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Will Kombucha Reduce My Acne? The Gut-skin Connect Says ‘Yes’

Updated: Feb 22, 2021

It’s safe to say, everyone reading this at some time during their life has experienced acne and the problems that come with it. Until a few years back,  I had no idea that probiotics could be the solution to my irregular acne breakouts. But I also had no idea how powerful and important our gut health is.

Kombucha, being an oral probiotic, can help you get rid of your acne. Probiotics can eliminate the 3 main root causes of acne: Dysbiosis (Imbalance in Gut Bacteria), Inflammation & Hormone Regulation. Kombucha can also be used topically such as kombucha face masks and face washes to reduce acne.

While there are a variety of over-the-counter solutions you might find for Acne, let’s understand what sets kombucha apart!

Wave Goodbye To Acne With Kombucha

If you didn’t already know kombucha is an ancient Japanese favorite made by fermenting tea. it is high on probiotics and low on calories, so you and your gut will be bubbling with life.  Abundant in live enzymes. antioxidants, vitamins, and healthy organic acids, kombucha is a true superfood.

While kombucha has antioxidants and vitamins that are great for our skin the main benefit comes from the probiotics and healthy organic acids.

Let’s understand what constituents of kombucha can help with acne

1. Acetic Acid In Kombucha

Acetic acid has gained much popularity in recent years owing to its presence in apple cider vinegar. A spoonful of Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) every morning has been a more popular source of acetic acid, but you could be enjoying some chilled bubbly chilled kombucha and still getting that dose of acetic acid.

One of the main causes of acne is the growth of bacteria on your skin. Acetic acid, having a low pH, when externally applied can be a great solution to kill the bad bacteria on the face. It’s no surprise that acetic acid face washes and face masks have suddenly become the rage.

However, if you don’t want to buy those fancy expensive products, you can always make a homemade kombucha face wash/face mask using a raw unflavoured bottle of kombucha!

Check out this cool recipe to make a kombucha face mask using a SCOBY!

2. Probiotics in Kombucha

Our gut is lined with trillions of microbiomes. In fact, we have more bacterial cells than human cells in our bodies! (Wait, does that make us bacteria and not human🧐). 

If you are into health and nutrition, it is likely that you have come across the term ‘probiotics’ recently. Probiotics are the good bacteria that repopulate your gut with themselves by multiplying and keeping the bad bacteria in check. This has benefits beyond measure

To understand the power of probiotics and its effect on our skin, let’s understand The Gut-Skin Connection. 

The Gut Skin Connect – How Probiotics Can Improve Your Skin

The trillions of bacteria in our gut affect every part of our body. From immunity to mental health to skin, our gut bacteria is super vital.

Let’s understand the basic science that proves the power of probiotics in improving acne-related issues.

A 2013 Study

Sample size – 45 females, ranging from the age of 18 to 35

Method – The sample size was split into three groups”

Group A – Received only a probiotic supplementation

Group B – Received only an antibiotic treatment

Group C – Received both, the antibiotic and probiotic treatment


Results? After 12 weeks, all three groups experienced significant improvement in their acne-related issues! Yes, even Group A, that received only probiotics saw significant improvements, that too without any side effects from antibiotics.

Moreover, Group C, experienced slightly better results that Group A & B

The conclusion was that probiotics can be used as a tool for therapeutic relief from acne issues.

Similarly, in a larger scale study in 1961, 300 patients with acne were treated with probiotics, specifically, lactobacillus acidophilus and lactobacillus bulgaricus. The result was 80% of the subjects saw a significant improvement in their acne problem.

Gut Microbiota and Skin/Acne

  1. Gut dysbiosis and imbalance in your gut bacteria can be one of the reasons for your acne problems. According to one study, individuals who faced problems with acne had an impaired gut microbiome when compared to those people’s gut microbiome who did not face acne issues.

  2. Hormone imbalance, especially at the time of adolescence is another very common reason for teens. The gut microbiome, being host to millions of neurotransmitters such as serotonin & dopamine plays a very important role in regulating hormones which in turn can improve skin health.

  3. Inflammation in the body is strongly related to acne. Kombucha, having rich probiotic content would be a great way to reduce the inflammation in your body

How To Use Kombucha For Getting Rid Of That Acne!

  1. Applying directly on face – Topical Application

The west has seen kombucha face masks and face washes popularized in the last couple of years. But is there any science behind applying probiotics on your face?

Well, this study makes a case. Its findings show that probiotics like lactobacillus can be used to treat mild acne. In contrast to chemical loaded solutions sold by cosmetic companies, a kombucha face mask should do the job!

A google search for DIY kombucha face masks is going to give you plenty of options. But an extremely functional and yet simple recipe by KombuchaKamp works wonders!

Here’s the recipe:

You’ll need:

  1. A kombucha SCOBY 

  2. Kombucha Tea

  3. Almond Oil (Optional)

Method: Simply put it in the mixer/blender and apply it to your face for 10 minutes, while sipping some chilled kombucha! This should work wonders to improve your skin health and reduce your acne

If the science doesn’t do much to convince you, check out Beauty blogger Courtney Leiva’s testimony. She experimented by switching her normal face wash with her own home-brewed kombucha to her face; and the results were amazing! Check it out for yourself below.

Image Courtesy :

Special Mention – PULP kombucha face mask

The only Indian brand that has a kombucha face mask. Although I’ve never tried it myself, I think it’s worth giving a shot! Check them out here.

  1. Drinking Kombucha – Oral Consumption 

As if you needed one more reason to drink kombucha. But if you did, you’ve got one more now. We know probiotics are great for gut health and gut related stuff. Maybe that’s just too boring a reason for you to drink kombucha? But who wouldn’t love to have glowing acne-free skin!

As a general rule of thumb, drinking 150-250ml of kombucha 5 times a week would be a great way to get in those probiotics in your gut and it’d do wonders for your gut health, and consequently your skin and acne

Summing it up

There is no denying that there are thousands of over the counter and prescriptive solutions available for acne. However, a majority of them, although do the job, are loaded with chemicals & toxins or are antibiotics. So why not go the more natural and preventive way and opt for solutions like kombucha. And moreover, the benefits of probiotics like kombucha go far beyond just cosmetic improvements. Our gut is one hell of a complex mechanism, and probiotics ensure its running optimally.

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