Fast becoming a dietary staple, fermented foodstuffs – kimchi, sauerkraut and a spectrum of other vinegary delights – are earning recognition for their ability to ‘feed’ good bacteria in our gut; they support the microbiome – a population of more than 100 trillion microorganisms –which assist digestion, battle infection and help to synthesis essential nutrients and vitamins so, maybe it’s time you stopped ordering burgers ‘sans pickles’ (baby steps).
And, as with most health crazes, it doesn’t take long for the weird and wonderful ingredients we ingest, to inveigle their way into our bathroom cabinets. Fermented skin care is fast becoming ‘a thing’ – especially in (you guessed it), South Korea, where beauty innovators are always a few a great many light years ahead of the West. Which doesn’t mean you need to rush home and smear kimchi all over your visage (hell no!), but you can bet your bottom dollar that ‘fermented’ will soon become part of your cosmetic lexicon.
By breaking down the molecular structure of fruits, plants, herbs and yeast, fermentation makes their nutrients more concentrated – which in turn, means they’re more readily absorbed. Amino acids and antioxidants are also bi-products of the fermentation process – so it’s literally, win, win, win for skin.
Unlike the stomach and intestines, skin is an enzyme-free zone – which means it’s infinitely harder for skin cells to process large, botanical molecules. Fermentation renders them more manageable – splitting them into smaller, skin-friendly ‘chunks’ – without exposure to extreme heat or chemical processing which can compromise efficacy.
Enhanced skin affinity means better results – and fermented beauty products are even ideal for easily upset complexions; they’re more ‘symbiotic’ which means they can mimic skin’s cellular function without interrupting its natural processes. They’re also a rich source of sugar and fruit acids (AHAs), which help to refine and resurface, hydrate, protect and strengthen skin – so it quickly becomes less reactive and more radiant.
Watch this space…