Ever wondered if fermented skincare works? These ingredients have been at the heart of Korean skincare for years and are just starting to make their way onto our radar. Serums with fermented ingredients offer a unique supply of much-needed pH-balancing probiotics and other microbiome-friendly vitamins and minerals to tired skin, and so much more.
In this article, you will learn:
- What is Fermented Skincare?
- What are the Benefits of Fermented Skincare?
- What Are the Best Probiotic Skincare Ingredients?
What is Fermented Skin Care?
Fermentation is an ancient custom that’s been practiced for thousands of years to naturally preserve certain foods. Since the invention of the refrigerator, fermented foods have become scarce and are now mostly limited to yogurt, kimchi, kombucha, and sauerkraut. Despite their decline in popularity, many nutritionists recommend regular consumption of fermented foods to increase the production of healthy bacteria in the gut microbiome.
Now, recent research is proving that these probiotic-abundant ingredients also deserve a place in our skincare thanks to their powerful ability to fortify the skin microbiome and enhance overall skin health.
What are the Benefits of Fermented Skincare?
The benefits of applying products infused with fermented ingredients can depend on the specific ingredient in the formula. Regardless, there are still many overall benefits that apply to all fermented ingredients, such as:
- They strengthen the skin barrier. The vitamins and antioxidants that are created during the fermentation process fortify the skin barrier against irritating and damaging agents, which is especially beneficial for thin, aging, sensitive, and irritation-prone skin.
- They’re more bioavailable than other skincare ingredients thanks to their smaller molecular size.
- They increase the skin’s ability to retain moisture, ideal for dry skin types.
- They balance the pH, preventing the complexion from looking red and blotchy.
- They help enhance the potency of other skincare ingredients, making your skincare products all the more effective.
Read on to learn about more ways fermented ingredients can enhance your skin.
Fermentation Helps the Skin Absorb More Benefits
Once an ingredient is fermented, it’s microbes break down into smaller, more absorbable molecules. This makes these ingredients much more efficient at performing their job, whether it’s to brighten the complexion or repair the skin against sun damage.
In many cases, our skin isn’t able to take in the nutrients from certain ingredients because of their large molecular size. Since the microorganisms of fermented ingredients are so similar to our own, fermented skincare products are more easily absorbed into the skin. The fact that fermented ingredients are able to mimic our cell functions also means that there is less of a chance of adverse reactions. This is ideal for anyone with easily irritated or sensitive skin.
Fermentation Creates New Skin-Enhancing Properties
During the fermentation process, the sugar and starches start to break down, producing healthy bacteria and lactic acid. This not only works to preserve the food being fermented, but once the enzymes break down, it leads to the creation of new nutrients like essential vitamins, probiotics, and enzymes that supremely nourish your skin. For example, a 2012 study proved that, once fermented, red ginseng contained a significant increase in whitening and anti-aging properties.
It turns out, the same probiotics that are known to help our gut microbiome flourish are also able to promote a strong skin microbiome as well for healthier skin from the inside out.
Fermentation Makes Products Safer and More Natural
While it may sound ironic, applying bacteria-rich ingredients on your skin can actually inhibit the growth of harmful, pathogenic bacteria and toxins. For the same reasons fermented food can last for months without going bad, these antimicrobial properties can also enhance the shelf life of your skincare products. This means fermented ingredients can act as a natural preservative, replacing the need for harmful parabens and toxic preservatives.
Ampersand’s natural serums harness the skin-enhancing benefits of fermentation to fortify the skin barrier, nourish the microbiome, and replace the need for toxic preservatives.
What Are the Best Probiotic Skincare Ingredients?
Certain fermented ingredients can offer more than just a probiotic-boost. Kombucha and fermented rice are two ingredients that provide major brightening and rejuvenating benefits for all skin types.
Black Tea Kombucha
Black tea on its own is naturally brightening and its abundance in circulation-increasing caffeine is known to create a healthy glow. Fermenting black tea dramatically increases the potency of its brightening and radiance effects. The fermentation process upgrades black tea into one of the most effective ingredients to keep skin youthful with anti-aging vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, B12 and C. Black tea kombucha also rich in gluconic acid, lactic acid, and folic acid that bind to toxins and expel them from the skin while shielding the skin microbiome from damage.
Probiotics from black tea restore balance to the skin’s microbiome and increase the number of good bacteria in the skin. Fermentation allows the ingredients to break down more, making it easier to penetrate into the skin.
After each application of rice ferment’s skin calming and brightening properties, it’s clear to see why some consider this to be the ultimate youth-enhancing elixir. Fermented rice offers skin microbiome-healthy probiotics and important minerals, antioxidants, and B vitamins, that help even the skin tone and plump the skin, working to diminish the appearance of dark spots and fine lines. What’s more, fermented rice can help balance a healthy skin pH, prepping the skin against irritation, redness, and hypersensitivity.
Black tea kombucha and fermented rice are both key ingredients in Ampersand’s Essential Skin Defense (ESD™). Each ultra-potent serum has specific functions to enhance overall skin health while targeting specific skin concerns, from dark spots to fine lines.
View Ampersand’s serum collection here.