green tea

Queen Bee of Green Tea

It always seems that the DC area gets its worst storm of the season right when we think winter is over. Our “worst storm” turned out to be a lot more bark (large snowflakes & wind) than bite (zero accumulation). I’m not complaining at all though. It gave me good reason to stay inside and cozy in my pajamas all day. It also lead to the creation of two firsts: (1) a matcha green tea face mask and (2) a matcha green tea latte. For those of you not familiar, matcha is a Japanese finely-milled green tea.

Matcha Face Mask:

  • 1 tsp matcha powder
  • 2 tsp rose water or good quality water (I used rose water)

How to:  Mix ingredients until you have a nice smooth paste. Apply to clean skin. Leave on for 10 minutes . Wash off gently with warm water. Pat (never rub!) skin dry. 

I noticed my skin was brighter and smoother right away. Such an antioxidant overload (in a good way) for your face! This mask is beneficial for all skin types.

Matcha Latte:

  • 12 – 16 oz unsweetened vanilla almond milk (I use Trader Joe’s) + a splash of organic whole milk (milk amount based on mug size)
  • 2 teaspoons of matcha powder (I got mine here)
  • honey to taste – I used 1 heaping teaspoon  (I’m currently using Trader Joe’s Organic Wild Collected Raw Honey, which has a very interesting nutty flavor)

How to:  Heat milk in a small pot on medium heat until nearly boiled. Add matcha and honey. Whisk vigorously until tea is frothy. 

I know I didn’t do this the 100% proper way (read here), but it turned out really great. Although, I think sifting the matcha first would have helped with not having left over matcha at bottom of the latte or maybe I just didn’t put enough elbow grease into the whisking :)

Healthy benefits: Matcha is believed to boost metabolism and  lower cholesterol levels when consumed on a regular basis. Matcha’s powerful punch can largely be attributed to the fact that the whole tea leaf is ingested. This means that it delivers a much higher potency of chlorophyll, catechinsand antioxidants.

The Story of Tea

As a lover of pretty much any and all teas, I really enjoyed coming across this infographic this morning and thought it was worth sharing!

Do you drink tea? If so, what’s your favorite?

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Green Tea Face Mask

This is such a simple mask that is excellent for infusing skin with antioxidants and reducing inflammation.

How to:

  • Simply combine the contents of one tea bag of green tea with high quality H20 (for normal skin), whole milk (for sensitive/dry skin), or apple cider vinegar (for oily/blemish-prone).

I saved the bag from a cup of green tea I made earlier (love making something even more useful and beneficial!) and I tried it for the first time last night. While it didn’t create as much of a paste as I hoped, it stayed put and definitely seemed to have a positive affect on my skin after leaving it on for just 5 minutes.

I like to do a face mask AT LEAST 1x or 2x per week. When was the last time you did a face mask?

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Quick Tip: Freshen Your Breath

Looking for an easy way to freshen your breath post meal that doesn’t involve toothpaste? Just finish it off with a cup of green tea! This antioxidant-rich beverage helps balance the acidity in the mouth (vs. coffee, which increases acidity). Yet another benefit of green tea!

7 Hot Ingredients

You’ve probably been seeing these 7 being featured more and more in natural skincare lines lately. Here’s a quick summary of their uses/benefits.

Oak Extract – known to reduce wrinkles and increase skin’s elasticity

Argan Oil – makes hair smooth & shiny

Green Tea – contains powerful antioxidants to reduce fine lines, reduce puffiness and increase brightness

Vitamin C - required for the growth and repair of tissues in all parts of your body. Also essential to the formation of collagen.

Super fruits (like goji, acai & pomegranate) – packed with antioxidants that have the ability to counteract skin’s age damage caused by free radicals

Resveratrol – aids collagen production

Mulberry Extract – acts as a skin brightener and helps to control age spots

Natural Fact of the Day

All types of tea, whether white, green, black, or oolong, come from the very same plant (the Camellia sinensis). A tea’s “color” classification is determined by the processing of the leaves from field to cup. No matter the selection, tea is packed with antioxidants and a delicious beverage hot or cold. Personally, my favorites are iced green tea with a splash of lemonade, hot jasmine green tea or black tea with a teaspoon of honey and a splash of organic milk.  What’s your favorite? If you don’t know, broaden your tea horizons and try some new varieties today!


Homemade Green Tea Toner

This is so simple, but so great for your skin!

 

Ingredients:

  • 4 tsp of loose green tea (or just cut open 4 tea bags)
  • 1 cup mineral H2O
  1. Bring water to a boil
  2. Steep tea for 10 minutes (so it’s concentrated)
  3. Allow tea to cool
  4. Pour tea into a spray bottle
  5. Refrigerate

Spray on your skin or pat on with a cotton ball for a simple, refreshing toner to put on before your moisturizer, or anytime!