We have all heard about the health benefits of eating fermented foods, but placing this on your face does sound strange. However this does reap benefits for your skin too. An increasing number of brands are utilising the wonders of fermented ingredients to create effective, barrier-boosting skincare products that help to support a healthy skin microbiome. Most skincare products that have launched in the past few years already contain fermented ingredients. You might unknowingly be already using them. Hailing from Korea, where fermented ingredients have been used for thousands of years, it’s hardly a new concept. But as our fascination with health and wellbeing grows, so too does our interest in skincare. Particularly skincare that supports the health of our skincare and protects our skin’s microbiome.
So, what exactly are fermented ingredients? And just an FYI we’re not talking about rubbing kimchi all over your skin. This trend is all about powerful fermented ingredients that literally feed your face.
Fermented skincare uses ingredients made using fermentation. The process of fermentation is one in which a substance is broken down into a simpler substance by microorganisms like yeast or bacteria. It occurs in the absence of oxygen (anaerobic conditions), and in the presence of beneﬁcial microorganisms (yeasts, moulds, and bacteria) that obtain their energy through the fermentation process. During the fermentation process, these beneﬁcial microbes break down sugars and starches into alcohols and acids.
One of the biggest difficulties for a skincare product with a large molecular size is to penetrate deep enough into our skin to be able to deliver optimum benefits. However, with fermentation breaking down larger sized molecules into smaller molecules, the reduction in size aids in absorbing active ingredients where our skin needs it most.
Sometimes, chemical compounds in a specific extract can irritate our skin type (we have all been there) especially if you have sensitive skin. Fermentation assists in breaking down this irritant to reduce its effect on sensitive skin.
One of the best benefits of fermented products, is that they help in slowing down the natural ageing process of our skin. Eating fermented foods also assists in clarifying and rejuvenating our skin from the inside out. When used in topical skincare, this fermentation process increases the bioavailability of ingredients, which means that they penetrate our skin at a deeper level. This is ideal for anyone with particularly dry skin.
Another fantastic benefit of fermented skincare is that you can find something for anyone’s skin type! If you’re looking to fight wrinkles and reduce dark spots without irritating your skin, products containing fermented red ginseng are the ones for you. Or, if you’re looking to achieve a plumper and softer complexion, fermented soy can help boost your skin’s own production of hyaluronic acid. Likewise, green tea seed oil has superior moisturising benefits, and the complex fermentation process releases an extra hit of vitamin E, free fatty acids, and polyphenols. Brands like Vintner’s Daughter, Tatcha, and Fresh have joined the ranks of fermented skincare. With consumers and the GEN Z audience becoming far more aware and in tune with ingredients and their key benefits, there is no doubt this trend will continue to grow.
If you are looking for support in developing a brand in the skincare market or you have an existing brand and you are looking to reposition this, get in touch, we would love to hear from. As a beauty brand management company, we work with our clients to develop their brands from ‘concept to shelf’.
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