Kombucha has been all the rage for quite some time, with celebs like Lady Gaga, Kourtney Kardashian, and Zoe Kravitz touting its immense health benefits. While everyone’s favorite fermented tea drink is known to drastically improve gut health and even decrease your risk of infection, it has also become commonplace in skin care rituals. In fact, whether you drink kombucha on a regular basis or apply it topically, you can expect to see a great improvement in the overall health of your skin.

What exactly is kombucha?

Despite its recent spike in popularity, kombucha is by no means a new invention. It has, in fact, been around for more than 2,000 years. Kombucha can best be described as a fermented drink made from a symbiotic colony of yeast and live bacteria (also known as a SCOBY) and sweetened black or green tea. The SCOBY, which is often described as looking like a floating mushroom, breaks down the sugar in the tea to release the probiotics, which is believed to have incredible health benefits.

How does drinking kombucha help my skin?

It is no secret that there is a very strong relationship between gut and skin health. A simple imbalance between the good and bad bacteria in your gut can have a huge effect on your skin, causing nasty breakout and irritating dry (or oily) patches. As kombucha helps to keep your gut bacteria well-balanced, it also renders your skin healthier. Not only will drinking kombucha help you to actively address a range of common skin conditions, including acne, eczema, dermatitis and rosacea, but it will also leave you with a beautiful, glowing complexion thanks to its high levels of B-vitamins.

What about topical use?

Kombucha can be used topically in two ways. You can either apply the tea to your face like you would a cleanser or toner, or invest in a set of beauty products that contain the miracle brew. The low pH of kombucha (and kombucha vinegar in particular) makes it a natural astringent that can be used to disinfect and exfoliate all skin types. You can even go as far as to make your own kombucha face mask by blending together half a cup of SCOBY with a few tablespoons of kombucha tea, one raw egg, and a few drops of almond oil. Apply to your face, leave for between 5 and 15 minutes, and rinse off with luke-warm water before applying your favorite gentle moisturizer.

Is using kombucha-infused products worth the effort?

Cosmetic companies such as Oak Bay Naturals and emerginC have released a number of product lines that features kombucha as a key ingredient. As these products all require the use of some type of preservative in order to have an acceptable shelf-life, there will not be any live bacteria in them. They may, however, contain bacterial extracts that can be conducive to healthy skin while also combating common skin conditions, addressing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and leaving your skin looking radiant.

Kombucha undoubtedly has the potential to help transform your skin from drab to fab if used in conjunction with a healthy diet and good skin care regime. Although you may not see a difference immediately, a few days is all that is needed to notice small yet impressive differences to the general appearance of your skin.