Everything you need to know about fermented skincare and the best products

Fermented foods aren’t new, but fermented skincare is a new category. “Fermentation is a term we’re all familiar with – it’s the same process used to create kombucha and kimchi – but it’s also used in the skincare world to make highly effective ingredients and products,” says Lindsey Zubritsky, board-certified dermatologist, MD, FAAD. “When it comes to skincare, fermentation breaks down natural molecules and makes them smaller, so it’s easier for them to be absorbed deeper into your skin’s surface. In skincare, these smaller molecules become more potent and precise for optimal bioavailability, allowing ingredients to penetrate deeper into the skin and be easily absorbed.

However, the fermentation process for skincare ingredients is not exactly the same as that for food. “Fermentation is a scientific term and a process that encompasses both food and skincare,” says Dr. Zubritsky. “The process of fermentation converts sugars into bacteria, yeast or other microorganisms, and produces different types of ingredients, and is most commonly seen in foods and beverages such as wine. The process allows us to produce an ingredient more precise and purer, without the presence of unwanted by-products that are common in standard extractions.Now brands are able to bring the benefits of fermentation to consumers safely and efficiently through scalable technology. »

Fermented ingredients have as many benefits for your skin as they do for your gut. There are a few ingredients in particular that particularly benefit from fermentation. “Many types of hyaluronic acid are too bulky to penetrate the surface of the skin and stay just above the skin,” says Dr. Zubritsky. “Using the fermentation process, Ferver’s Ferver Hyaluronic Acid Serum contains fermented hyaluronic acid that penetrates the surface of the skin 10 times more than regular hyaluronic acid.”

Another example is collagen, which is known to be difficult to formulate. Typically, the collagen molecule is too large to penetrate the surface of the skin. “However, fermented collagen like Ferver’s Fermented Collagen Serum is different from traditional collagen previously used in the skincare industry because it regenerates up to twice as much as regular collagen, leaving you with noticeably firmer for the reduced appearance of fine lines,” says Dr. Zubritsky, who works with the brand. “Ferver uses the fermentation process to obtain collagen from non-animal sources and create a smaller molecule which can then penetrate deeper into the surface of the skin, making the product very effective.”

Fermented skincare ingredients are particularly beneficial for the skin microbiome, as they lead to a more favorable and stable microbiome on the surface of the skin. “In addition, it helps maintain a healthy and balanced skin pH, supports the skin’s protective barrier, and reduces irritation and dryness,” adds Dr. Zubritsky. “Fermentation helps keep the skin in a balanced state.”

Shop for the best fermented skincare ingredients to let your complexion reap the rewards.

Drunk Elephant Sweet Biome Fermented Sake Hydrating Spray

Give your acid mantle and microbiome a helping hand every time you vape it. It protects the skin from pollution, blue light, free radicals and irritants, helping with hydration. Spritz it on as part of your skincare routine or whenever your complexion needs a pick-me-up throughout the day. $42, drunkelephant.com

Ferver Ferver Hyaluronic Acid Serum

“Hyaluronic acid can be difficult to formulate because sometimes the molecule is too large to penetrate the surface of the skin,” says Dr. Zubritsky. “Thanks to fermentation, the hyaluronic acid molecule is small enough to penetrate deep into the skin, allowing abundant hydration both on the surface of the skin on the outer layers as well as the deeper layers. I love the fact that the Ferver Fermented Hyaluronic Acid Serum is composed of two molecular weights of HA and the fermented hyaluronic acid penetrates the surface of the skin 10 times deeper than regular hyaluronic acid, leaving my skin with a hydrated glow after use . $18.99, target.com

Kiehl’s Ferulic Brew Rejuvenating Face Essence

As an apothecary brand founded in 1851, Kiehl’s likes to tap into skincare knowledge that goes back a long way. In this case, it’s centuries-old brewing and fermentation techniques. Ferulic Brew helps minimize fine lines while improving skin’s texture and radiance, thanks to ferulic acid to fight free radical damage, lactic acid to gently exfoliate and squalane to replenish. $40.50, kiehls.com

