What is Matcha?
Matcha is a type of tea that is derived from the leaves of Camellia sinensis. These plants are grown differently. They’re grown in shaded regions with no source of direct sunlight. This increases the content of chlorophyll, amino acids and gives it a darker green tinge. Unlike other teas which are separated, processed, and then powdered, Matcha tea is made by directly crushing the whole leaf. They usually have a rich earthy flavor with a silky finish when mixed with milk. Matcha tea is definitely Japan’s best-kept secret (not anymore!).
Why you must include Matcha in your routine?
Matcha has multiple benefits. Not just for your skin but also your health. Let’s see a quick list of ways in which it helps us when consumed or applied on skin!
1. It is rich in antioxidants and Vitamins
Yes, they have Antioxidants more than berries and dark chocolate. There is a type of Antioxidant called catechins and polyphenols and Matcha is loaded with this. More Antioxidants mean less oxidative stress for your body cells. Not just this, Matcha also contains Vitamin A, B, C, and E. This means it can quench inflammation, promote wholesome healing in your body and give you that bright skin tone every day while you’re busy making a living!
Learn more about what are the dietary requirements for glowing skin!
2. It saves you from premature ageing
Matcha is a type of Green Tea that has a great amount of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). EGCG fights free radicals, harmful sun rays, inflammation, and much more. These are all the external factors that are majorly responsible for premature ageing. So to avoid those early fine lines and grey hair, you know exactly what you need to add to your cart now! Japanese women have a cup of this every single day, and now we know why they look young for ages together!
3. It can fight hormonal acne
Acne gets a lot worse if you’re facing emotional stress and hormonal imbalance. Hormonal acne is due to an excess of androgen hormones that leads to the overproduction of sebum. This makes it a rich medium on which bacteria could grow and give you acne. To fight this, Matcha has EGCG which is also anti-androgenic and will balance your hormones, relax your mind to prevent acne. Learn more about hormonal acne here.
4. It helps fight cancer
Green tea, in general, contains catechins. EGCG happens to be very powerful catechin that can prevent the disruption of the cell growth cycle. This is how it is proved to be effective to prevent cancer.
5. It boosts brain functions
A sane mind is equal to a happy life. But we’re constantly running errands, firefighting numerous problems in our lives so our brain may hang very soon leading to a bad mood and lack of sense of direction. What we really need during those times is a cup of Matcha to boost our mood and energy. This is because it has caffeine in it and another compound called L-theanine which kicks in to alter the effect of caffeine by prompting alertness and avoiding the caffeine crash that follows shortly after the coffee cup.
6. It reduces levels of cholesterol
Our body has two types of cholesterol- good and bad. The bad guy is called LDL. LDL can block your blood vessels and lead to heart disease, obesity, much more. And here again, EGCG comes to the rescue. EGCG can help you keep cholesterol levels in check.
7. It gives you a clear and glowing complexion
Matcha is grown in regions where there is no direct sunlight, which gives it that green shade. Matcha has a higher quantity of chlorophyll which is antibacterial. Applying a Matcha face mask will exfoliate dead skin to bring out the natural glow and keep pimples at bay.
How often and what are the ways to use Matcha?
Matcha can be included in your diet or applied directly to your face. Both the ways work to benefit skin however, if you want Matcha to benefit not just your skin but also your health then we’d recommend it in your dietary routine. An everyday dose of half a teaspoon could do wonders to your skin and body.
The best way to consume it is as a Matcha latte to kickstart your day with. The method is simple. Whisk the Matcha powder with water using a bamboo whisk or an electric frother. Here you can add water as per the consistency of the drink you would like. Add this juice with any warm plant-based milk of your choice and add a sweetener to this. You can use brown sugar, honey, or maple syrup for this. There are many ways you can include Matcha in your diet. To give you some ideas, you can add it to smoothies or even pancake mix. A Matcha powder that you will love is Cosmix So Matcha Better that is of ceremonial grade (higher quality) which makes it a reliable powder to swear by!
For your skin, you can use Matcha in different ways. Let’s look at some of the options in which you can incorporate Matcha!
1. Matcha Face Mask
This could be an easy DIY with your Matcha powder mixed with Rosewater. After a hectic week, your skin needs a lot of cleansing and relaxation so what’s better than Match on your face? We’d recommend Dot & Key Pollution + Acne Defense Green Clay Mask that pairs Matcha tea with Salicylic Acid, Tamanu Oil, and Neem Oil to give you that clear complexion.
2. Match Face Wash or Scrub
If you’re someone who has a very active life then you need to focus on cleansing your skin thoroughly. We said thoroughly and not harshly. So some of the best ingredients to run upto for cleansing are Charcoal, Matcha, AHAs. If you believe your skin needs a good heavy-duty wash everyday without stripping away your natural moisture then Sublime recommends Conscious Chemist Ritual Face Cleanser With Matcha Green Tea & Hemp Seed Oil that has Grapefruit Oil, Hemp Oil, and Hyaluronic Acid along with Matcha tea to prevent acne and reduce blemishes. They also have a similar formula in different sizes for body cleansing- Conscious Chemist Clarifying Body Cleanser With Matcha Green Tea & Hemp Seed Oil.
3. Face Serum
Knowing the importance of Antioxidants, Matcha can be included in your serum as well to give your skin a quick lift before you start your day. We love Detoxie Fatigue & Stress Repair, Vitamin C Face Serum that has Vitamin C, Matcha tea, Hyaluronic Acid, and Moringa to fight oxidative stress from free radicals. Don’t forget to apply SPF right after a Vitamin C-based serum during the day.
How to check for the purity of Matcha?
Matcha has a lush green grass color and the powder is very fine and has a silky consistency. A good grade of Matcha tea means a sweet and smooth taste. The best way to test Matcha’s purity is to put a bit of the powder on white paper and make lines of it. If the lines come out clean then it is pure since Matcha powder is very fine and silky. Another way to test is that after whisking Matcha with milk, you should get a good froth.
Who can consume it?
Anybody and everybody. Really. Those with cholesterol, heart concerns can benefit from a cup of Matcha tea. Green tea like Matcha is known to do more good than any harm. However, if you’re pregnant or have a gut disease, you can first check with your doctor before consuming it.
Any special notes before using Matcha?
Just a couple of notes to remember before making yourself a cup of Matcha tea.
1. Use plant-based milk and not dairy milk
Dairy milk has a protein called casein. The epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) can bind with casein which means that your body will absorb that much less of EGCG since it has bonded with casein. EGCG is the star substance of Matcha and you don’t want to lose on them. So while consuming Matcha tea, stick to plant-based foods such as Coconut milk, Oat milk, or Almond milk. If you’re wondering that your Matcha tea will not froth much if you use plant-based milk then you’re worrying for nothing. Plant-based milk will froth just as much as dairy milk tea.
2. Store it in a dry and cold place
You will lose on antioxidants if you store it in a region where the tea could be exposed to light, air, or heat. So you must store Matcha tea in a dark and cold environment. Before you think about it, we did not say fridge. Fridges tend to be humid so you may store it in a drawer by your nightstand, stored in an airtight container to maintain its shelf life.
3. Don’t consume it in the evening or night
Matcha tea does contain caffeine so you may lose your sleep after consuming it. You can consume it while on your way to the gym or an hour after lunch but make sure it is 5 hours before your bedtime.
Matcha tea is an incredible source of Antioxidants and Vitamins. It also has a great number of amino acids like L-theanine that help you relax your mind. There is almost nothing to hate about Matcha given its benefits for skin, health, and mind. Overall, we’d say that this Japanese secret ingredient is a pretty package to lay your hands on!
- Divya Salvi