Green tea face mask: image from octoviana.com

Have healthier, younger looking skin and a clear complexion using green tea.

Matcha (powdered green tea) can be used to rejuvinate the skin, reduce inflammation, treat acne, as well as neutralize free radicals and UV damage. Matcha is rich in antioxidants and will mop up any free radicals on the skin. The most common cause of free radicals in skin cells is UV radiation from sunlight, which causes up to 90% of all signs of premature aging.

The Science Behind Green Tea and Skin

In several scientific studies, green tea extract was found neutralize the damage done by exposure to UV rays. A 2000 study by Case Western Reserve University showed that green tea protects against sunburn at concentrations as low as 1 milligram per cm square.

A 2003 study at the Medical College of Georgia Department of Oral Biology found that green tea was able to rejuvenate old skin cells that were at the end of their life cycle. The same antioxidants that rejuvenated old cells were found in other studies to reduce inflammation by interfering with the mechanisms that cause inflammation. This is particularly good news for people red and sensitive skin.

In addition to mopping up free radicals and reducing inflammation, green tea antioxidants have anti-microbial properties. A 2003 study carried out by Dr. Jennifer Gan-Wong of Memorial Medical Center in the Philippines showed that green tea cream was as good as benzoyl peroxide cream in treating acne conditions with fewer side effects.

The researchers noted the green tea cream seemed to lighten patients' skin color and improved the overall appearance of their complexion.

Matcha Face Mask Recipe:

Because our Izu matcha is made from powdered gyokuru leaves, it has a particularly high concentration of antioxidants. This high concentration of antioxidants insures the most health benefits. Also, the powdered tea is an ideal consistency for a face mask.

Matcha may be applied as a paste with equal parts water directly on the skin, however, it tends to have a drying effect. In order to moisturize the skin, honey is added to this recipe. Honey posesses antibacterial and antioxidant properties, and has been used as a topical treatment since antiquity.

The recipe is as follows:

-1/2 teaspoon powdered Izu matcha

-1/2 teaspoon honey

-1/2 teaspoon spring water or mineral water

Instructions:

we recommend testing a patch of skin for your first treatment to determine any potential reactions to honey or tea.

1. Mix ingredients in a shallow dish. Make sure the mixture is free of clumps.

2. Apply the mixture to the face using a cotton swap or fingertips. Let sit for 10-30 minutes. This allows the antioxidants to mop up any free radicals and to stimulate skin cell growth.

3. Rinse face thoroughly. Towel dry. Follow up with a cotton ball dipped in spring water. Swab face until any lingering matcha is removed.

4. Apply a facial moisturizer

Maintain this face mask as a daily regiment for optimum results. If your face is slightly dry after a treatment, try adding water and honey in equal parts to your recipe, or remove matcha powder.

You may experience noticable differences in your skin right after your first treatment. However, results will improve over time, so keep at it.