Sweet Chef Ginger & Vitamin D Kombucha Refreshing Mist

Essentially superfoods for your face, this multitasking face mist tones, hydrates, plumps, nourishes and preps skin. It harnesses probiotic-rich ginger kombucha to soothe and improve skin texture and radiance. Meanwhile, vitamin D prevents and treats the signs of aging by protecting the skin from free radical damage and stress. $7.50, sweetchefskincare.com

Aurelia London Probiotic Blemish Hero

Stop spots with this breakout cream enriched with distilled witch hazel, white china clay and salicylic acid. The spot treatment is tough on redness while being gentle on skin, since you won’t have to worry about over-drying. $27, aurelialondon.com

Tatcha L’Essence Plumping Softener

In just seven seconds, this bottled miracle improves hydration by 576%. Recently revamped with an even more advanced formula, it features 100% Double Concentrate Hadasei-3, the brand’s exclusive complex that contains superfoods, lactic acid and AHAs to stimulate natural surface cell turnover. There is also a new packaging: A recyclable glass bottle. $105, tatcha.com

Fresh Kombucha Facial Treatment Essence

Pollution can wreak havoc on your complexion, both inside and out, but this essence is here to stop both. It also shields skin from blue light, works to smooth skin, minimize pores, reduce fine lines, and give it a gorgeous glow along the way. You can thank kombucha for these effects, as fermented black tea is loaded with antioxidants. $74, fresh.com

Neogen Real Ferment Micro Serum

Made with 61% fermented ingredients, the serum is more gel-like and instantly absorbs into the skin to improve elasticity with Bifida Ferment Lysate and Saccharomyces Ferment Filtrate. There’s also betula alba juice for antioxidants and rice ferment filtrate to brighten and balance oil production. $38, neogenlab.us

Biossance Squalane + Moisturizing Probiotic Gel

Get all the hydration without the weight with this feather-light gel formula enriched with squalane and probiotics. The combo works to de-stress the skin, leaving it more luminous, balanced and radiant. $52, biossance.com

Vintner’s Daughter Treatment Active Essence

Leave the harsh toner behind and switch to this gentle yet powerful essence, packed with over 70 nutrients and 30 active botanicals to nourish the skin. The natural brand’s Phyto Ferment, an exclusive 14-day process, aids nutrient absorption through enzymes for a healthier complexion. Lightly exfoliating, hydrating and toning, the blend includes vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, microalgae, gluconolactone, lactic acid, apple cider vinegar and probiotics. $225, vintnersdaughter.com

Glowoasis Milkdew pH balancing moisturizing tonic milk

Aptly named, this toner is like a tall glass of milk for your skin and will leave it glowing. If a toner and moisturizer had a baby, it would be this skin soother that also hydrates and conditions with apricot kernel oil, soy extract and cica extract. It leaves the skin’s pH balanced while boosting tone and texture, and removing any lingering makeup, dirt or oil. $34, glowoasis.com

Amorepacific Vintage Single Extract Essence

K-beauty at its finest, this handcrafted essence takes over 100 days to craft. With just six ingredients, fermented green tea takes center stage in the list of ingredients for boosting skin clarity, elasticity and texture, as well as fighting the effects of pollution. $95, sephora.com

Ferver Fermented Prebiotic Glow Serum

“My favorite product from the brand is the Fermented Prebiotic Glow Serum,” says Dr. Zubritsky. “I personally love a good vitamin C serum in the morning, especially since vitamin C has added sun damage protection benefits when combined with SPF. This serum contains a fermented prebiotic that is four times more powerful than regular vitamin C when it comes to restoring radiance and luminosity, leaving me with brighter, more hydrated skin with improved tone and texture. $18.99, target.com

Comments are closed.