This Popular Drink Is Also An Anti-Aging, Dermatologist-Approved Skincare Ingredient
Matcha is more than just a trendy and photogenic latte ingredient. It’s a thousand-year-old super ingredient – and your skin will love it.
People adore matcha for the crisp taste and steady, crash-free energy boost it provides. Most of us associate matcha with food and drinks, thanks to its many nutritional benefits (hi, antioxidants!), but it’s not just for eating. Matcha is also a skincare superpower. Ingredients in matcha can help your skin fight aging, protect against skin cancer (but don’t skip the sunscreen), curb acne, and soothe inflammation.
“I like to think of [matcha] as detox for your skin,” says Maryann Mikhail, MD, board-certified dermatologist at Waverly DermSpa. “Matcha contains supercharged antioxidants called catechin polyphenols. They fight free radical damage caused by UV rays and pollution. Less free radical damage means great things for skin – brighter, smoother, more even, fewer brown spots, less redness, and less breakdown of collagen and elastin.”
The key to matcha’s perks is in how it is created. Matcha comes from the same plant (Camellia sinensis) as regular green tea, but it’s grown in a different way. To grow matcha, farmers raise tea plants in the shade and shield them from direct sunlight. Then, they harvest them earlier than other tea plants. The stems and veins are removed from each tea leaf before processing. Those leaves are ground into matcha powder, which is the bright green form matcha takes before being mixed into your latte, ice cream and other foods. When you drink matcha instead of regular green tea, you’re consuming the entire tea leaf, where all the nutritional good stuff is. This delicate growing process preserves a higher concentration of antioxidants and other benefits that make matcha stand out from other teas – and offers a host of perks for your skin.
Skin and Hair Superhero
Matcha’s superpowers don’t stop at skincare: your hair will love it too. “[Matcha is] rich in antioxidants and EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate), which is proven to halt the negative effects of DHT (Dihydrotestosterone) on hair growth,” says Monica Davis, hairstylist and founder of the blog MyStraightener. “EGCG also wakes up the follicles and promotes faster hair growth.” Matcha can even keep your scalp happier: “the complex of vitamin C, E, and elements like zinc, magnesium, and chromium are powerful against sun damage and improve scalp blood circulation.”
Is there anything this pretty green powder can’t do? Try out some of our favorite matcha beauty products to find out for yourself.
1. Elemis Superfood Day Cream, $45
This matcha-packed day cream utilizes a sugar-based prebiotic to help protect your skin barrier. With all those greens and antioxidants, your skin will feel soothed and nourished.
2. Urtekram Green Matcha Shampoo, $20
This shampoo combines organic matcha with moisturizing hyaluronic acid and microalgae extract to reduce scalp inflammation and remove buildup. It’s vegan and is made with plant-based packaging, which makes us love it even more.
3. Boscia Matcha Magic Super-Antioxidant Mask, $38
“A great way to incorporate matcha into your skincare is with a weekly mask,” says Mikhail, and luckily for us, Bosica created an ideal option. This mask utilizes matcha extract to soothe tired, red, or irritated skin while fighting off damaging free radicals. It will leave your skin feeling rejuvenated and calmed.
4. Peach & Lily Matcha Pudding Antioxidant Cream, $40
This soothing moisturizer somehow manages to combine richness with a lightweight formula that can wear well under sunscreen and foundation. In addition to the antioxidant benefits of matcha, the cream includes niacinamide for brightening and adenosine for firming. It’s a “match-a” made in heaven.
5. DevaCurl Melt Into Moisture Conditioning Mask, $17
Even the legendary DevaCurl loves matcha! This mask, formulated for curly hair, drenches hair in a powerful boost of lightweight moisture. Matcha butter, which is produced directly from matcha powder, is a key ingredient, alongside beetroot extract and sweet almond oil.
6. Truly Super Matcha Facial Cleanser, $26
When you make this cleanser part of your routine, you’ll start your mornings with a jolt of matcha and aloe to soothe and nourish. With added vitamin C and B12, your skin will stay moisturized while ditching blemishes.
7. Winky Lux Sugared Matcha Lip Scrub, $16
This scrub allows your lips to benefit from matcha’s powerful perks without overwhelming or drying them out. The combination of green tea extract, sugar, and vanilla will gently exfoliate and moisturize.