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Why Matcha Is the Hot New Skin Care Ingredient You Need

Green tea leaves are stealing the show in skin care for their ability to fight inflammation and stop the clock
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Matcha has gotten major love from wellness (and caffeine) aficionados over the past few years, but the latest buzz is coming from the beauty world: the superstar ingredient (a fine powder made from ground-up green tea leaves) is popping up in masks, moisturizers, serums and scrubs and has some big-time bragging rights. "Matcha is rich in antioxidants known as catechins, which neutralize free radical damage and reduce inflammation of the skin," says dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD, Director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research in the Department of Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. (Those pesky free radicals, which come from the sun and pollution, can accelerate aging and cause wrinkles and uneven skin, but antioxidants -- like matcha -- can act as a barrier to protect you.) Another perk of matcha: it contains caffeine, which helps reduce redness and puffiness in skin, says Zeichner. Ready to take advantage of this powerful green powder? We've rounded up ten matcha-infused skincare products to protect and perfect your skin with.

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"Matcha is great for bringing back life to skin and combatting dullness," says makeup artist Paige Padgett, author of The Green Beauty Rules. When you need to energize a tired face, pat on this lightweight gel serum, which contains hyaluronic acid to hydrate and plump skin, organic matcha to energize skin and combat that free radical damage throughout the workday, and a fresh, earthy scent to perk you up -- at least until you can hit the java.

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Milk Makeup Matcha Toner, $26
Milk Makeup just released the world's first solid toner, and it's packed with matcha to detox skin, along with witch hazel and kombucha ingredients to clear oil and dirt out of your pores. (Dig TSA-friendly beauty products? Milk Makeup also makes a Milk Makeup Matcha Cleanser, $26, in a stick form, which will take off the day's gunk sans irritation thanks to matcha's soothing properties.)

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Oily skin sufferers take note -- this white clay based mask (all natural and a Brooklyn export) will gently coax oil and dirt out of your pores while matcha and chamomile team up to keep your mug calm, cool and collected. "I've found matcha, especially in masks, works really well on inflamed skin, especially if you're dealing with rosacea or acne," says Padgett. Mix a teaspoon of the powder with a few drops of water to form a paste, then apply and selfie your BF.

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Show your arms and legs some TLC by massaging on this creamy, matcha-packed exfoliating scrub in the shower (or let it sit on skin for a few minutes while you chill with Netflix). You'll score noticeably smoother, softer limbs that smell faintly of that yummy dry tea scent.

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