The Story of Kombucha

Sara Anderson

Global Brand Storytelling

4 min read


Discover the story behind fresh’s powerful fermented tea ingredient.

Dried black tea leaves in a petri dish against a white background

At fresh, we’re known for taking natural remedies from around the world and harnessing their power to transform them into results-driven skincare. From using sugar to treat scrapes as children to understanding the power of fermentation on skin, our founders, Lev Glazman and Alina Roytberg, find inspiration all around them to create the collections you see today.

As a brand inspired by nature, we are on a continuous journey to advance responsible ingredient sourcing. We are committed to sourcing the finest ingredients from around the world with respect for biodiversity to bring them to your skin. One of the best examples is the black tea used to make our potent kombucha.

What is kombucha?

Kombucha is fermented black tea, rich in natural acids and vitamins, that has existed since ancient times. Historically, it has been known throughout Asia and Russia as an “immortal elixir” beverage for its energizing and detoxifying properties. Fermentation is the process that helps to strengthen cells and protect them from damage caused by environmental stressors. When it comes to skincare, this natural fermentation process bio-transforms the tea on a molecular level to have a better affinity with the skin – meaning this already highly effective ingredient of black tea becomes supercharged in its ability to keep skin smooth, boost luminosity, and protect against pollution and blue light.

Today, fresh’s kombucha delivers even more powerful antioxidant protection thanks to a double fermentation process that produces small antioxidant molecules for easy penetration.

The inspiration

fresh co-founder Lev Glazman has always been obsessed with fermented kombucha. “I started drinking kombucha and became so infatuated with the power of fermentation – how it made me feel energized and detoxified – that I wanted to highlight its potential on the skin,” he says. fresh has conducted extensive research on the antioxidant ingredient and its skin defense properties.

Our sourcing

fresh’s fair-trade certified tea, nicknamed the Golden Buds of Nepal, is sourced from a remote area in Nepal’s Himalayan mountains. Situated near Ranitar, Panchthar, at the foot of Mount Kanchanjangha, the hot and humid climate is rich in biodiversity and favorable for the cultivation of the tea. Harvested four times a year, the tea leaves are handpicked by local farmers.

This ingredient has been assessed by the Union for Ethical BioTrade (UEBT), an internationally recognized nonprofit association that promotes ethical sourcing of ingredients from biodiversity. Since 2020, fresh has worked with UEBT to improve the way we select and source our hero ingredients. This involves on-site assessments of local suppliers and cultivation or wild collection areas with verifications against the UEBT standard.

The work we have done with this ingredient (and many others) is just the beginning. We will continue to innovate while advancing our sourcing with respect for the planet and its people.

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Sara Anderson

Global Brand Storytelling

Written by Sara Anderson for Fresh. Sara is a NYC-based global marketer and beauty content strategist. Sara has 12+ years of experience conceptualizing and producing original content in beauty, fashion, music, and entertainment. Sara has created content for Fast Company, Us Weekly, Birchbox, and with her expertise most recently in the beauty space.