Known as the "Champagne of Life," "Tea Fungus" and "T'Chai from the Sea," kombucha is a foodie health trend with staying power.
Kombucha itself is a type of yeast, although it is most commonly used -- and ingested -- in fermented tea form. The trend has spurred DIY-fermentation classes in Brooklyn, paparazzi photographs of celebrities such as Mary-Kate Olsen and Orlando Bloom indulging in the beverage, and kombucha drinks marketed by major tea companies such as Tazo, Honest Tea and Celestial Seasonings. Kombucha enthusiasts have long touted the supposed health benefits of the tea, using it to address an array of conditions, from PMS, immune system issues and slow metabolisms to joint pain, fatigue and hair loss.
Over the last few years, this live culture has also been increasingly spotted as an active ingredient in skin care products. But, what are the possible benefits of kombucha for the skin? And is there any science to back these claims up?
Companies such as emerginC and Oak Bay Naturals have released product lines that market kombucha as a key, active ingredient (alongside an array of other active ingredients, including tea). A simple Google search for "kombucha skin care" turns up dozens of articles about kombucha's possible cosmetic uses and even a recipe for making kombucha skin cream at home!