This Is the Hottest Skin-Care Ingredient You’re Not Using

Matcha is here to save your skin! Find out all the reasons you need to add it to your beauty routine.

skingpointstudio/shutterstockYou already know that matcha, a fine powder made from whole green tea leaves, has tons of health benefits when consumed. (It’s not just for sipping—try these genius ways to cook with tea.) But how about when it comes to your complexion? It works for that, too! With 20 times the antioxidants found in blueberries, its perks aren’t limited to internal use. Safe to say, matcha is totally worth the hype.

These days, you can find this superfood in a range of facial formulas—from cleansers and masks to serums and creams—and for a number of notable reasons.

“Matcha is becoming increasingly popular in the skincare world due to its significant ability to protect, calm, and purify skin,” say Priscilla Tsai, founder of Cocokind. Gentle yet powerful, it’s an effective source of nutrients for all skin types—even the most sensitive. These are the 11 rules for people with sensitive skin.

This green wonder isn’t just packed with any old antioxidants, it contains powerful polyphenolic compounds called catechins—notably epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). One study reported that the concentration of EGCG in matcha is 137 times greater than in China Green Tips green tea. That’s important because EGCG fights free radical damage caused by environmental aggressors, like pollution and UV rays, making it an essential part of your a.m. routine.

Matcha in skin-care products

matchaRimma Bondarenko/shutterstockMatcha also possesses anti-inflammatory properties, so it soothes redness, blotchiness, and irritation. And its brightening and energizing abilities help awaken dull and tired skin.

But why is matcha such a powerful cleansing agent in the first place? “Because it’s shade-grown, it contains significantly higher levels of chlorophyll, which helps eliminate toxins and purge pores,” says Tsai.

No, we didn’t forget about oily and blemish-prone complexions: Matcha also has astringent properties from tannins, which can help gently firm and tighten skin. “Tannins also reduce the overproduction of sebum,” says Holly McWhorter, co-founder of PLANT Apothecary.

In addition to its bountiful complexion benefits, it may also be a shift in consumer preferences, at least in part, that’s responsible for this surge in matcha-infused formulas. “I think that as people continue to learn about the importance of avoiding toxic ingredients, they become drawn to the idea of food ingredients in skin care. Because we know that if they’re safe enough to eat or drink, they’re safe enough to put on our skin,” says McWhorter.

Whether your goal is boosting radiance or taking a more natural approach to skin care, there are plenty of reasons to reach for this green beauty-booster. To add some green to your beauty routine, here are some expert-recommended products to get you started:

Face Masks

Soap

Moisturizer

Toner

Next, check out other natural beauty product swaps that should be on your list.

Disclosure: This post is brought to you by Reader’s Digest editors, who aim to highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we may get a small share of revenue from our partners, such as Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We welcome your feedback. Have something you think we should know about? Email us at [email protected].

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