extract can help with skin aging…

Matcha is packed with catechins, which stimulate antioxidant activity in the skin.

You have likely heard antioxidants mentioned multiple times when it comes to anti-aging, but do you know why they are so important?

Antioxidants help to minimize free radical damage, which is triggered by so many different factors. Everything from pollution to UV rays to forgetting to remove your makeup before going to bed can lead to the formation of free radicals in your skin.

What are free radicals?

They are atoms that are missing an electron. In order to “heal” themselves, these atoms steal electrons from nearby cells, therefore turning them into free radicals, meaning that they then end up attacking the cells around them. This causes so much damage within your skin, at its deepest DNA level, and this damage is usually irreversible.

Antioxidants stop this vicious cycle from continuing on by providing free radicals with their missing electron, meaning that they no longer need to attack other cells in order to obtain this.

What does this mean for your skin?

Here are just a few of the benefits that the antioxidants in matcha extract can have:

  • Slows down cell degeneration
  • Halts the glycation process, which is when the proteins from sugar break down the collagen and elastin in your skin
  • Smooths and tightens the skin
  • Reduces and prevents fine lines and wrinkles
  • Leads to a fresher and more radiant complexion

Matcha Contains Vitamin K

There are not many foods out there that contain vitamin K, but matcha is one of them.

Wondering what you need vitamin K for?

This is an ingredient that is commonly used in eye creams and serums, because it is extremely effective at reducing puffiness, dark circles and inflammation around the eyes.

Not only that, but matcha also contains caffeine, which is another popular eye cream ingredient. Caffeine also helps to fight puffiness, swelling and dark circles under the eyes, while also perking up the skin in general.

If you have been looking for a new eye cream that is formulated with vitamin K or caffeine, matcha extract is a fantastic alternative.

Matcha Can Help to Reduce Symptoms of Certain Skin Conditions

As mentioned earlier, matcha has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, which not only makes it effective in the fight against acne, but also for treating many other skin conditions.

Two of the most common skin conditions that matcha has been shown to help with are psoriasis and rosacea, both of which are caused by inflammation.

Those with psoriasis or rosacea also tend to have skin that is quite sensitive, making it difficult to use many ingredients. Fortunately, matcha is extremely gentle on the skin, making this an ingredient that even those with the most sensitive of skin should be fine using.

Choosing Skin Care Products with Matcha

Matcha is available in a wide variety of skin care products, with more options available all the time as this ingredient grows in popularity.

Just like with the majority of other skin care ingredients out there, if you want to give matcha the chance to really work its magic, look for products that are designed to remain on the skin for a longer period of time.

For example, a matcha cleanser would still be beneficial, but a cream or a mask would give the matcha more time to properly penetrate into your skin.

As mentioned above, matcha from Japan tends to be the best quality, so try to find out where the matcha in your skin care products has been sourced.

Don’t forget…

When choosing any new skin care products, not only do you need to seek out the key ingredients that you want for your skin, but you also need to make sure that the product has been formulated for your skin type. For example, those with dry skin will want a matcha product that also contains nourishing oils, while those looking for an anti-acne face mask will need a product that contains other anti-acne ingredients, such as clay or lemongrass oil. 

Found an amazing skin care product that contains matcha?

No matter what it may say on its packaging, you still need to do a patch test first. Even though matcha itself is extremely gentle, your product will likely contain quite a few other ingredients too, and you can never be quite sure as to how your skin is going to react to these.

How do you do a patch test?

Simply apply the product to a small area of your skin, and then wait for 24 to 48 hours. If your skin reacts in any way, cleanse it immediately and then apply a moisturizer to protect it. This means that the product is not suitable for your skin, and you should not use it again. 

Drinking Matcha Tea

In addition to applying matcha extract to your skin, you can also drink matcha tea. This will nourish your skin from within, giving you a double dose of this ingredient’s benefits.

Never made matcha tea before?

Begin by finding yourself some quality matcha powder. Keep in mind that matcha does cost more than most other tea types, and this is because of how labor intensive it is to grow. Many tea experts would recommend matcha that has been produced in Japan, as these powders are usually quite superior, not only in terms of quality but also taste.

Once you have the powder, you need to use hot water to dissolve it in. Even if you are making a cold matcha drink for yourself, you still need to begin with hot water, otherwise you will likely end up with lumps in your drink.

Whisk the powder into the water, until it has all been well blended.

Still finding lumps in your cup?

Try sifting the powder before mixing it with water, as this will give you an even smoother finish.

Do you find that matcha tastes bitter, or maybe even lacking in taste?

The ratio of matcha to water that you use is very important. Start by using one teaspoon of powder with six ounces of water, and then adjust this ratio up or down depending on your personal preferences. 

Wondering if drinking matcha tea will bring your skin any additional benefits than using the extract topically?

There is one extra benefit to drinking the tea, and it is quite a big one…

Matcha is great for encouraging a healthy gut, which then gives your immune system a boost. This benefits your skin in a huge way, enabling it to really thrive.

Cooking with Matcha

Don’t like drinking matcha?

That’s ok, because you can still incorporate it into your diet through the food that you eat.

Here are a few ideas of dishes you can cook up with matcha powder:

  • Matcha crepes or pancakes – use wholegrain buckwheat flower for extra fiber
  • Matcha and chia seed puddingall you need for this healthy dessert is matcha, chia seeds and milk, either dairy or non-dairy
  • Matcha granolamaking granola bars from matcha will give your body a huge boost, especially if you add in a wide variety of nuts and fruits too, all of which will tone down the flavor of the matcha
  • Dark chocolate matcha date barsdark chocolate is also extremely beneficial for the skin 

Even if you are cooking instead of drinking matcha, don’t forget that the quality of the powder you choose is still just as important.

Is Matcha Just Another Short-Lived Trend?

When it comes to trending skin care ingredients, many of these do not end up sticking around for very long, as their benefits are often quite hyped up.

Is this the case with matcha?

Definitely not.

Matcha has been used for centuries in Asia, with those in Japan being particularly knowledgeable about its benefits.

While the Western, and skin care, world may have only recently discovered this potent ingredient, there is actually nothing new or trendy about matcha itself.

If you have been looking for new anti-aging, anti-acne, or anti-inflammatory ingredients to add to your skin care routine, then matcha extract is definitely the way to go. This powerhouse ingredient has so many incredible benefits, making it one that just about everybody out there should be using.

Amore Mio G

Amore Mio brings you important news and tips from the skincare industry, with a focus on dealing with problematic skin.

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