Is Fermented Skincare the Next Big Thing?
We're all getting used to having some fermented foods in our lives – but what about for our skin?

Skincare trends come and go faster than Tinder matches. Remember when we were all gaga for glass skin? And lost it over LED face masks? What about soaking in an apple cider vinegar-spiked bath? Wow. Now that was a time.

But if you’re a beauty bandwagon jumper like me, you’ll want to play close attention to what’s taking off in 2022. Especially if you’re someone who goes crazy for fermented foods like kimchi and kombucha (again, you’re in good company). Why? Because fermented skincare is suddenly everywhere, and it’s taking the beauty world by storm.

Ah-huh. A swift Google search generates an eyebrow-raising 5,000,000 results. Which is wild, considering how just a few years ago, most of us would’ve freaked out at the term ‘fermented’ altogether. I mean, it sounds like terminology that belongs in a science lab, right? Not your kitchen – let alone your bathroom!

But somehow, we’ve all embraced the hype around fermentation, so much so that it’s started to stretch beyond cultured dairy products and miso and creep its way into beauty and skincare.

Fermented skincare. What’s the deal?

You take probiotics on the daily. Load your salad with sauerkraut. You’re familiar with all the good stuff fermented foods can do for you, like improved digestion and a stronger immune system. But the benefits of fermented ingredients for your skin might not be quite so obvious – yet.

Here’s the skinny: fermented skincare products are a little like the stronger twin of their non-fermented sisters. Just like cabbage magics into kimchi and soybeans transform into tempeh with the power of fermentation, serums, face masks, and moisturisers become more absorbent and concentrated when fermented., which equals ultra-nourished, dewy skin – yes, please!

To take things up a notch on the science front, the fermentation process means breaking down the molecular structure of your skincare’s ingredients, making them more powerful and potent. In other words, fermented products go the extra mile and give you more bang for your buck. I bet the sound of that lights you up!

So, how do you introduce fermented skincare into your already bursting beauty routine?

Shop our five favourite fermented products.

innisfree Fermented Soybean Bio Cellulose Mask – Brightening

A no-brainer if you just want to dip your toe into this new trend. Enriched with vitamin C for an extra brightening boost, this second skin-like face mask is formulated with fermented soybean and nature-derived Jeju. Super hydrating and nourishing, it’s like a mini day-spa at home – all for $7!

Cultured Resilience Facial Oil

This is a bit of a splurge, but you can’t put a price tag on self-care, can you? Made with fermented and activated oils to boost collagen and skin firmness, this luxe facial oil will leave you feeling hydrated, rejuvenated, exfoliated, and uber-glowy. It’s also cruelty-free, sulphate-free, and paraben-free, which is a major plus.

Clinique Moisture Surge 100H Auto-Replenishing Hydrator Moisturiser

Is there anything more classic than a Clinique product? Sure, it might bring up memories of your grandmother’s cleansing cream, but when it comes to skincare, this brand knows what it’s doing. This fragrance-free, lightweight, and quick-absorbing moisturiser will soothe and smooth your skin the minute you slap it on. Made with aloe bio-ferment, the texture is light, silky, and seriously lush.

Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask

When Co-Founder Lev Glazman tried kombucha for the first time, a fermented black tea drink, he noticed that his energy levels skyrocketed immediately. He began investigating the extract as soon as he tried it. This legendary health elixir is also known as the 'Immortal Health Elixir', as it dates back to 250 B.C. At the time, it was deemed to be just as energizing for the body as it was for the skin.

As a powerful antioxidant, Kombucha works to provide protection from wrinkle-causing free radicals while softening, smoothing, and enhancing the lustre of the skin. Furthermore, the formula is further enhanced with lychee seed extract, which is known to support natural collagen, as well as firming polysaccharides that help to smooth skin, as well as jicama root juice, which is known for its hydrating and nourishing properties.

SK-II Facial Treatment Essence

Researchers at a sake brewery in Japan noticed that elderly workers still had exceptionally soft hands despite their wrinkled faces, which led SK-II to pioneer fermented skincare. They concluded that their hands were constantly in contact with sake fermentation. During their research, they discovered a ‘miracle ingredient’ called Pitera, which is now their primary ingredient (90%). It helps maintain healthy cellular rejuvenation and balances your skin's pH and sebum secretion, giving you a more radiant complexion.

In the market for some winter skin hydration heroes to add to your routine? Check them out over here.

Kristina Roach

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Is Fermented Skincare the Next Big Thing?