Your kitchen pantry contains all the ingredients you need for a glowing and clear complexion—and I don’t mean by the contents of your plate.
When my skin breaks out—or I feel like I need a radiance boost—I whip up this magic matcha face mask. Fifteen minutes later, I feel fresh. My skin is visibly calmer, and I get fewer breakouts. And it’s all thanks to power of plants.
Sometimes, the most effective beauty treatments come from our kitchen cupboards. No plastic packaging. No unpronounceable ingredients. Just simple, natural beauty, directly from nature herself.
Oh, and this trick really is green.
The best advice I ever heard…
Problem skin? I’ve been there.
Oiliness, redness, breakouts. There was a time when I didn’t think anything gathered from my kitchen would be strong enough to make me feel at peace as a stood before the mirror, make-up free. My solution? I was going to wage war.
Peroxides, harsh cleansers, restrictive diet, pills. You name it—if it was marked as an acne treatment, I tried it. But it didn’t seem to matter what products I used or how clean I ate—my skin would find a way rebel. The only treatments that seemed to have any effect came at a price: the health of my skin, or the health of my body.
Until, one day in my mid-twenties, I picked up a book on French skincare. It had advice on caring for skin at all ages, from products to use to attitudes towards caring for your complexion (Like, avoid too much sun, it is so aging! But, also, don’t avoid the sun, because you have to enjoy life, right?…).
As I was flicking through the pages, I came across a nugget of advice that would transform my relationship with my skin forever: You have to treat acne as inflammation.
And what do you do to heal inflammation? You calm it. You nourish it. You treat it gently.
With inflammation, we look for our triggers, whether dietary, topical or emotional, and kindly guide them out of your life. We can’t bend our skin to our will by aggravating our bodies further.
In other words: You have to act from a place of love.
I know this doesn’t always come easy. For many of us, an unhealthy relationship with our bodies is the norm. But this does not serve you. And guess what? Blemishes—whatever they mean for you—do not detract from your beauty. You’re unique. You’re gorgeous not because of or despite your skin. You’re gorgeous simply because you’re you. So own it!
My best skincare advice? Meditate, eat your greens, swap heavy foundation for a light BB cream and laugh. Do as many things in life that make you happy as you possibly can. Make a delicious smoothie, watch a funny film, go to the beach with your best friend and run into the sea with abandon.
And, every time you look in the mirror, tell yourself something nice about your appearance—especially when you’re not wearing makeup. The most important beauty tip you’ll ever hear: you have to love and care your skin into radiance. Nothing good ever comes from a place of insecurity and fear.
So treat your skin to natural, kind beauty products—like a homemade, blissfully soothing matcha face mask. Massage the inflammation-fighting goodness into your skin, and feel the tension melt away. Use this face mask as a bioactive complexion enhancer and an essential act of compassion towards your skin.
Plants are powerful, and fortunately for us, humans love to study them to find out the hows and whys.
Matcha, or green tea powder, contains a powerful anti-microbial, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory molecule called ECGC (think the best blemish banisher you can get your hands on). It also contains 5-alpha-reductase inhibiting properties—that is, it helps to regulate your bodies response to androgens, causing excessive oil production. This both fights and prevents future breakouts! See studies here, here, and here.
But matcha isn’t the only plant magic at work. The skin calming power of this face mask lies in the most unassuming of kitchen cupboard ingredients: Oats.
Oats are one of the most gentle treatments you can use on your skin—and are directly anti-inflammatory, thanks to a group of oat polyphenols called avenanthremides. Put oats on your face, and redness and irritation will soften into a calmer, more luminous complexion.
So, the secret to glowing, clear skin: love and accept your body from the inside out. Life a live that makes you happy. And power-up with plants for illustrious radiance…
Matcha Oat Face Mask Recipe
1 tablespoon of fine oats
1/4 teaspoon of matcha
1 teaspoon of raw honey
A (tiny) splash of warm water
Mix the ingredients together until they form a paste, and apply to your skin. Gently massage into your face to increase the efficacy and boost circulation, and then leave for 10 – 30 minutes (as desired).
Wash off with warm water and enjoy the smooth, even complexion and calm skin!
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Photo: Phoebe Nicholson