South Florida native Shiri Sarfati discovered the healing benefits of matcha (a powder derived from green tea leaves) while she was a student living in Tokyo, Japan. She remembers experiencing traditional Japanese ceremonies, during which tea making and drinking was highly respected.
Today, matcha isn’t just an ingredient in a frothy beverage. The ancient powder is finding its way into skin care products. Sarfati used matcha to develop her skin care line, 23 Skin, which launched this year.
As someone who “lives and breathes beauty,” Sarfati admits she never made time to get facials growing up and instead created her own spa treatments at home. This led to the inception of her line, which features products like her Matcha Clay Powder. “When I set out to create my own products, matcha was a natural ingredient for me to work with as I have always known of its powerful antioxidant properties and wonderful effects on the skin,” she says.
However, with matcha becoming more sought after in the beauty industry, Sarfati cautions not all matcha products are created equally. Even though organic matcha is best, the “organic” label doesn’t always guarantee it wasn’t exposed to polluted areas or was handled carefully, she explains. Plus, if tea leaves aren’t shade-grown, they can’t produce true matcha. “Currently, we source our organic matcha from a family of Japanese tea ceremony grade farmers that have been growing matcha for generations,” she says.
Sarfati recommends looking at the product’s label first. If matcha isn’t one of the first ingredients listed or if there are red-flag ingredients like fragrances, it’s best to pass.
23 Skin Matcha Clay Powder ingredients are kept simple: kaolin clay and organic matcha, which can be mixed with other ingredients like raw honey and coconut oil to make at-home masks.
Incorporating matcha into your beauty routine is wise as it’s rich in polyphenols and EGCG, potent antioxidants that help combat free radical damage and keep skin looking youthful. Matcha alone has more antioxidants compared to other superfoods like goji berry and pomegranate. Plus, the chlorophyll provides skin-smoothing benefits and is especially effective as a cleanser for those who have problematic skin.