What is fermentation?
Fermentation is a process whereby foods are soaked in salted water allowing the growth of good bacteria. During this process natural bacteria feed on the sugar and starch generating lactic acid. Fermentation preserves as well as generates B – vitamins, probiotics, Omega – 3 fatty acids and beneficial enzymes. As a result, we get food that is more nutrient dense compared to its unfermented counterpart.
Why use fermentation in skincare?
When applied to beauty, yeast breaks down the molecule structure of active ingredients into smaller particles, resulting in nutrients, minerals and actives that are far more rapidly absorbed into the skin. Fermented skincare is also rich in skin-loving amino acids and antioxidants which is why these products are believed to be very effective and potent.
Fermented products are acidic in nature which is suggested to works perfectly for the pH of our skin. On the pH continuum (where 1 is acidic, 7 is neutral and 14 is alkaline), our skin naturally rates between pH 4.5 and 5.5.
Does it really work?
Research findings regarding the efficiency of fermented skincare are not conclusive but only encouraging at the most.
Proponents of fermented skincare point out that many unfermented skincare products are able to generate only limited results due to the bigger (relative to the fermented skincare) molecular structure which inhibits deep penetration of the product into the skin. Opponents of fermented skincare products question improved absorption properties of the fermented skincare and its ability to preserve the beauty products (thus limiting the need for conventional beauty product stabilizers).
There is also a debate regarding the use of yeast in the products. Certain types of yeast, such as Cryptococcus, are human pathogens and have been proven to cause infections in the lungs and other neurological problems.
It might be too early to say if fermented skincare is a trend or a future since the concept is very recent and has not been fully studied yet. The suggested list of benefits associated with fermented skincare is impressive. The debate regarding the efficiency of fermented skincare seems to be heated. Among all that, fermented skincare is a huge trend which is widely promoted by beauty companies and consumers. After doing the research, I personally don’t think that yeast is the hottest ingredient on the market. Yeast is an antioxidant which is why it is placed in the skincare superstar category. At the moment, I think fermented skincare is more of a trend rather than a future so I will stick to antioxidant rich products for now.
Thanks for reading,