It might sound like an unlikely ingredient to add to anything (let alone beauty products!) but yeast is in fact a star ingredient in many of the world’s favourite cosmetics.
STYLE STORY takes a look at what yeast is, what it does and the benefits of yeast extract in beauty products. We also recommend some of our favourite K-Beauty products incorporating yeast!
WHAT IS YEAST EXTRACT?
Yeast extract describes the extract of various products, and includes everything from brewer’s yeast (the type found in red wine, sake and beer), to bakers and nutritional yeast.
Yeast itself is a derivative of fungi, and as such contains a large concentration of antioxidants.
WHY IS YEAST EXTRACT SO GOOD?
The health benefits of yeast extract are directly related to its high nutrient content, including antioxidants which are capable of neutralising harmful free-radicals that are present in the environment.
This protective mechanism makes it perfect for cosmetics as it not only helps to maintain the skin’s quality and texture, but also allows skin to retain moisture.
Yeast also contains a number of beneficial ingredients including proteins, minerals, antioxidants and a variety of vitamins.
Surprisingly, yeast extract is even gluten free!
WHAT DOES YEAST EXTRACT DO IN BEAUTY PRODUCTS?
Yeast has both antioxidant and cell renewal properties, and is able to improve skin smoothness and texture.
Benefits for Sensitive Skin
Yeast ferments can be good for sensitive skin types, as they are less likely to be recognised as foreign substances due to their protein chemistry, which is similar to human skin. This makes an allergic reaction less likely.
Benefits for Dry Skin
Yeast has also been shown to have moisture-retention properties, meaning it is able to improve skin’s overall levels of hydration.
Benefits for Dull Skin
Yeast is thought to be a good source of B vitamins and iron. Particularly when used in its fermented form, it may help to brighten and lift the skin.
Benefits for Cell Metabolism
Yeast extract also has a stimulating and activating effect on cell metabolism, where it acts to increase the production of ATP, a critical energy source for cells. This helps in skin renewal and cell turnover.
TYPES OF YEAST EXTRACTS
There are several main varieties of yeast extract you’ll find in Korean Beauty products. Our favourites to look for include:
Galactomyces Ferment – A byproduct of the sake brewing process, this wonder beauty ingredient is produced when fermentation breaks the yeast down into smaller components. This allows it to effectively deliver antioxidants directly to the skin, protecting it from environmental and UV damage, which cause premature ageing.
Galactomyces extract tones, nourishes, moisturises and reduces the visible signs of ageing
Bifida Ferment Lysate – another type of yeast, this ingredient likely has hydrating and soothing properties.
OUR FAVOURITE K-BEAUTY PRODUCTS FEATURING YEAST EXTRACT
With some of the world’s favourite cosmetics currently containing yeast extract, it’s little wonder Korean Beauty products have taken formulas featuring yeast to new heights. Some of STYLE STORY’s favourites include:
Benton Fermentation Eye Cream – this luxe eye cream keeps eyes looking bright and youthful with a variety of skin-friendly fermented ingredients, including galactomcyes and bifida ferment lysate.
Missha Time Revolution First Treatment Essence – designed to be used on clean skin, First Treatment Essence provides 8 benefits – soothing, smoothing, balancing sebum levels, moisturising, improving skin tone, firming, wrinkle repair and boosting – as certified by the KFDA.
Elizavecca Milky Piggy Galactomyces 97% Serum – this serum transforms your skin giving it a softer, healthier and brighter tone using the power of galactomyces.
COSRX Galactomyces 95 Whitening Power Essence – this is a first treatment essence packed with 95% star ingredient galactomyces ferment extract. Designed to be used as the first step in skincare after cleansing, it hydrates and brightens while protecting skin from visible signs of ageing.
Benton Fermentation Essence – this is a lightweight essence jam-packed full of galactomyces ferment filtrate. It works to brighten skin, increase its hydration and improve suppleness.