What to Know About the Fermented Skin Care Trend

Kimchi for the face, anyone?

Fermented foods
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Skin care ingredient trends come and go.  Many skin care trends are now starting in Korea and making their way West from there.  One such skin care trend is fermented skin care.  Fermented?  Yes, just like foods such as s​auerkraut, kombucha, or kimchi.  Or beer, sourdough bread, and yogurt.  We are not suggesting that you apply fermented foods to your face for healthy skin; instead consider using skin care products that contain fermented ingredients.  Why?  Keep on reading find out the pros and cons of this trendy skin care ingredient.

What Is Fermented Skin Care

Fermentation is an ancient practice used to preserve foods.  Vegetables like cabbage or cucumbers are soaked in salt water thereby allowing good bacteria to grow.  During the fermentation process natural bacteria feeds on the sugar and starches in the foods creating lactic acid.  Not only does this preserve the food that is being soaked, but it also adds important nutrients to the foods including probiotics, Omega-3s fatty acids, helpful enzymes, and B-vitamins which all contribute to your overall health when eaten.  Good bacteria not only helps our stomachs but also keeps our skin healthy as well since a healthy gut equals healthy skin.  

You may have seen DIY yourself skin care and hair recipes that include beer, yogurt, or apple cider vinegar - these are all fermented foods that are said to have beauty benefits when applied to your skin or hair.  When it comes to professionally formulated and packaged skin care products, fermented ingredients are used for a variety of reasons.  Firstly, the fermentation process happens over a period of time; this is not a quick process to produce these ingredients.  While undergoing fermentation skin care ingredients like rice, tea, or soy, are broken down into smaller molecules during the fermentation process. The smaller molecules make it possible for the nutrients from the ingredients to be better absorbed by our skin.  Not only can the smaller molecules penetrate better into the skin they are also less irritating to the skin since the fermentation process not only breaks down molecules but also causes the ingredients to "mellow out" or become milder. This is especially helpful for sensitive skin. Skin care products with fermented ingredients can soothe irritated skin.  Fermentation can also increase the level of antioxidants in skin care ingredients and that can have an anti-aging affect on your skin.  Fermented skin care ingredients can also gently exfoliate and hydrate the skin.  This means that these ingredients are especially effective for dry and sensitive skin types who cannot use stronger facial acids on their skin.

You can find fermented skin care ingredients in such products as: Fresh Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask which is great for boosting hydration in dry skin, MISSHA Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence with fermented yeast extract to soothe and hydrate the skin, or Zero Xeno Kombucha Facial Cleanser Spray to gently cleanse skin.

Hold Up - Not Everyone Loves This Skin Care Trend

Though more than one beauty company will tell you that fermented skin care ingredients are going to save your skin some experts feel that this is all just a bunch of hype and a marketing gimmick citing the fact that there is no scientific evidence that these fermented ingredients actually do anything significant to the skin.  Just because something does your body good when you eat it does not mean that putting the same nutrients on your face will do anything good for your skin since they probably aren't penetrating past the very top layer of dead skin cells.  

Despite the naysayers, this is definitely a skin care trend to watch especially if the products come from Korea.  If you like a product that contains fermented ingredients and feel that it benefits your skin then enjoy those benefits.  Just don't expect this trend to be a skin care cure-all.  Your skin actually might get more benefit from incorporating fermented foods into your diet than from applying them to your skin.