Turn A Shiny T-Zone Into A Matte Tea-Zone

Chagrined by shiny skin? You've probably tried a lotion or serum with zinc gluconate, a sebum-regulating compound found in many mattifying formulas. Soon, though, an herbal extract may replace it in some products now that research has shown its superior potency.

Commonly used in herbal tea, misai kucing-also known as cat's whiskers and, oxymoronically, java tea-was pitted against zinc gluconate in a recent Thai study. Participants applied either 1% zinc gluconate (a common concentration) or 2% java tea extract, which is believed to act on the enzyme linked to sebum secretion, to their faces twice a day for a month, over the course of which skin's shininess was measured with clinical and self evaluations.

Both instrumental measurements and perception-based evaluations showed that the java tea reduced shiny appearance more effectively than the zinc gluconate. Some participants even reported a more even, radiant complexion.

As brands begin to incorporate this oil-balancing ingredient into their products more often, you may find it listed under its binomial, Orthosiphon stamineusm, or its marketing name, Mat-XS Bright.