There are a handful of supposed “superfoods” that every beauty tinkerer has to hand when the urge to play cosmetic scientist strikes. One of the most important (and arguably underestimated) is certainly green tea, the starting point for a multitude of cleansing mask recipes.
While it’s often overshadowed by apple cider vinegar, aloe vera, lemon juice, and honey, green tea offers as many skin benefits as its ever-popular counterparts. The beloved drink is an incredible source of epigallocatechin-3-gallate, better known as EGCG, praised for its potent antioxidant properties. Green tea soothes the skin and gently exfoliates while delivering the perfect cocktail of vitamins and minerals.
The next time you feel like spoiling your face with something particularly nourishing, dive into your pantry and make your own green tea mask with these five recipes.
Matcha and Honey nourishing mask
Matcha is a popular subset of green tea that comes from Japan. Its name literally translates to “powdered tea”, and it is this texture that makes it ideal for inclusion in DIY beauty. Making matcha a skin care product is an age-old tradition and quite possibly the secret to getting ‘mochi skin’, a major Japanese trend.
To make this matcha honey mask, mix a tablespoon of matcha powder, a teaspoon of honey and a pinch of cinnamon. Add enough hot water to the mixture to create a gooey mask-like consistency. Let your mask cool completely before applying it to the skin. Leave the mask on for 20 minutes then rinse.
Lightening Mask Green Tea and Lemon
A 2007 flagship study from Purdue University found that adding lemon juice (or citrus juice in general) to green tea increases the longevity of antioxidants after tea is digested. But by adding lemon juice to topical green tea essences also have their benefits – notably, the vitamin C contained in lemon has a lightening effect on the skin.
- 1 cup of green tea
- 1 tablespoon of rice flour
- 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
- Pinch of baking soda
- Prepare this luminous mask by first brewing a cup of strong green tea (with two sachets if desired).
- Once brewed, gradually pour the tea over a spoonful of rice flour, stirring continuously until you get a thick and viscous consistency.
- Mix about a teaspoon of lemon juice and a pinch of baking soda for more dizziness.
- Apply to the skin and rinse off after 15 minutes.
Lemon juice can have a phototoxic reaction on the skin when it interacts with ultraviolet light, causing a lesion that may look like a rash or severe burn. Be sure to rinse this mask off completely before going in the sun or only use it before bed.
Hydrating yogurt mask for dry skin
The presence of vitamin E, a powerful and hydrating ingredient, gives green tea much appreciated humectant and emollient properties. Combined with yogurt, another well-known and famous anti-humidity, green tea has twice the moisturizing potential. The colloidal oatmeal in this recipe helps form and maintain the protective barrier of the skin.
Combine a tablespoon of colloidal oatmeal, two tablespoons of yogurt and a teaspoon of matcha powder and mix well. Apply on the face and let penetrate 15 minutes before rinsing.
Exfoliating mask with eggs and oats
The fatty egg yolks in this mask help nourish the skin and retain moisture, while the oatmeal and sugar provide a gentle exfoliation.
- 3 green tea bags
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar or salt
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon of water
You don’t even have to brew the tea first – just empty the tea bags into a bowl, add no more than a teaspoon of granulated sugar (or salt for more abrasion. ), egg yolks, a dash of water and enough oatmeal to thicken the mixture.
When applying the mask, make sure that it does not come into contact with your mouth or other openings. Ingestion of raw eggs can lead to food poisoning. Let the mask sit on your skin for 15 minutes before rinsing off.
Clay and Lemongrass Detox Mask
Green tea serves as a sidekick for bentonite clay in this recipe. Natural clay is a cult ingredient in cleansing masks, known to absorb dirt and oils that often lead to acne. Here’s how to dress it up with even more beneficial ingredients.
- 1/2 teaspoon matcha powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of bentonite clay
- 2 teaspoons of honey
- 2 teaspoons of witch hazel
- 3 drops of lemongrass essential oil
- Mix all of the ingredients together, adding more oils for a more runny consistency or more clay for thickness.
- Apply the mask to the face, avoiding the eyes and mouth.
- Let sit on the skin for 20 minutes.
- Gently buff the skin as you rinse it.
Tree climbing tip
Make sure you buy witch hazel that is not distilled with alcohol. Alcohol can be harsh on certain skin types and can be harmful to waterways once flushed.