Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
Have you ever noticed how skincare has an uncanny way of wrapping tradition in a mantle of innovation? Among the many practices from our past finding a home in contemporary beauty routines, one is standing out: fermentation. Yes, the very same process behind the tang in your yoghurt and the kick in your kimchi is also turning heads in skincare circles.
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The Process and Benefits
Fermentation, in essence, is a process where natural enzymes and select bacteria break down organic substances. While this has been enhancing our culinary exploits for centuries, the skincare world has uncovered an entirely different set of benefits.
When we ferment botanical ingredients, we supercharge their beneficial properties. The resulting concoctions are teeming with enhanced levels of antioxidants, vitamins, and amino acids, along with unique substances known as postbiotics. These are the byproducts of fermentation, each one bearing a different gift for your skin.
Postbiotics include elements like hyaluronic acid, peptides, and various organic acids. Hyaluronic acid draws water into the skin, promoting hydration and elasticity. Peptides, being smaller proteins, can delve deeper into your skin, stimulating collagen production and reinforcing your skin’s barrier function. Organic acids like lactic acid and azelaic acid gently exfoliate your skin, aiding cell turnover to unveil a brighter, smoother surface.
One of the most fascinating aspects of fermentation is how it ‘pre-digests’ botanical ingredients. By reducing their molecular size, it helps your skin absorb these ingredients more readily, maximizing their efficacy and boosting their bioavailability. You can think of it as delivering your skin a more potent, easily digestible version of these botanicals.
Sustainability and Unique Ingredients
Fermentation does more than just supercharge skincare benefits. It can also contribute to product stability and preservation. But perhaps the most exciting implication of fermentation in skincare is its harmony with sustainability. It’s an energy-efficient process that often incorporates by-products from other industries. In a testament to circularity, our Papaya & Bakuchiol Gel Serum uses the unused residual fruit pulp generated by the food industry and is macerated with Lactobacillus lactis, This approach to ingredient sourcing not only reduces waste but also reaffirms our commitment to a greener future.
Our Approach and Products
Fermentation isn’t a uniform process. The outcome can vary based on the type of bacteria or yeast used, the ingredient being fermented, and the conditions under which fermentation happens. Each variable can affect the postbiotics produced and their benefits for your skin.
Although we don’t perform fermentation ourselves, we strategically include fermented ingredients in our product formulations. Our carefully selected ingredients are sourced from partners who adhere to optimal conditions for fermentation, using high-quality, sustainably sourced botanicals.
For instance, our Fruits & Seeds Eye Cream is enriched with a potent, fermented cocoa extract, celebrated for its antioxidant benefits. The biofermentation process, involving Lactobacillus, enhances the delivery of phytoactives, making it an ideal ingredient for addressing under-eye circles.
In our creams, we harness the power of a unique ingredient: fermented wasabi. This indigenous Japanese plant, known as Wasabia japonica, undergoes maceration and fermentation with Lactobacillus. The result is an ingredient celebrated for its antimicrobial properties, making it perfect for targeting skin impurities. It also serves as a powerful skin antioxidant, safeguarding DNA from free radical damage and enhancing other antioxidants’ activity. Even in small amounts, this extract exhibits significant antimicrobial activity. This not only contributes to skin health but also boosts the natural preservation systems of our products. Rest assured, despite its potent origins, the extract is pleasantly odourless!
Finally, our Triple Algae Glow Restoring Oil features a unique fusion of sunflower seed oil and willow bark extract. This fermentative blend, derived from Lactobacillus bulgaricus supports skin renewal, and fortifies the skin’s natural barrier. With its moisturising and soothing properties, it helps improve skin texture, and offers some protection against UV damage (you still need to wear sun cream!), contributing to overall skin health.
So, fermentation’s role in skincare signals a captivating merger of age-old wisdom with modern skincare needs. It uncovers heightened benefits of botanicals while upholding sustainable practices.
So, the next time you reach for one of our products, think of the remarkable journey behind each drop. It carries the bounty of nature, enhanced by the timeless process of fermentation, teeming with potent postbiotics ready to nourish your skin.
Here’s to the allure of fermentation!
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Sources and further reading:
Majchrzak, W.; Motyl, I.; Śmigielski, K. Biological and Cosmetical Importance of Fermented Raw Materials: An Overview. Molecules 2022, 27, 4845. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27154845
Chan, C.-F.; Huang, C.-C.; Lee, M.-Y.; Lin, Y.-S. Fermented Broth in Tyrosinase- and Melanogenesis Inhibition. Molecules 2014, 19, 13122-13135. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules190913122
Otsuka, A.; Moriguchi, C.; Shigematsu, Y.; Tanabe, K.; Haraguchi, N.; Iwashita, S.; Tokudome, Y.; Kitagaki, H. Fermented Cosmetics and Metabolites of Skin Microbiota—A New Approach to Skin Health. Fermentation 2022, 8, 703. https://doi.org/10.3390/fermentation8120703
Pérez-Rivero, C.; López-Gómez, J.P. Unlocking the Potential of Fermentation in Cosmetics: A Review. Fermentation 2023, 9, 463. https://doi.org/10.3390/fermentation9050463
Duarte, M., Oliveira, A.L., Oliveira, C. et al. Current postbiotics in the cosmetic market—an update and development opportunities. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 106, 5879–5891 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00253-022-12116-5
Wei-Chih Huang, Shu-Jen Chen, Teh-Liang Chen,Production of hyaluronic acid by repeated batch fermentation,Biochemical Engineering Journal,Volume 40, Issue 3,
2008,Pages 460-464,ISSN 1369-703X, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bej.2008.01.021.
Bettenhausen, Craig. “Hyaluronic acid is just getting started.” Chemical and Engineering News 99.16 (2021).