The price of Matcha green tea always made me reach for a cheaper alternative, promising to myself that I'd drink Matcha when I won the lottery. Even though I had already seen firsthand the positive effects of matcha green tea on my skin, it took a year for me to incorporate it into my daily repertoire of natural goodies. It only took snagging a box from my parent's house for me to become insanely addicted to the benefits of Matcha green tea for my skin, hair, and brain. Suddenly, I had become consumed with infusing face masks with Matcha green tea like it was my job, nay, my duty. And karmically speaking, I feel I now have an obligation to share my top five favorite Matcha tea face masks with the world.
Matcha, like many plants that make our skin and minds feel top-notch, is comprised of a similar chemistry as the human body. Not only did my skin look and feel better within a week of swapping out coffee for Matcha green tea, but my memory and mood began to improve dramatically. In my personal experience, the withdrawals from my daily 20 year coffee habit felt non-existent. Interestingly enough, Matcha green tea contains theanine, an amino acid that is found in green tea that our brain naturally produces. Guess what depletes our brains of this precious amino? Drinking too much booze. Not only had I found a hangover cure for my mind, but that hangover cure could be directly applied to dehydrated skin.
Before I get too nerdy about Matcha green tea, let me get you "addicted" to these super effective face masks. If you're feeling a little wary at the price, don't forget this ingredient doubles as an excellent morning beverage too!
1. Matcha Tea Clay Mask
This Matcha-infused French clay mask transformed my home into a day spa in 60 seconds. The antioxidants in the green tea and the cleansing activity of the clay work together to unclog pores and relieve inflammation from pimples. For this recipe, I used one teaspoon of Matcha green tea powder (not the leaves) and about one and a half ounces of French white clay powder. I diluted with filtered water to my desired consistency: the less water you use, the thicker the mask. I then mixed vigorously and applied on makeup free, damp skin. If you're giving this recipe a shot, keep your mask on until it dries completely and rinse with lukewarm water. Store your clay mask in a sealable jar in the fridge for future use; applying once a week is just the right amount!
2. Matcha Green & Jasmine Tea Facial Steam
Speaking of turning your home into a spa, a facial steam is the right way to pamper yourself without leaving your house or spending spa-money. This steam is incredibly easy to make: Just infuse boiling water with one or two teabags of Matcha green tea and add a leaves of sage for the astringent properties. Your pores will be sipping on delicious antioxidants while producing sweat with purge your skin of impurities and unclog pores. Make sure the water isn't too hot for your facial steam and keep your face a safe distance away — if you can lick the water, you're too close.
3. Matcha, Turmeric, & Honey Face Mask
Normally, I don't like to fix things that aren't broken, much like my former favorite mask for cystic acne. However, adding matcha green tea powder only improved my go-to recipe! The natural caffeine in the matcha relieved my under-eye baggage and balanced the cleansing properties of the mask. I used half a teaspoon of both turmeric and Matcha green tea powder, one tablespoon of raw honey, four tablespoons of baking soda, and a combined teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and lemon. I mixed it all vigorously in a bowl and transferred to a sealable, two ounce container. I like to apply the mask all over my face on damp, makeup free skin. A note that adding more baking soda will give you a thicker paste, but be careful of the alkaline properties of this cleaning agent. Use once a week first and then try nightly for three days during severe cystic outbreaks.
Wondering why these ingredients can help your cystic acne? Baking soda helps cleanse and dry out cysts, adding the turmeric helps with bacteria and relieves painful inflammation of cysts. The lemon is a lightening agent with astringent properties that I've found helps speed up the healing time of the scars cysts leave behind. The apple cider vinegar balances the alkalinity of the baking soda while providing its own cleansing properties. The Matcha green tea gently cleanses skin and can help improve complexion while providing helpful antioxidants.
4. Exfoliating Tea Mask with Matcha, Chamomile, & Lavender
Raw honey with dried flowers is becoming one of my new favorite ways to exfoliate, especially when my skin is feeling too dry for sharper exfoliates like baking soda or nutmeg. I used two ounces of raw honey, one teaspoon of lavender buds and chamomile powder, and a half teaspoon of Matcha green tea powder. I mixed it all together in the sealable container I'd be using for later use and applied on makeup free skin. This mask can be used a few times a week, depending on how big the flower buds you use are.
5. Milky Matcha Banana Tea Mask
Lately, my skin has been suffering from the mistakes my taste buds have been making: Sugar is my cystic enemy, and I crave it like crazy right before my period. Since my skin is so sensitive, I like to have a mask that is simple, effective, and gentle on my skin. For this one, I used half a banana, half a tablespoon of Matcha green tea leaves, and a teaspoon of hormone-free, organic, goats milk (though any lactic acid of your choice will do). Blending your mask in a blender will make your mask even, but if you are only making for one use — which I recommend, as this is a highly perishable mask — you may want to take a muddle and mash things up the old-fashioned way. Apply on makeup free, damp skin, and leave on for 10 minutes before rinsing off.
Now that you have some recipes to start playing in Matcha green tea, it's time to invest in your skincare and while you're at it? Try making it your afternoon beverage of choice for more brain power!
Image: Kristin Collins Jackson (7)