In our second series of Fix Yourself With Nature we bring you simple beauty recipes incorporating everyday natural ingredients. Glasshouse have collaborated with green beauties Victoria Spicer, Laura Allard-Fleischl and Amy Pennington to bring you recipes that are as simple and effective as they are beautiful.
The fact is, much of what we put on our skin is absorbed into our bloodstream. Many of us are already avoiding chemicals like parabens, sodium lauryl/laureth sulphate and propylene glycol but the task of scrutinising every ingredient in the bevy of daily products we use can be daunting. Fix Yourself With Nature wants to simplify your daily routine and beauty rituals with one rule: put only on your skin what you would put on your plate. Applying this knowledge to our daily modern lives will help all of us to optimise our physical, mental and emotional well-being.
Amy is currently training as a herbalist at the College of Naturopathic Nutrition in London. Her wellness practice is rooted in Ayurveda, which focuses on the intrinsic principle of living a life in tune with your environment. Ayurveda combines Ayur- ‘life’ with Veda - ‘knowledge’ and regards the body as a temple that should be consciously cared for. She strongly believes in eating as close to nature as possible and bringing that awareness to what we use on our hair and skin too.
Matcha and Raw Honey Masque
If you haven’t encountered this green powder yet, matcha is derived from the powdered leaves of green tea when grown in the shade to increase its chlorophyll content. Most teas are the diluted essence of leaves, but with matcha, you consume the leaves themselves, which increases the potency of green tea’s health benefits.
Chlorophyll enables photosynthesis and imbues matcha with its distinctive green pigment. A powerful detoxifier, chlorophyll eliminates environmental pollutants from the body and even inhibits the growth of Candida albicans. Intriguingly, chlorophyll is only one atom different from our own haemoglobin, which transports oxygen in the blood and enables our body to metabolise nutrients into energy.
Drinking matcha is a great aid if you are thinking about reducing your coffee intake. If you need a morning perk-up but are wanting to soothe stress levels and lessen inflammation, matcha provides a gentle caffeine boost whilst enhancing memory and speeding up the removal of cortisol and adrenaline from the body. This is due to the high content of a rare amino acid, L-Theanine, which is calming while still encouraging alertness and clarity. Coffee, on the other hand, increases stress hormones in the body, giving you that ‘edgy’ feeling some of us get post-brew.
As well as drinking matcha, our skin can significantly benefit from its toxin-removing properties. Matcha contains a class of antioxidants known as catechins. Pomegranates and blueberries are also known for their catechins, but matcha is 20x more potent. When applied to the skin, these antioxidants permeate the pores to soothe inflamed red skin and reduce sun damage from UV rays by eliminating free radicals. The chlorophyll will stimulate cell repair and helps to balance sebum production for those with acne. It is suitable for all skin types and is particularly effective for those with rosacea.
When combined in a face masque with the powerful enzymes of raw honey, you’ll also absorb the benefits of a honey that has gone through as little processing as possible and is alive with active vitamins B & C and free-radical fighting enzymes that repair skin damage.
- Unless it specifies ‘raw’, most store-bought honey is pasteurised (heat-treated), which destroys the delicate healing enzymes and microbes that make it a superfood.
- The green pigment in matcha won’t stain your skin but be mindful of light clothing or carpets.
1 tsp of matcha
1 tsp of raw honey
For one masque, combine a teaspoon of matcha tea with one teaspoon of raw honey. If the mixture is too thick, add a few drops of water* until you have a smooth consistency.
Begin with a clean, dry face and apply a smooth layer that avoids the lips and eye area. Leave on for 15 minutes then rinse with water and a face cloth. Follow with your preferred moisturiser or cleansing oil.
Any left-over mixture will keep in the fridge for around a week (or add some hot water for a delicious drink).
Use once weekly.
* If you have it to hand, use rose water in place of water for increased anti-inflammatory benefits.