A month or so ago I started experimenting with kombucha for the first time – a cultured tea drink.
I’d had it before in the store bought form, which was quite yummy, but had never tried brewing my own at home.
It’s crazy stuff.
The SCOBY – symbiotic culture of beneficial yeasts – that I got from my friend, Betty, was HUGE! It looked like an alien life form in a bowl of sweet tea, and I apparently let it go way too long for its size and surface area, because that first batch smelled and tasted like vinegar.
I love ACV (apple cider vinegar), but this? Yuck!
Look at that thing! HUGE, right?!
Since my first attempt was such a miserable failure, I reached out to my crunchy Facebook friends for help and tried again, this time only letting it go for 6-7 days, instead of 2 weeks.
Better, but not by much. Three more jars of fake ACV!
Third time around, I decided to switch to green tea, not let it go so long (maybe 4 or 5 days – can’t recall now), and I decided to use the Baby SCOBY that had formed by now instead of the BIG mama!
This turned out lovely!
My fourth batch is brewing on the counter now in a much more appropriate container, with smaller surface area…
But what to do with these bottles of “ACV” (aka botched kombucha brew) and this giant mother SCOBY?
OK, hold on to your seat. I know my audience. Some of you are “transitionally green,” some of you would consider yourselves “pretty crunchy,” and some of you would say you are “crazy granola.”
I can fall into any one of those three categories myself depending on the topic – and the day.
Just making kombucha at home probably already put me in the crunchy crowd for this scenario.
Using the “fake ACV” as a hair rinse in the shower probably moves me a little farther down the continuum.
Probably just pushed me off the crunchy chart and grossed half of you out. 😛
Yes, thanks to the tip from a dear friend, Kristin – who is a lovely mix of “crunchy” and “stylish” herself, with a heart of gold – I used the SCOBY as a face mask.
It’s like a “chemical peel” without the toxic synthetic chemicals.
Check it out up close…
Others of you are saying, “SO COOL!”
You know who you are. 😉
Cutting up and peeling off strips of the big mama SCOBY was probably the worst part. It had the consistency of raw chicken breast – and was so big that it really was about as thick as a thinner chicken breast.
I felt like I was butchering a living creature, and in reality, I suppose I was.
It felt a little “Silence of the Lambs” cutting it up and sticking the pieces all over my face with the juice running down my chin. Ick. Shudder. (Not a movie I ever care to watch again – ever.)
I couldn’t help but wonder if my friend Kristin was going to say, “Dude, I was just kidding about the face mask thing.”
So, while I sat there with this slimy stuff all over my face for 20 minutes, I did a Google search, and sure enough, LOTS of people do this.
OK, well maybe not lots. But enough that I knew it wasn’t Kristin’s idea of an “October Fool’s” joke.
Check out this list of alternative uses for the plethora of SCOBYs you accumulate when brewing your own kombucha.
SO many ideas… So little time.
But I’m sure the big question some, if not all, of you are asking is… How did it work?
I have to say I was amazed to find how smooth my skin felt afterward. It was very nice – though it did look a little like I’d used a bad sunless tanner on my face at first. Thankfully, that washed off easily with my face cleanser!
The olfactory experience and the end result reminded me of the probiotic skin brightener from Miessence that I use every other day or so.
But of course, the tactile experience was completely different. And kinda fun – in a gross, but cool kinda way.
I think we’ll keep up with the kombucha brewing for a while, so my guess is that I’ll keep doing the SCOBY facials now and again. But, when I’m in a rush, no doubt I’ll use the skin brightener for the beneficial “bugs” (probiotics) without the mess.
If you want the results without the SCOBY slime, I do recommend that brightener. Stinks like vinegar, but works great – and don’t worry, the smell doesn’t linger at all.
So what about you? Have you tried the SCOBY face mask? If you haven’t, would you?
If anyone wants a SCOBY baby, I have plenty to share! I wonder how I’d describe it to the post office guy when mailing it to some of you who are far away…
That might be funny…