For non-coffee drinkers, black tea provides a (sometimes necessary) jolt of caffeine to combat morning exhaustion or midday slumps. Used topically, black tea has a beneficial effect in skincare, too.
“Black tea has a firming and a toning component to it,” says Lauren Cummings, Regional Sales + Education Executive at Youth To The People. “It's visibly going to make the skin appear tighter when you use it.” It’s also chock full of antioxidants which help to protect from environmental damage like UV rays from the sun, or pollution.
“Those free radicals can speed up the aging process,” Cummings notes. Black tea helps to act as a barrier.
Furthermore, when fermented, the ingredient turns into a probiotic-rich kombucha. As a beverage, kombucha has shot up in popularity over the years, and caught the eyes of the team at Youth To The People thanks to its many health benefits.
“Our two co-founders, Joe and Greg, are really inspired by ingredients and inspired by superfoods that they're drinking and eating, and supplements they're taking,” Cummings says. “And they truly believe that those same superfoods that can affect our body in a healthy way on the inside will really affect our skin when applied topically on the outside.”
As far as what the topical benefits of kombucha include, Cummings explains:
“Our skin is covered in microorganisms, and when you apply black tea kombucha topically, you’re essentially feeding the skin’s microbiome the good bacteria, giving the skin the nutrients it needs to stay happy, healthy, and balanced,” she says.
Kombucha black tea is the muse ingredient in YTTP’s Kombucha + 11% AHA Exfoliation Power Toner for that very reason. Formulated with a blend of 8% lactic acid and 3% glycolic acid, it smoothes skin and minimizes pores while retaining hydration. Tree bark ferment also teams up with kombucha to enhance the skin’s natural microbiome, while ginger, citrus bioflavonoids, and lemon extract double down on addressing the skin’s texture and scavenging for pollutants.
While kombucha the drink might be an acquired taste for some, luckily, when applied topically it’s safe whether your skin skews oily or dry (or whether you dwell on the east or west coast).
“It’s very gentle and safe for all skin types,” Cummings says. “It has a level of antioxidant protection that everyone can benefit from.”
When it comes to the Kombucha Power Toner, Cummings suggests applying it as part of your evening routine 2-3x per week—especially if you’re new to acids. See how your skin reacts, and work your way up from there.
“Black tea can be effective in most topical skincare products—including toners, serums, creams, and masks,” Cummings says. Basically, anything goes when it comes to this wunderkind ingredient.
Written by Taylor Bryant for Youth To The People