Since the pandemic, people have opted for what experts have started to call “skinimalism.” Instead of wearing layers upon layers of makeup, many began switching to minimalist and holistic beauty practices in order to protect their skin from environmental factors like pollution, tobacco, and the sun. This also gives the opportunity to allow your skin to strengthen and restore itself. How are people doing this? By using fermented beauty products, a practice extremely popular in Asia, specifically in the Korean and Japanese beauty markets.
Just like fruits and vegetables, ingredients can go through the fermentation process in order to be used in different products. Biological fermentation describes the transformation that organic material goes through under the action of enzymes secreted by micro-organisms. The objective is to increase the amount of “good” bacteria in order to intensify the power of each active ingredient. This allows for products to have a higher concentration of nutrients and antioxidants that helps with many things, but especially signs of aging, and extends the shelf life of the products. Many contain fruits, herbs, and yeast.
The most popular beauty products that use fermentation include cleansers, exfoliating peels, serums, face masks, and topical creams. Active fermented ingredients in these are sea kelp, black soy, olive leaf extract, and ginseng.
Although not much research has been completed into the long-term effects of fermented beauty products, it is clear that because they mimic cell functions, there is a sort of symbiotic-like relationship that forms between the skin and the product. In a study by the Journal of Medicinal Food in 2012, it was revealed that fermented red ginseng, in comparison to typical red ginseng, increased both whitening and anti-wrinkle effects on the skin.
Many top beauty experts predict fermented beauty products to be the top trend of 2022, and it seems to already be true. As well as being popular in many countries, the products are being used all over TikTok.