Matcha Benefits for Skin

So it’s been over a month now that I’ve incorporated matcha into my daily routine. The benefits so far have been enormous. Better energy, improved focus, reduced anxiety and just an overall increased sense of well-being. The perks of matcha, I’ve noticed, go beyond what I’m feeling and actually extend to the way I look. Now, I’m not saying my skin was in terrible shape before I started this experiment but I definitely didn’t drink enough water and could do better in terms of fruit and veggie consumption. Also, I’m sure my coffee habit wasn’t doing my skin any favours. So, on most days, my skin looked a little dehydrated and maybe a bit lifeless.  I also have some residual acne scarring from my teenage years (thanks a lot, raging hormones) Like I said, not terrible, but definitely not amazing either.

Matcha, as we all know by now, is chock full of antioxidants AND chlorophyll, which is detoxifying and works as an anti-inflammatory. Both have positive effects on the skin, fighting the effects of stress and environmental pollutants.  Another amazing thing about matcha is the polyphenols it contains can actually help protect the skin against UV damage, perfect for me, since I can’t be bothered to use sunscreen (EVER). It also contains vitamin C, which is essential to collagen production and cell turnover. So, have I noticed any positive improvements to my skin during the last month? Absolutely! Here’s what’s changed: the leftover scarring looks less red and angry and more faded, the overall texture has improved from dry and a little bumpy to fairly smooth and my overall complexion looks healthier and more vibrant. This is just from ingesting matcha internally. There are great ways to incorporate matcha into your skin care routine topically as well, like home-made masks and toners. This has been one of the biggest benefits for me, and also the most surprising! I can’t wait to see what  else continued matcha drinking will bring! 120926_Category Green

This week was particularly hectic, but that didn’t put me off my extended matcha experiment. In fact, it was the perfect opportunity to examine the ways in which matcha might help boost my concentration levels. Since I’ve already been drinking matcha as my beverage of choice for the last two weeks, I’ve definitely already felt some of the the therapeutic benefits (calmness, sense of well-being, sustained energy). But what about improved cognitive function? Now, I realize that in the absence of a brain scan, something like this is hard to quantify. As a student, though, I wanted to see if I could use matcha to give me a little mental boost, especially since midterms are coming up soon and it’s October crunch time. Last week, and over the weekend, I continued with my habit of a morning matcha, followed by a mid-afternoon matcha. Today I headed for the library just after whisking and enjoying my afternoon cup. I did a series of readings and took some notes, then I realized something amazing had happened: I had done my readings without pause; totally immersed and with an intense level of concentration. This might not like seem like a huge deal but for someone who could barely concentrate for more than five minutes at a time, was thrown off by the tiniest of distractions and is prone to daydreaming, it was a seriously gratifying experience. It’s hard to say if it is the compounds in the matcha itself (remember the L-theanine discussion from last week?) or getting into the ritual of preparing and drinking matcha, but I can sit still longer, maintain my focus for a longer period of time and maintain my energy levels while doing so.  I should also mention I haven’t even had one headache since I switched from coffee to matcha, which was also a welcome surprise!  I am going to continue my experiment next week, this time focusing on another potential benefit. Also, if you’ve had similarly positive experiences with matcha, please let us know via Twitter, Facebook or email. We’d love to hear your stories!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA