Heat can stress our skin. In the summer, it is important to consistently use a clay mask to keep skin clear, glowing and unburdened. Recently, I re-discovered how to cool and calm my irritated and mildly congested skin with fresh aloe vera gel. I cut a bottom leaf from the base of my large plant and sliced it open. The gooey, clear gel oozed into my palm and I slathered it on my skin. Instant relief! Inspired by this cooling and refreshing experience, I intuitively felt that aloe vera would be a great fit with our Green Tea Clay. I sat down later with a mixing bowl and added a teaspoon of green tea clay with about a teaspoon or more of the fresh aloe vera gel. I continued to saturate the mixture with Hydrosoul (I used soothing and brightening Immortelle) which seemed fitting for this duo, adding another layer of botanical magic.
My sister wanted in on the action. After we applied the earthy, green mixture to each other’s face, we let it dry and then removed it with cool water. Our skin felt supple, soft and pacified. I had been experiencing little patches of perioral dermatitis that were creeping up due to heat and hormones, but those looked faded and calmed.
I also noticed that the dry flakes of skin on my nose and cheeks were gone and the redness subsided. We hope that this little story inspires you also to interact creatively with the plant allies that are all around us. These allies often find us when we need them most, sharing their wisdom and therapeutic properties with us. If your skin is hot and irritated, we hope this recipe finds you!
Here is the breakdown on the benefits of these ingredients as well as the simple recipe:
Green Tea Clay Mask
Clay draws impurities and clears stagnation from the skin, awakening vitality and providing deep nourishment. Clay is inert when it is dry, but becomes active when liquid is added to it. This creates a pulling, drawing sensation that can be felt. During the hot summer months, we love to delight our skin with a weekly mask of Green Tea Clay - which not only mineralizes the skin and clears congestion but infuses the skin with an abundance of antioxidants bestowed by organic matcha green tea powder.
Our Green Tea Clay (a combination of montmorillonite clay mixed with matcha green tea) is considered an active clay, very adaptogenic, and energetically cooling to any skin to which it’s applied. All of our Clay Masks come in a glass jar, and in a dry form.
Why do we add matcha green tea to our clay?
Matcha is a highly-refined green tea “powder” created from the whole tea leaf instead of just a part of it. This means that matcha is packed with an abundance of the healthy antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that make green tea so good for us in the first place. In fact, one cup of matcha tea has almost 10 times the antioxidants in it that a regular cup of green tea does.
Over centuries, green tea has developed a shining reputation for its high levels of antioxidants. The flavonoids contained in matcha and other teas are credited with the ability to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, prevent tooth decay and provide antimicrobial effects, among other benefits. While these health benefits can be enjoyed by simply drinking it, applying matcha green tea on skin also has impressive benefits.
Matcha fights skin cancer by promoting DNA repair. It contains a powerful antioxidant called EGCG, which fights DNA damage from UV rays to prevent skin cancer. These potent anti-aging ingredients combat signs of premature aging when ingested or applied topically.
Matcha has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, thanks to its high content of polyphenols called catechins. The catechins in green tea reduce irritation, redness, and swelling.
Matcha is a powerful antibacterial agent for treating acne and unclogging pores. Polyphenols in green tea damage bacterial membranes and fight against infection, meaning that it’s a useful tool for treating the bacterial growth that causes acne. It helps kill systemic bacterial inflammation for calm, clear skin.
Matcha is chock full of vitamin B2 and vitamin E, both essential for skin health. B2 plays an essential role in maintaining collagen levels for youthful skin structure and firmness. Vitamin E supports new skin cell growth and also acts as an intense hydrator for dry or imbalanced skin.
Caffeine and tannins in matcha help shrink blood vessels around the eyes, making it a great choice for treating puffy eyes and dark circles.
Why Aloe Vera?
Aside from being a staple in your mother's medicine cabinet for sunburned skin, this ancient traditional healer has been used by different civilizations for centuries for skin care, health, and medicinal purposes. Its succulent-like leaves are filled with a clear gel that's home to a myriad of different active compounds, including vitamins, minerals, sugars, enzymes, salicylic acids, and amino acids. As a humectant and moisturizer, aloe vera is great for calming and softening irritated skin, while also alleviating the effects of UV radiation.
At evanhealy, we believe deeply in the healing power of aloe vera. You can find this plant ally in all of our cleansing milks, all of our moisturizers, and our Sea Algae Serum.
Here are some of the ways aloe benefits your skin:
Aloe vera soothes minor sunburns and skin injuries by increasing collagen synthesis and cross-linking. This helps reduce any resulting scar tissue and speeds up wound healing
Since aloe vera contains humectants—substances that attract water from the air or from deeper inside the skin—it's thought to be especially beneficial for dry skin. It has cohesive effects by sticking together flaking epidermal skin cells, resulting in softer skin and improved skin integrity.
Two compounds in aloe (aloesin and aloin) may fade dark spots and stretch marks. In a 2018 study published in The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, aloesin was applied four times per day for 15 days and was found to be effective in treating UV-induced and post-acne hyperpigmentation.
Aloe vera can help manage acne. It contains naturally occurring salicylic acid, urea nitrogen, cinnamic acid, phenols and sulfur—all of which inhibit the growth of fungi, bacteria and viruses.
Aloe has antiseptic, antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties that may soothe these and other flare-up skin conditions. Psoriasis eczema, an inflammatory condition that causes red, itchy and scaly patches may be better managed with aloe vera in the mix, thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Because aloe vera contains vitamins C and E, it may help slow the signs of aging. These vitamins prevent the formation of free radicals, which are the molecules that cause cell damage.
Green Tea Clay Masking with Fresh Aloe Vera
In a small bowl, put a teaspoon of Clay and cut a two inch chunk of aloe off of a large spear (if you don’t have your own aloe vera plant, you can purchase individual spears of aloe vera at a natural grocery store, and keep in the refrigerator). Scrape the inside flesh and liquid gel into your clay (about a teaspoon of gel).
Next, add some Immortelle Hydrosoul (or another HydroSoul). Mix until a creamy consistency is reached. Apply all over your skin with a small brush or fingertips. Allow to dry. Drying times may vary, but should average between ten to fifteen minutes. Rinse thoroughly.
Hydrate and Nourish
After cleansing, saturate your face with Immortelle Hydrosoul or any other HydroSoul of your choice.
In the palm of your hand, combine a dime sized amount of Blue Cactus Beauty Elixir and a pump of Sea Algae Serum with a couple of sprays of the HydroSoul. Blend the two together, then gently and slowly press the warmed emulsion into your skin. You may notice that your skin is glowing. Smile at yourself in the mirror and send your gratitude into the universe.
Green Tea Clay Mask
Blue Cactus Beauty Elixir