What Is Fermented Skincare?

The health benefits of fermented foods have been known for generations, but can your skin reap the benefits, too? I’ve been looking into the latest skincare trend…

Image Credit @ Tom Munro for ELLE UK

Fermented foods like yoghurt, kimchi, wine and kefir are a part of many diets, and those containing probiotics have long been recognised as providing multiple benefits for gut health. Anything that’s good for the gut is good for the skin, but could the benefits of fermentation work wonders for your skin, too? Fermented ingredients have started popping up in moisturisers, serums and more, but is the fermented skincare trend right for you? (And what exactly is it?!)


Image Credit @ Tom Munro for ELLE UK

What Is Fermented Skincare?

Fermented skincare ingredients have undergone a similar process to foods that have been fermented in salt or yeast to alter their states. Skincare ingredients undergo lab fermentation to harness microorganisms such as bacteria to create altered compounds with different benefits. These include ingredients like fermented rice extract, mushrooms or grapes. They can be beneficial for sensitive skin, as many boast soothing properties as well as being able to deeply penetrate skin.

How Does It Work?

Fermented skincare products can be more effective because the process of fermentation makes the ingredients smaller by breaking them down into smaller molecules. This allows them to penetrate deeper as they are more easily absorbed by your skin. The process can also be good for your skin microbiome as the process results in probiotics in the form of peptides or acids, to help protect and support a healthy skin barrier. This makes fermented skincare worth considering if you suffer for imbalanced skin, inflammation, or sensitivity.

The efficacy of fermented skincare is still anecdotal, with further studies needed to prove whether this process of producing cosmetics definitely offers additional benefits. But if you have sensitive skin, or you’re looking to shake up your skincare regime, now could be a good time to tap into the trend.

Fermented Skincare To Try Now

  1. DRUNK ELEPHANT | Sweet Biome Fermented Sake Spray
  2. GLOSSIER | Cleanser Concentrate
  3. VICHY | Mineral 89 Prebiotic Concentrate
  4. 100% PURE | Fermented Rice Water Toner
  5. ORVEDA | Deep Cleansing Bio-Fermented Rich-Balm
  6. AURELIA SKINCARE | The Blemish Heros Collection
  7. FRESH | Kombucha Facial Treatment Essence

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