Fermented (probiotic-rich) foods provide large quantities of friendly bacteria which nourish the gut. Thanks to a Korean trend, fermented skincare is now engulfing the Western world. But is there any truth to the hype around fermented beauty products?
Gut bacteria influence immune responses. And to keep the gut healthy, people are turning back the clock and reverting to foods from past eras. They are rediscovering fermented foods. When eaten, the microorganisms in some fermented foods help fight illness and disease, and may significantly improve a person’s health.
In recent years, thanks to a trend kicked off in South Korea, the idea of fermented ingredients was taken a step further and used in skincare.
Except for our guts, our skin has more microorganisms than any other part of our body. In recent years, studies have found that topically applied fermented beauty products can re-establish and maintain the skin microbiome, treat skin complaints, and lower the skin’s pH to promote younger and healthier-looking skin.
The fermentation process
For thousands of years fermentation has been practiced to preserve foods and enhance their nutritional value.
Fermentation is the process whereby foods are soaked in salt water to allow the growth of good bacteria. During this process, the good bacteria feed on natural sugars or starch to create compounds, such as lactic acid in yoghurt and sauerkraut.
When it comes to skincare, the benefits are twofold: fermentation makes ingredients more concentrated and more easily absorbed by the skin.
It also creates additional skin-nourishing amino acids and antioxidants and is suitable for sensitive skin, giving fermented skincare an edge over the non-fermented varieties.
Fermented beauty products often contain herbs, fruit and yeast. Fermented yeast, for example, produces amino acids and peptides that help the skin’s cellular renewal and reduce the signs of skin ageing.
Other skincare ingredients that are often fermented and found in innovative formulas include sea kelp, black soy, olive leaf extract and red ginseng.
Fermented beauty products work with the skin symbiotically therefore are suitable for all skin types, even sensitive skin.
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