I have found a good use for 茶殻 (chagara, used tea leaves) from my sencha brew.
By turning them into facial mask, that is.
At first, I tried with just the leaves, by spreading them on the face while they were still warm after the third steeping. It was a refreshing experience, but the leaves made a mess everywhere because they could not stay on my skin unless I lie down.
Then I thought of mixing them into a paste. Googled a bit and found that green tea rice flour mask is a thing out there.
So I decided to give it a try.
4 tablespoons of rice flour
2 tablespoons of brewed tea, cooled
Made them into pasty form before mixing partially-grounded tea leaves in. I think I need a real Japanese suribachi to grind those leaves. The ordinary stone mortar and pestle did a poor job of it.
After cleaning my face with water, I applied the paste generously, like a facial mask. It was cool on the skin.
I left it on for 15 minutes. I could feel the flour caking slowly and nearly drying up.
When the time was up, I rinsed off everything. My face, which normally feels slightly oily at room temperature in our humid Equatorial climate, was dry and very refreshed.
My mom said my skin looked fairer, but I doubt the effect would be so instant. Could be the rice flour doing its job clearing pores. I think I will continue to use this as part of my weekly beauty regimen.
Not sure how well the paste would keep, but sources online said it could last a couple of days if refrigerated..? Well, I kept a small portion in the fridge. Might use it again tomorrow.