All You Need to Know about Fermented Skincare


The rise of Korean Beauty has introduced us to a host of new beauty trends, techniques and ingredients. From snail mucin, propolis and centella asiatica, Korea’s other obsession is fermented skincare.


With a long history stretching back to the Joseon Dynasty, this current craze is more than just a passing fad, so we’re covering all you need to know about fermented skincare.


Why Fermented Skincare?

Fermented ingredients are not new to K-Beauty, having been used in Korean skincare products for hundreds of years. Known for their ability to target everything from inflammation to a weak skin barrier, fermented ingredients are one of the key ingredients behind the much-hyped K-beauty glow. Glass skin, anyone?


What is Fermented Skincare?

Fermentation is a slow conversion process during which ingredients are broken down into smaller molecules through the use of other microorganisms. It is a series of reactions that convert sugars to other substances (i.e. grapes to wine, one of our favs!) Fermentation is also the process behind Korea’s staple food, kimchi (fermented cabbage).

Because fermentation breaks ingredients into smaller molecules, when fermented ingredients are used in skincare, the skin is able to more easily and effectively absorb them. Popular K-Beauty ferments include fruits, herbs, rose flowers and yeast.


What are the benefits of fermentation?

Fermented skincare offers several benefits:

First, the fermentation process that breaks the ingredients down into smaller molecules assists the ingredients in the products to be better absorbed by the skin.

Second, it reduces the risk of irritation by neutralising toxic substances like metals and pesticides that are found in the raw ingredients. The fermentation process also skips the use of preservatives, which is good news for those suffering from irritated skin.

Fermentation also increases the nutrient density of the ingredients, making the product’s natural ingredients more powerful.

Finally, fermented products are also loaded with natural anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories, which can assist in increasing the natural turnover rate of skin cells, which in turn aids to slow the ageing process.

Our Favourite K-Beauty Ferments 

Korean Beauty products are packed full of ferments – everything from star galactomyces ferment filtrate (the same type of yeast found in SKII’s products to rose petals and lactobacillus! Our top picks?

Benton Fermentation Essence – contains two star ferments – Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate and Bifida Ferment Lysate. The essence works to manage blemishes, pores, oil/sebum, uneven tone, texture, the signs of ageing, and dry skin.

SU:M37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick – contains fermented rose petals and skin-friendly fermented botanicals. This cleanser has reached cult status thanks to its luxe formula and powerful cleansing abilities.

Missha Time Revolution First Treatment Essence – contains 90% fermented yeast concentrate, which absorbs into skin to energize, sooth, smooth, balance and revitalize it.

Elizavecca Galactomyces 97% Serum – contains star ferment galactomyces, to help reduce dead skin and sebum, blackheads and blemishes, whilst also brightening the skin.

Missha Borabit Ampoule – contains bifida ferment lysate, the same probiotic as found in Estee Lauder’s much pricier Advanced Night Repair Serum. Bifida ferment lysate is a bacteria that reduces sensitivity and helps the skin repair itself.

Belif The True Cream Moisturising Bomb – a cult Korean beauty moisturiser that is literally jam-packed full of ferments, including mistletoe, lactobacillus, soybean, saccharomyces and more.


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