Before you start googling fermented skincare and wonder if you’ve been missing out on something, you should know that this is a pretty new concept that is trending in Korea.
So let me give you some context. The Missha First Treatment Essence (the holy grail essence that has crazy rave reviews on Soko Glam) uses 80% fermented yeast product to help skin’s cellular renewal. And if you’ve been wondering how that stuff makes your skin glow, you can thank fermented ingredients!
What is fermentation?
Fermentation is a natural process in which yeast secretes enzymes that are beneficial to the human body. It takes some time, but with a bit of patience the product will naturally form amino acids, vitamins and anti-oxidants thanks to the fermentation process.
Thank god kimchi is a superfood because I even like to put it on my lasagna.
If the above is making your head spin – just think of kimchi or sauerkraut. These two food products are fermented foods because of the process in which it is preserved. The preserving process actually ups the nutritional value of the food because it secretes new enzymes and acids that are beneficial to your body. It aids your digestive tract by adding “good” bacteria, and even helps flush out toxins. They’re not called “super foods” for nothin’!
Now Korean cosmetic companies are figuring out that they can ferment plants and put them into skincare products to let skin reap similar benefits that your body enjoys.
What can it do for my skin?
It’s perfect for those that are dry skin types: With loads of fruit and sugar acids, it’s a natural moisturizer for the skin
For those dealing with fine lines: Amino acids, such as glycine revitalizes and firms skin. It is also an antioxidant that can reduce free radicals and protect the skin from UV damage.
Or pigmentation and brown spots: Helps lighten brown spots, and even skin tone.
And aging: Amino acids, such as glycine, encourage the production of collagen and increases cell vitality.
In my opinion, fermentation is Korea’s answer to organic skincare. It’s pretty freakin’ genius. I’ve been wary of organic products in the past, so if it wasn’t for all the awesome results I have (and you have) been seeing I would say it could be hype. But I’m going to put my stamp of approval and say it isn’t hype folks! Fermentation has been practiced by many cultures for thousands of years and although the process is simple, it provides super charged ingredients to help deliver some powerful benefits to your skin.
It’s an understatement to say that I’ve been a bit obsessed with curating fermented skincare products, especially brands that are putting some R&D muscle behind it. Now that I know that this trend is here to stay, I’m pretty excited!
Here are a few of my current favorite fermented skincare products at different price points, and I’ll continue to add my favorite brands here:
SU:M37 – A luxury Korean beauty brand that specializes in naturally fermented skincare. “SU:M” represents the Korean word for respiration and “37” signifies the optimal fermentation temperature. SU:M37 products are also free of fragrances, artificial colors, and synthetic preservatives.
Goodal – A premium Korean beauty brand that specializes in a line of fermented essential oil skincare products.
Missha – The Time Revolution line uses fermented yeast as their superstar ingredient, and I hope they roll out some more lines dedicated to fermented ingredients.