“If only our eyes saw souls instead of bodies how different our ideals of beauty would be.”Lauren Jaureguil
Since using the Continuous Kombucha on Tap brewing method, I have scobys to spare.
Remind me again, what is a Scoby?
A Scoby is an acronym for Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast.
Scoby’s are alive with active yeast and bacteria. They create a membrane in the kombucha also known as a pecille. The acetobacter aceti bacteria in the scoby convert ethanol from the yeast into acetic and gluconic acid through aerobic respiration.
The sugars in kombucha are consumed by the yeast, but sugars are also converted by acetobacter into something called cellulose, an insoluble fibre also produced by plants and the most abundant organic polymer on earth. The jellyfish-like scoby structure is essentially long chains of lots of sugars bundled tightly together.
A strong bacteria culture that is fed regularly with sweet tea will produce nice, thick, juicy scobys as an indicator of bacterial strength and health.
All very scientific isn’t it?
While some of my spare scobys have found their way to my compost heaps as accelerants, I was surprised to discover that scobys may also have an aesthetic value.
And while you can simply slap a bit of raw scoby on your face, (and there would be no harm in doing so!) it is much easier to apply when the scoby is pureed. All these recipes require scoby that has been blitzed into a smooth puree, which is much like a gel in texture. The good news is, scoby puree will keep for a while in your fridge.
You could also add scoby puree to smoothies for a healthy probiotic hit.
Scoby’s can have a bit of a vinegary smell, so if this offends you, add a few drops of lavender, or your preferred essential oil.
Scoby Flaxseed Gel Mask
Well-seasoned vegans know that the humble flaxseed is an excellent egg-white substitute. Flaxseeds are wonderful for your skin, both in your diet and topically.
In this recipe, it lends it’s omega 3 goodness and it’s jelly-stickiness to this mask. This mask is best made fresh, yet will keep in the fridge for 3 days.
You will need
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed meal
- 1 tablespoon scoby puree
- 2 tablespoons of cooled chamomile tea
- 6 drops of lavender essential oil
- Mix the cooled chamomile tea with the flaxseed meal and then stir in the scoby puree.
- Place mixture into the fridge, covered for 20 minutes to thicken.
- Spread cooled mask generously over your cleansed face, neck and decolletage.
- Leave on for 20 minutes, rinse off with cool water.
Scoby & Raw Honey Enzyme Exfoliant
Honey never goes off. Ever. But, it can become granulated, which is great news for skincare, as a natural, gentle exfoliant. The natural enzymes in the honey have wonderful skin healing properties and when combined with the scoby puree, you have a bioactive, cleansing exfoliant.
Prepare this exfoliant as soon as you are going to use it.
You will need
- 1 tablespoon of scoby puree
- 1 tablespoon of raw creamed or granulated honey
- Mix the honey and the scoby puree together in a clean ramekin
- Massage the scoby and honey mix over your face, in gentle, circular movements, starting from your decolletage and neck, up to your forehead. You may wish to do this using a brush.
- Leave the mix on your face for 5 minutes and remove with water and tone and moisturise as per your usual routine.
This mix is gentle enough to use every evening, discontinue use if any irritation develops.
Scoby Sugar Body Polish
This is the simplest recipe here, but also one of my favorites! The two ingredients must be mixed before immeadiately before application, the sugar will start to dissolve within minutes of being mixed with the scoby puree. This body polish is exfoliating and will leave your skin feeling silky smooth.
You will need
- 1/2 cup of raw, organic sugar
- 1/2 cup of scoby puree
- Mix sugar and puree together right before application.
- Apply to wet skin (in the shower is best!) and rub over your skin in a circular motion, starting from your feet, working up to your neck.
- Be gentle over delicate skin, and do not use on your face. You can leave the scrub on the skin for a few minutes before rinsing off with warm water.
Scoby Spot Patches
I love those spot patches that you place over a blemish. Their hydrocolloid action pulls all the gunk out of a spot and allows your skin to heal.
These spot patches behave in a similar way, covering the spot, drawing out the gunk while healing the broken skin and reducing inflammation and preventing infection.
You will need
- 1 quantity of Scoby & Honey Enzyme mask
- 2 teaspoons psyllium husk powder
- 1 tablespoon of witch hazel or boiled water
- 3 drops of tea tree essential oil.
- Baking paper
- Piping bag
- Mix the psyllium husk powder with the witch hazel and essential oil before blending with the Scoby & Honey Mask.
- Put mix into a piping bag and on a piece of baking paper cut to fit your dehydrator, pipe out small dots between 1-2 cm circumference.
- Place pots in the dehydrator and set on the lowest setting (mine is 40 degrees Celsius) and dehydrate until the surface of the dots has “set” and are dry to the touch.
- To use, peel a dot from the paper and apply, sticky side down to your blemish and press on to adhere.
- Store in an airtight container for up to a fortnight.
Discard patches if they develop mould or if they cause irritation to your skin. Do not apply to infected skin.
If you have scobys to spare, do take the time to try these preparations! Do you use your scobys on your skin? How do they work for you? I would love to hear from you, please leave a comment below.