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Fermented Beauty: A Cutting-Edge Korean Innovation Predicted To Boom In 2022

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Korean skincare

Like most, when we hear the word ‘fermentation,’ our minds instantly jump to kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchi, and other popular foods and beverages commonly used in Korean cooking. Understandable. However, it’s important you know that this process isn't limited to just food, it plays a crucial role in beauty too. And while we wouldn’t recommend bathing in sweetened black tea or rubbing your face with raw cabbage, there’s a great list of cosmetic brands that you could turn to that are harnessing the benefits of fermented ingredients. along with a rapidly growing number of products expected to hit the shelves in 2022.

So, grab a cup of coffee (or kombucha) as we take you through its origin story, how this trend regained popularity (because it’s hardly a new concept), how it benefits the skin, our top recommendations housed in unbelievably lightweight formulas, and basically why you can expect to see this trend just about everywhere this year. Get ready friends, because while the pandemic may have converted some of us to germophobes, beauty is about to dirty.

What is fermented beauty?

Korea has been milking the benefits of fermentation in their diet for thousands of years, and while most of us have only been aware of its health benefits through the consumption of foods and drinks, we have come to learn that when applied topically, a similar process takes place that improves the quality for your skin—enter fermented beauty. Fermented beauty typically involves breaking down a substance using bacteria, yeast, or other microorganisms to create potent, barrier-boosting formulas that serve a healthy skin microbiome. In addition, the process also creates amino acids and antioxidants that boost the health of for your skin. You’ll find them in moisturizers, serums, gel-based cleansers, exfoliating peels, and brightening masks. Having fermented ingredients presents allows your skin to more readily accept and absorb all the goodness your product has to offer. As the demand and technology for it continued to develop in the Korean and Eastern beauty market, marketers across the world were quick to catch on the trend—now making this East Asian innovation a global phenomenon.

How does it benefit us?

Fermentation of the nutrients in topical skincare increases its concentration level and allows the ingredients to absorb faster and seep deeper into your skin, providing a soothing and brightening effect. It also promotes healthy bacteria growth, while simultaneously eliminating bad bacteria. If you have fine lines and wrinkles, look for products with amino acids which help to firm the texture of your skin. Amino acids are known to be building blocks of protein, so applying them topically will boost hydration, calm mild inflammation and help build collagen. Studies have shown that fermented red ginseng on the other hand has been proven to increase brightening and radiance. Yeast helps stimulate collagen production and soy produces more hyaluronic acid, which means your hydration levels get a super boost. Sake extracts are essentially probiotics, so when applied topically will keep your skin barrier robust, and issues like parched skin, acne, irritation, and even eczema at bay.

Our top recommendations you could choose from

Daughter Earth Kombucha Essence + Plant Stem Cells Blue Light Mist, Juice To Cleanse Vinegar Kombucha Essence, Projectea Kombucha Tea Face Serum, TONYMOLY Timeless Ferment Snail Eye Mask, Earth Rhythm Shampoo Bar with Salicylic Acid White Willow Bark & Tomato Fruit Ferment, ONE THING Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate, The Face Shop Rice Water Bright Rich Cleansing Oil Mamaearth Rice Water Bamboo Sheet Mask with Rice Water & Coconut Milk for Deep Hydration.

A quick tip before you dive right in

A quick disclaimer before you begin. It’s extremely important you indulge in a balanced manner. Most fermented ingredients are acids, so you need to keep an eye out for sun sensitivity to avoid any sort of reaction. So, after applying your product, be sure to diligently follow it with your SPF. Just like the old saying, ‘everything in moderation’. Wow, not sure if your mom’s voice just popped in your head (because mine surely did).

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