By Alexa Santory
Medical Disclaimer: First thing's first, please keep in mind we are not medical professionals. Please consult your doctor before making any and all changes to your diet, supplement intake, etc. Our goal is to provide you with new information, but please speak with a medical professional before making changes to your habits.
How is kombucha made?
In a glass container, black tea and a cocktail of cane and fruit sugars are fermented from anywhere between a week and 30 days. The fermentation process begins by adding distilled vinegar to the tea mixture and something that’s known as a SCOBY, or a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. This is what gives kombucha its signature fizz and flavor. The jar is then tightly secured and left to ferment, out of the sun, at room temp, for up to a month. The longer you ferment it, the less sweet it is. The SCOBY is removed from the jar when the kombucha is ready to drink. If you’re making it at home, you can keep the SCOBY and a little bit of the tea to start another batch of kombucha. I am not gonna lie to you guys, the SCOBY looks, in a word, weird. But it’s essentially a living organism that makes the kombucha rich with probiotics and good, healthy bacteria. In terms of taste, it's an acquired one. It’s fizzy and tangy — the smell will surprise you a bit. It honestly takes a few sips to get used to. Full disclosure: kombucha is an intimidating beverage that often runs for about $5 a bottle at Whole Foods. I prefer it sweeter, but that's because I find the taste of vinegar to be kind of awful. Store-bought kombucha comes in a variety of flavors that cut the bitterness of the vinegar.
Wanna make it yourself?
I Googled SCOBY and now I’m a little freaked out. How is this good for my skin?
Okay, I know, SCOBY doesn’t look like anything I’ve ever seen before either (you can make candy out of it), but the bacteria and yeast are what make kombucha, so powerful. Since the drink is so packed with gut-friendly probiotics, it helps restore balance in the digestive tract, which eventually leads to more balanced skin. We learned on Wednesday that good skin most likely starts in the gut. Antibiotics, lack of sleep, stress, and poor diet are all things that throw off the balance of bacteria in the gut. All of these contribute to inflammation under and on the surface. Kombucha falls under the “fermented” category of tummy balancing foods. The fermentation process creates skin healthy enzymes like lactic acid, an AHA that's used to treat breakouts and signs of aging when applied topically.
So I can drink it to clear my breakouts?
Short answer, yes.
But it probably won't happen instantly. Instead, stay consistent with a skin routine, drink plenty of water to flush your kidneys and liver, and maintain a healthier diet — these can all help keep your skin clear. Adding the probiotic power of kombucha will balance out the gut-skin axis, and over time you may see a difference in the health of your skin as well as a change in your tummy health. Kombucha is also a great liver detoxifier, an organ that could also play a role in breakouts on the forehead and cheeks.
Here are some other great benefits of kombucha
Kombucha contains gluconic acid, which is found in a bunch of fruits and veggies. This helps bind and flush toxins from the body. It also has glucaric acid, which is a liver detoxifier.
It boosts the immune system
Drinking probiotics have been found to strengthen the immune system by introducing the body to more good bacteria. Kombucha may be a good, holistic alternative to over the counter cold medicines which, let's face it, keep you sick for longer. The probiotics can also aid in warding off more serious illnesses like tumors.
It's heart healthy
Kombucha can help reduce high cholesterol. This is beneficial to good circulation and lower blood pressure and may have a hand in reducing the breakouts on the eyebrow and nose areas!
It's energizing and mood-boosting
The Streets Are Talking
This new customizable mask is amazing for clearing acne and controlling excess oil. Pair this with making some dietary changes and you're on your way to clear skin!