Fermented skin care is having a moment, though the concept has been a staple in K-beauty routines for centuries. Our skin loves natural food sources. Fermented skin care, much like fermented foods, means that microorganisms (bacteria) have been added, which release enzymes that break down the ingredients, yielding products that our skin (and tummies) love. Just like wine, beer, kimchi, sauerkraut and yogurt are fermented into foods that promote healthy gut bacteria, ingredients like yeast, milk, fruit and plants are fermented into skin care products with so many added benefits.
Fermentation causes a substance to undergo three major changes — 1) it becomes easier for the skin to absorb, 2) it removes irritating substances and 3) it becomes more nutrient-dense. Basically, the bacteria breaks down the substance into smaller particles (for easier absorption), it neutralizes irritants (like pesticides) so the end product is gentle enough for sensitive skin and the process produces antioxidants, peptides and amino acids not found in the raw material, so it becomes a topical nutrient powerhouse. Typically, the fermentation of skin care ingredients is much shorter than that of foods because it will eventually cause the ingredients to break down and be less effective. Fermentation also helps to prolong a product’s shelf life — no need to add synthetic preservatives as it’s full of anti-microbial organisms.
If you’re looking to hydrate, plump and minimize lines and wrinkles, consider adding a fermented skin care product to your regimen. Popular fermented ingredients include: berries, seaweed, tea and yeast (to name a few). These natural wonders can strengthen your skin barrier and give you stunning results. Here are a few of our favorite fermented products to try now.
This article originally appeared on TotalBeauty.com