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How Matcha Can Help Your Skin

By Mary Ladd Jul 30, 2018

How Matcha Can Help Your Skin

Yes, fashion models drink matcha before fashion shows in New York. Matcha is indeed currently the "it" drink among fashionistas the world over. How did this happen?! 

Worldwide, the beauty industry now bursts with green tea-influenced beauty lotions, creams, and facial masks, and even — for the truly lazy -- green tea pills to be taken as supplements. These trendy products are billed as ways to attain (and maintain?) beauty, but their efficacy is questionable.

From providing calm to protecting against heart disease, cancer, and osteoporosis, the many health benefits of a daily matcha habit have been documented in lots of medical and scientific journals (link to research database). However, understanding how drinking matcha--versus slathering it on one’s visage via a beauty cream--can potentially help with problematic skin is also worthwhile.

There are intriguing scientific studies showing that matcha can also aid with skin issues ranging from acne to redness. The American Academy of Dermatology defines acne vulgaris as “open and closed comedones, papules, pustules, nodules, and cysts” – deflating terms for anyone that has experienced clogged oil ducts, difficult pimples or related acne bumps on their face.

The flared pores and redness that comes with acne offer striking visuals for what is happening below the skin’s surface. Adult sufferers of acne know that it’s not a strictly superficial wish to be free of these embarrassing pimples and clogged skin—the emotional suffering and actual pain is real and makes it tough to feel “normal,” let alone attractive.

While skin troubles can be hereditary in nature (if your parents had acne for years, the chances of you having it go up), diet and lifestyle play a strong part, too. However, inflammation plays a massive role in these skin problems, and matcha reduces inflammation internally. The tea’s effects bring helpful balance to the body, because of the way matcha is structured chemically, which in turn regulates the hormones and cells.

Matcha delivers antioxidant power from its catechins, which ably go to work against cancerous activity in the body. For comparison with other superfoods, matcha delivers more antioxidants than goji berries, broccoli, strawberries and spinach combined. The presence of these antioxidant powers make matcha particularly successful at diminishing cancers of both the prostate and breast. When prostrate or breast cancer occurs, it is tied the body’s sex hormone levels. Sex hormones are also the ones that cause cysts, flare ups and skin disruptions.

An analysis of 20 studies found that the oral administration of green tea can be effective in the scavenging of free radicals, cancer prevention, hair loss, and skin aging plus protection against the adverse effects associated with PUVA ultralight exposure, a therapy used to treat a skin cancer known as cutaneous T-cell lymphoma.

Another green tea-centered study of women aged 40 to 65 showed the ways that matcha works: green tea drinkers had skin with 25% less redness in reaction to a dose of UV radiation. It is thought that the green tea provided a barrier to the damage from the sun. This same group of tea drinkers also had more elastic skin at the end of the study, as well as less roughness and dryness compared to the non-tea drinkers.

While the practice of drinking matcha goes back nearly a thousand years, more ongoing research will help us further understand the ways that matcha can potentially heal and help our skin. As the largest bodily organ, our skin is a key indicator of overall health. And matcha can help promote glowing, healthful skin.


Mary Ladd is a member of the San Fransisco Writers' Grotto, co author of The Wig Report, a graphic novel on catastrophic illness, and first place winner of the 2017 Liquake essay contest. Her writing has appeared in Playboy, Healthline, Time Magazine, KQED, and San Fransisco Weekly. She lives in San Fransisco, CA.