9 months ago
Growing up as a Korean-American, I am often asked how my parents managed to look so young. Asians never do raisins , they claim. In turn, I usually answer with the same response my grandma gave me: it's all the kimchi we eat. This was said to be half in jest, but there is some truth to it. Kimchi has been touted as a skin care superfood for years thanks to its fermented properties, and Koreans swear by it as part of their beauty routine. Beyond the urban legend, recent studies have also linked fermentation to a series of anti-aging benefits.
So, what is fermentation? Fermented skin care and fermented foods mean that microorganisms (bacteria) have been added that release enzymes that break down ingredients. The skin has a hard time absorbing the active ingredients of natural ingredients due to their molecular size, but by breaking down the molecules into smaller sizes, the skin is able to better absorb the beneficial ingredients.
"'Just like fine wine, fermentation is a natural chemical process that uses yeast to secrete enzymes,' says Caroline Chang, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist at the Rhode Island Dermatology Institute. 'The natural process of fermentation creates a higher concentration of beneficial ingredients such as: probiotics , vitamins, antioxidants, and allows these important natural ingredients to become more potent. This not only helps fight free radical damage and protect against UV damage, but also helps in the production of amino acids, the building blocks of peptides to fight fine lines and wrinkles.
Don't worry. I'm not going to ask you to apply kimchi to your face (although I did do something odd for beauty). Fermented beauty products simply refer to the transformation process; in fact, you may already be using it in your skin care routine. Take the example of lactic acid, which is derived from fermented milk. Now, commonly used anti-aging ingredients are being joined by a new wave of products developed by fermenting all kinds of superfoods such as mushrooms, green tea, and horseradish to reap the benefits of this process.
Below are some of my favorite fermented beauty products (applied with copious amounts of kimchi and wine, naturally).
1. Amorepacific Vintage Single Extract Essence
Fermented green tea is phenomenal for anti-aging (it helps prevent and neutralize environmental factors that can cause aging), and this pretty brown bottle is the best you can get. Why? The process of creating the bottle takes a full 100 days. AmorePacific gets its antioxidant-rich green tea leaves exclusively from Jeju Island (a paradise for K-beauty skincare ingredients). After harvesting, the tea is fermented outside for 50 days and then transferred to a traditional Korean jar (pottery), where it is placed underground for another 50 days.
2. Neogen Real Ferment Micro Serum
K-Beauty King, Neogen Probiotic Skin Care, knows a thing or two about fermentation. One of many fermented beauty products, this serum is made of a 61% blend of bifida fermented lysate, yeast fermented lysate and rice fermented filtrate for an active and happy microbiome.
3. Glowoasis MilkdewpH Balancing Moisture Milk Toner
This lightweight toner-meets-moisturizer balances the skin's pH Korean bok choy (aka kimchi!) ) is made with a unique blend of vegan probiotics and amino acids derived from Unlike other harsh astringents, the addition of hydrating deer and vegetable oils provides a moisturizing finish.
4. Biophile Bio-Shroom Rejuvenating Serum
This award-winning serum contains Biophile's proprietary Shroom Biotic Broth. It's a blend of fermented chaga, reishi and tremella mushrooms that plumps the skin and reduces the appearance of fine lines.5. L&L Skin Facial Beauty Skincare Devices
According to Dr. Frederick Rossiter, wrinkles can be rubbed out of the skin, much like a wrinkle can be rubbed out of leather. Rossiter states that massage stimulates blood circulation to the wrinkled area and changes the structure of the fat in the skin. L&L Skin MIO2 face lifting massager features an ergonomical design of three angles and three arcs. Using the three-round corners to press the acupuncture point, you can choose to apply either light or heavy pressure. The three convex arcs fit any curves and the three-dimensional lift perfects the anti-aging effect. The round triangular three-arc design allows for comfort, and each part can be used uniquely to care for either the face or neck.
6. Fresh Black Tea Kombucha Facial Essence
According to Dr. Chang, kombucha (aka fermented black tea) works to rehydrate, neutralize free radicals, and improve elasticity. Incorporate this essence into your skin daily to protect it from three types of pollution (indoor, outdoor, and digital light).
7. Vintner's Daughter Active Treatment Essence
A welcomed sibling to the brand's botanical serum esthetician, this essence is a fermentation step (takes five weeks to create!) that amplifies the absorption of high-quality ingredients added to the product. This includes plumping hyaluronic acid, natural stabilized vitamin C for brightening, prebiotic and probiotic trifectas, micro seaweed, and daily exfoliants in the form of lactic and phytic acids.
8. Tatcha Essence Plumping Skin Softener
Tatcha's formula contains something called Hadassay-3, a concentrate of nutritious green tea, rice and algae (three essential nutrients for youthful skin health in Japan).
9. YouniqueYOUOLOGY Brightening Serum
If you're looking for anti-aging benefits plus increased radiance, Younique's line is packed with radiance-boosting ingredients like vitamin C, kelp tea, and sodium hyaluronate to smooth and brighten dull skin.
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