By Kali Pappas, Nutritionist and Blogger at Holistic Chick
Calling all matcha newbies (and lovers)! Matcha is widely recognized by its beautiful vibrant green colour and drool worthy Instagram photos, however, there is so much more to this trendy ingredient than what’s seen on the outside.
In nature, the most remarkably nutrient dense plants are ones that contain bold and rich colours, and matcha ranks high in this category. Known as a “superfood” it is derived naturally from finely ground, shade-grown green tea leaves. The quality and colour of the matcha depends upon which harvest of the season they are picked in. Premium quality matcha is picked in the first harvest of the season and will hold the brightest green colour, meaning it contains significantly more nutrients. It is because of that, premium matcha is more expensive, as it holds greater benefits that can improve your overall well-being and skin health, when used regularly.
The skin is our largest detox organ, it is supplemental to the elimination of toxins in addition to many other important bodily functions. Since our skin is constantly working hard to keep us healthy, it’s equally as crucial we try and keep our skin healthy, which can be done through making the right choices each day, including but not limited to: diet, smoking, alcohol, pollution exposure and skin care products for example. Everything we choose to put in and on our bodies can impact our skin.
Consequently, if you’re dealing with troubled skin, a poor diet or skin care routine may be an indicator as to why. The good news is, matcha is an easy versatile ingredient to add into your diet or skin care regime that is beneficial to the health and appearance of your skin.
What Nutrients Found in Matcha Improve the Skin?
Chlorophyll | This nutrient gives matcha its bright green colour, it also provides antibacterial effects when used topically, resulting in brighter, glowing skin. Chlorophyll repairs damaged cells and promotes red blood cell production, meaning increased oxygen delivery to your tissues, resulting in more nourished, moisturized skin. One study even showed a reduction in photoaging (premature skin-aging due to the sun) when used in a topical gel.
L-theanine | Matcha contains an abundance of the rare amino acid L-theanine, this nutrient elevates neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, which help promote relaxation, calmness and regulate mood. Lowering stress is equally as important for our mental well-being as it is our skin, that’s because stress increases cortisol levels, which deprives the skin of precious oxygen, resulting in dry, dull, acne prone skin and can potentially trigger pre-existing conditions like eczema and acne. Dealing with stress is an important factor for your overall health and well-being, and supplementing with matcha is a great way to help lower stress and bring your body back into balance.
EGCG | A powerful antioxidant found in green tea which can help calm skin inflammation resulting in smoother skin. When applied topically, matcha can improve skin’s moisture, even out skin tone and reduce signs of aging. Additionally, those with oily skin may benefit from using this because of its anti-androgenic properties which lower lipid levels, reducing the excretion of oil through the skin, slowing and in some cases inhibiting the development of acne.
Zinc | An essential mineral to the body’s largest detox organ: the skin, due to its ability to push out toxins from deep within the cells. Zinc is a vital nutrient for the process of wound healing because of it’s anti-inflammatory properties which help to soothe and calm the skin. This nutrient is also commonly used as a primary ingredient in over the counter creams, to help with the management of inflammatory dermatoses like acne, eczema, rosacea and the like. Therefore, it may be especially helpful for those who suffer from acne scarring.
Matcha’s versatility can make improving your skin fun and tasty. Apply it to the skin, or drink it daily in your morning latte. Even dermatologists are known to prescribe this super ingredient for improved skin! To get the most out of your matcha look for quality over quantity and remember a little goes a long way.
Learn how to create the perfect matcha latte, or try out some of these trending products below to get your fix!
The Perfect Matcha Latte
- 1 tsp premium matcha powder
- Matcha whisk or electric frother/mixer
- Boiling water
- 1 cup cold or steamed milk of choice
- Optional natural sweetener: raw honey, maple syrup, stevia, etc.
- Boil water
- Add 1 tsp of matcha and sweetner (if desired) to a bowl
- Pour 2 oz of boiling water over matcha and whisk until frothy and combined
- For a hot latte: steam milk add to a cup and pour matcha over top
- For an iced latte: add a handful of ice cubes to a cup, pour milk over and top with matcha
The Latest and Greatest Matcha Products
100% Pure: Tea Treatment Trio — Matcha Oat Facemask, EGCG Cream, Bright Eyes Mask $58
PIQUE Tea Crystals: Pure Matcha Powder $58
Cocokind: Mymatcha All Over Moisture Stick $8.99
TRULY: Matcha Scrub $20
Vital Proteins: Matcha Collagen Latte $29
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