Nourishing Matcha Face Mask

Fresh back from sun-drenching in Hawaii last week, not only am I thirsty for tea but my skin is too!

On none other than Earth Day, my hubby Jeff and I decided that we wanted to explore Kauai’s western Na Pali Coast, where the highlight is Honopu Valley, also known as Cathedral Beach. As Honopu Valley can only be accessed by boat or helicopter, we thought: “No brainer!  We’ll take a boat!”

About 30 minutes into the boat ride, our catamaran was swarmed by a cluster of dolphins.  At this point, I was still feeling really good.  I was so preoccupied with enjoying the dolphin spectacle that I hadn’t noticed that my husband’s face was starting to turn green.

It was just when we were edging into the gorgeous Cathedrals of Na Pali that I realized that my husband was seriously no bueno.  As breathtaking as the scenes were, Jeff ended up having a sea-sickness episode of epic proportions.  My husband is generally considered to be mild mannered and reserved, but on that day the poor guy was seriously one hot mess!

Soon after witnessing his AM breakfast reappear, I too fell ill and succumbed to the ocean’s churning.  My nausea wasn’t as epic as my husbands, but it was bad enough that the crewmen asked me to stay towards the tail end of the boat in case of any more mishaps.  I managed to snap these two photos of the Cathedrals while in the pits of my stomach flipping.  If you are going to be ill, it might as well be for this, right?

Right after taking these photos, we headed back towards our home port.  As you can see, at this point the sun was just breaking through the thick clouds.  As the sun’s rays came bearing down on us, I realized that giving my skin some serious TLC was going to be at the top of my to-do list upon returning home.

This Nourishing Matcha Mask is made from 3 simple, natural ingredients:  aloe, chorella, and matcha powder.  With both green tea powder and chorella algae, the mask combines the effects of two very powerful antioxidant ingredients–exactly what you need if you’ve had a bit too much sun!  The matcha powder has a gentle cooling and anti-inflammatory effect while the chorella is detoxifying and nutrient-rich.

I was first introduced to chorella when I was given a sample of chorella matcha.  Chorella matcha is a matcha powder used for cooking and baking.  As it has a deep, dark shade of green, chorella is added to matcha powder for an extra boost of color and vibrance.

This algae by itself is better known for its antioxidant effects, where it is either consumed or lathered on skin.  You can find chorella in the vitamin and supplement section of well-stocked grocery stores like Whole Foods.

And speaking of matcha and Whole Foods, for this mask I ended up using a matcha powder that I found at a Whole Foods in Kailua, a small city on the eastern side Oahu.  The Best of the Best by The Honolulu Advertiser label attracted me to this local brand of matcha.  After I smear it on my face, I can’t wait to taste it!  It’s always nice when a tea can double up on its duties!

The base for my skin mask is pure aloe, plucked from the small aloe plant that I purchased from Lowe’s last month.  After killing off several house plants and one very pretty orchid, I decided that drought tolerant succulents were the way to go.

Hopefully my aloe plant will grow faster in these warm months, since I need to rip off one of its fleshy leaves every time I give my skin this treatment.  If you also use fresh aloe, squeeze out the gel though the ripped side of the leaf.  It will be clumpy and goopy, but you can use your fingers to mash up any large bits.  And while I’m talking about tea and skin, I wanted to show you one of the goodies I picked up in Hawaii last week!  These tea blends are from Tea Forte’s Skin Smart line of teas.

These individually wrapped loose leaf samples are antioxidant amplifier teas…just another way to protect and nourish your skin from the inside out.  After my Na Pali excursion, I need all the help I can get.  My favorite of the bunch is the Honey Yuzu green tea blend–it’s smooth and buttery with a hint fragrant citrus.

Keep this Nourishing Matcha Face Mask recipe in mind this year as summer is coming around the corner!  And if you love tea, tea foods, and the beautiful islands of Hawaii, stay tuned for more of my Hawaiian tea explorations in the next few days!

Nourishing Matcha Face Mask

Makes 1 face application. 

Ingredients:

1/4 tsp matcha powder

1/4 tsp chorella powder

1 Tbsp aloe vera, fresh or bottled

Directions:

Mix ingredients together in a small bowl and apply with fingers to a just-washed and towel-dried face.  Leave on face for 5-10 minutes avoiding the eye area, then rinse off with cool water.  For best results, apply moisturizer right after drying face with towel.