I’ve found that using the most potent, rejuvenating and nourishing plants out there is the single best way to improve your beauty routine. One of those ingredients that I know you'll adore is matcha green tea.
We’ve all heard about green tea for years. It’s no wonder why. When it comes to plant-based ingredients that can make a noticeable difference, green tea is an absolute virtuoso. It’s an oldie but a goodie, and here’s why.
Humans and green tea go way back. We discovered that it had powerful therapeutic benefits hundreds—if not thousands—of years ago.(1) We’ve been using it ever since.
After seeing how terrific drinking green tea is for our bodies, it’s only natural that we wondered:
- What would happen if we added green tea to our beauty products and applied it topically?
- Is green tea good for hair?
- Just how much good can green tea do for our hair and skin?
- Can green tea help us obtain the moisturized, glowing skin and hair we’ve always wanted?
Some say that green tea’s original use in ancient China was as medicine only.(1) That’s easy to believe. Even today we’re finding out more and more about how capable it is at supporting our health.(2)
Modern science has shown that consuming green tea provides incredible health-promoting benefits, like:
- Aiding fat loss
- Lowering the risk of heart disease
- Improving brain function
- Protecting our bodies from cancer and more.(2)
The story goes that green tea didn’t move on from its role in medicine to enter the world of beverages for hundreds of years. Now, it’s one of the most common drinks in the world.(1) But what about the topical application of green tea—can that help too?
Unsurprisingly, it wasn’t long before green tea made its way into our self-care products. The rest is history. Here are some fast facts about matcha green tea and the top 3 beauty benefits that it offers. By the end, you’ll know for yourself exactly what makes green tea such a striking success.
Fast facts about green tea
What is it? Green tea is a plant-based ingredient that’s used in beverages, skincare products, hair care products and more.
Official name? Camellia senensis.
What’s the difference between green tea vs. matcha green tea? Matcha green tea is a pulverized, powdered version of green tea. Due to being in this form, matcha has a higher concentration of nutrients than standard green tea.
What plant does it come from? It’s derived from the tea plant.
Why isn’t it called the green tea plant? White tea, black tea, oolong tea and more also originate from the same exact plant. Impressive, right?
Where is it from? Green tea originally came from China, which is where most of it comes from to this day.
When was it found? We don’t know for sure. However, some say that green tea was found 5,000 years ago in 2737 B.C. by Emperor Shen Nung.(1)
The top 3 beauty benefits of green tea
When it comes to beauty benefits, green tea has a lot to offer. I’m going to focus on these top 3 characteristics that green tea offers:
While these might sound beneficial, specifically how do they help when it comes to beauty goals? It would take a very long time to cover every aesthetic woe that this plant can help with. So, I’ve distilled it down to these top 3 beauty benefits that these characteristics combat in specific.
#1: Provides protection from premature aging
Green tea has polyphenols that help protect us via their impressive antioxidant properties.(3)
But before we get into polyphenols and antioxidants, we need to talk about oxidative stress. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you may remember that oxidative stress is one of our enemies. Why?
Part of what makes our skin look vibrant, supple and strong are a couple of proteins called collagen and elastin. When these proteins break down from oxidative stress, our skin develops fine lines and wrinkles.
For vibrant, glowing skin, we need to maintain our elastin and collagen by combating oxidative stress. You can think of oxidative stress as too many free radicals and not enough antioxidants. Some oxidative stress is an unavoidable part of living due to oxygen metabolism.(6) That said, there are things that increase our oxidative stress, like:
- UV exposure
- Some drugs
- Heavy metal contamination(6)
It can be difficult to eliminate these from our modern lives. As a result, our skin can suffer the consequences. That’s the polar opposite of what we want.
Luckily, there is a potent way for us to combat oxidative stress. How? By increasing our use of antioxidants. And as it turns out, green tea is brimming with antioxidants.(7)
Specifically, green tea is rich in polyphenols, most of which are flavonols like EGCG.(6) That’s what helps provide these antioxidant effects. It makes sense that if we use green tea to increase our antioxidants, our oxidative stress will decrease. That means that our collagen and elastin proteins can stay intact, and our skin will stay healthy and glowing.
But that’s not all that polyphenols do to protect our skin from premature aging. Polyphenols can also help reduce puffiness with their calming anti-inflammatory abilities.(5)
#2: Soothes inflammation and irritation
If you’re anything like me, you’ve been hearing a lot about how bad inflammation is for our health and general well-being. Inflammation plays a role in all sorts of health woes, from cardiovascular disease to digestive disorders.
Inflammation appears to be a major underpinning of many human health disasters. It’s no surprise that inflammation affects our skin, too. But skin inflammation can actually help us.
Inflammation is our skin’s natural defence mechanism against irritants. These irritants include allergens, caustic chemicals, dangerous microbes and more.(8) Inflammation keeps us safe from those.
But when our skin and scalp are irritated, they simply don't look or feel their best. They can feel uncomfortable, itchy, raw and even painful. As for appearance, inflamed skin often looks:
Some skin conditions are directly associated with inflammation. On top of the discomfort they cause for those that suffer from them, they can be difficult to remedy.(8) For example:
- Atopic dermatitis
Luckily, green tea can help soothe our skin with its calming anti-inflammatory properties.(7) While green tea isn’t a remedy for serious inflammatory skin and scalp problems, it is a potent player in combating more commonplace frustrations. When it comes to day-to-day inflammation that many experience, matcha green tea can work wonders.
#3: Helps regulate sebum
Before I can explain how green tea regulates sebum, we first need to talk about what sebum is.
Sebum is an oily, wax-like substance that our sebaceous glands secrete. It sits on top of our skin and scalp where it collects dust, dead skin cells, sweat and other undesirable substances.
Some sebum is natural and healthy, and we all have it. It helps moisturize and soften our delicate skin and hair. If we didn't have any sebum, we would encounter issues with our skin and scalp drying out and getting flaky.
However, excess sebum can contribute to greasy hair, an oily complexion, and even acne. So the goal here is to balance the amount of sebum our skin has. This is where green tea’s skincare benefits come into play.
Green tea helps reduce excess sebum to bring balance to our scalp and hair.(9) Because of this effect, green tea can turn things around if you find your hair getting greasy much more quickly than you’d like. It slows down any overproduction you might struggle with.
Green tea’s ability to regulate sebum can even help with dandruff. Surprisingly, dandruff is found in people with both too little and too much sebum.(10) Again, it goes back to maintaining proper sebum balance—and we know that matcha green tea can help us there.
It’s no shock why we used green tea in our hair care products.
Matcha green tea beauty products
By putting this new knowledge to use, you can see firsthand how green tea improves your skin, scalp and hair. Don’t forget, matcha green tea is just the powdered form of green tea. It has a higher nutrient content for maximum green tea goodness, so that's what I include in my beauty product formulations.
Ready to try it?
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