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Beauty's Secret Ingredient: Matcha

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Every beauty junkie knows never there's always something new and exciting to try, hence the lifelong addiction to product hoarding! And thanks to our resident beauty ingredient guru, Kristyana Pham, we have found another item to get our beauty fix with. The skincare expert and founder of beauty marketing company, kindsight, has dropped some serious knowledge again this week. If you haven't heard of Matcha, get ready to be wowed, and if you have heard of it, you don't know the half! Check out Pham's insightful answers to our Q+A below.

What exactly is Matcha and from where does it derive?
Derived from Japan, Matcha is revered and harvested with great care. It is a finely milled, high quality Green Tea, considered one of the finest teas in the world. As we all know, Green Tea is great. But, with Green Tea, you are consuming the essence of the tealeaves. With Matcha, you are consuming the tealeaves! It is indeed quite a powerhouse ingredient and contains ten times the nutrients of other teas. The benefits are tremendous.

Whoa. OK, so this stuff is serious! Give us the scoop on the benefits.
Well there are three key benefits. Beautifully green in color, Matcha is rich in chlorophyll, which is an excellent source of antioxidants and known to be great for detoxification. It is also high in catechin content, an antioxidant that helps fight bacteria and infections. In fact, Matcha is so high in antioxidants that it has a greater level than spinach, blueberries and dark chocolate! Also important, Matcha has L-theanine, an amino acid mainly found in tea that naturally enhances your mood, sense of well being, and increases your focus and concentration. All good, right?

Holy cow! So are Matcha's beauty benefits best strictly as a topical treatment, or can we still ingest this tea to get the same results?
Absolutely, Kim. This conversation is a great continuation of a previous article you wrote about the benefits of tea for the skin. As long as I have been drinking Matcha, I've
also been using it on my skin. Using Matcha internally as well as externally is the ideal collaboration. Besides being a great detoxifying agent, chlorophyll is a great source of antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory and healing properties. And aside from fighting bacteria and infections, catechins may slow down the aging process. As for L-Theanine, well, to put it simply, it is a feel-good benefit. And as Audrey Hepburn said, "The happy girls are the prettiest girls."

Fab! So masks, lotions, cleansers, where can we infuse Matcha into our beauty regime?
Beauty products that contain Matcha are not plentiful, but can be located. Products with Green Tea, however, can be easily found in beauty products these days. Do-it-yourself treatments are a great option for those that do not have access to ready-made product.

Where can we find Matcha? Is it hard to source?
Like a good man, good Matcha is hard to find. Matcha comes in different grades. Quality Matcha normally comes with a higher price tag, but it's worth it for the great benefits. Believe me, I've had some bad Matcha and don't want you to waste your time and money. With its increasing popularity these days, you can find quality Matcha at your nearest Whole Foods, natural foods store, gourmet market or Japanese goods store.

What Matcha-infused products do you recommend we try?
I particularly love Pangea Organics' Facial Mask, which has Japanese Matcha Tea, Acai and Goji Berry as its key ingredients. It's one of my absolute favorite beauty products and I recommend it all the time to everyone since it's great for all skin types. Personally, as someone that has acne-prone yet mature skin, I notice a difference when I don't use Matcha regularly. My skin tends to break out and look irritated if I don't use it as a treatment at least once a week. You'll look like a green monster for twenty minutes, but the baby soft, nourished skin you get right after is so well worth it! Everyone I know that's used it, loves it and has achieved great results. Also, Dr. Weill for Origins has a Matcha Bath Soak that is soothing and restorative. It's like having a nice cup of hot tea in a bath.

Sounds great. Any additional application tips or tricks?
To make your own "green goddess mask," simply mix a tablespoon each of Matcha, honey, and yogurt. Heavier on the Matcha and not so heavy on the honey, unless you prefer it sticky.
Also, if you love ice cream as much as I do, you can mix Matcha into vanilla ice cream to turn it into a great-tasting green tea ice cream. See, who said ice cream isn't good for you?

Thanks Pham! This info is Phamtastic! Look out for more beauty ingredient info from our girl soon!

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