Skincare’s not-so-new secret: Fermentation
From food to skincare, here’s everything you need to know.
Fermentation as a term is commonly associated with products like wine, yogurt, teas et cetera. Back in the day, a lot of people would ferment their food in order to improve flavour, enhance shelf life, and along with that enjoy the health benefits that come with it. Fermentation usually brings about probiotics, which help restore balance in the gut, aid digestion, and support heart health. In the world of skincare, it works the same way, hence, fermentation has begun to garner a lot of traction as well. While the use of yogurt and other probiotics has been around for years to heal skin, it’s only in recent years that probiotic skincare has become quite well-known.
Let’s Dive Deeper.
In a winery, you’ll find that grapes are fermented with yeast to make wine, in a kitchen perhaps you’ll see cabbage seasoned with salt to make kimchi or a box of yogurt in the fridge. People usually consume kimchi or yogurt, or a probiotic supplement prior to their meal allowing them to better absorb the nutrients consumed, as well as better digest their food. When it comes to skincare fermentation, it is exactly the same, fermentation of nourishing ingredients makes them more concentrated and yet easier to absorb hence better nourishing the skin
Fermentation in Skincare
Ingredients such as soy, rice water, kelp, mushrooms, ginseng, olives, and more are ingredients that formulators apply the process of fermentation to when creating fermented or probiotic skincare. Not only are natural ingredients used in the process, but actives like Vitamin C and Hyaluronic Acid are on this fermentation party's guest list as well! In this process going forward, fermented ingredients are exposed to good bacteria or microorganisms that further break down these ingredients into smaller molecules. These smaller molecules are then able to penetrate further adding great value when it comes to skincare in terms of results.
Why Choose Fermented Skincare?
Just like fermented foods, fermented skincare comes with a bunch of perks. Some ingredients become twice as powerful post-fermentation which benefits the skin in many ways. Actives such as Hyaluronic acids that are otherwise very large to penetrate into the skin are now being fermented which makes their absorption in the skin easier. Studies suggest that these fermented ingredients also help the skin microbiome as it supports the health of microorganisms on the skin. Additionally, the process enhances the antioxidant potential of raw ingredients and encourages the growth of the probiotics living on the surface of the skin, thus helping in maintaining homeostasis. . Fermentation is also designed to act with cellular function, hence making products less inflammatory, as well as enhancing a product’s shelf life.
Over the years, scientists too have turned their interest to the topical application of specific probiotic microorganisms in order to evaluate their effectiveness in preventing wound inflammation as well as improving the speed of the healing process itself.
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