Unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably caught wind of the fabulous world of fermented foods (oh hey there, kombucha, kimchi, and kefir!).
And it's not just the flower children singing the praises of these gut-friendly goodies anymore. Now everyone and their nan are boarding the "happy gut flora" express.
But hold onto your pickles, folks, because this ancient food-preservation method is not just a treat for your tummy (and tastebuds)… it’s a bonus for your skin, too!
What *is* fermentation?
Before you reach for that extra serving of sauerkraut, let's back up a bit.
Did you know that your skin plays host to trillions of living bacteria? These little guys, known as your skin's microbiome, are crucial for maintaining healthy skin. In fact, an imbalanced skin microbiome, also known as dysbiosis, has been linked to conditions like acne and eczema.
To combat this, there has been a growing interest in using probiotics in skincare, which are produced through the process of fermentation.
Fermentation, which dates back to the Neolithic age (approximately 12,000 years ago), is basically the metabolic process of converting sugars into acids, gases, or alcohols using yeast and/or bacteria. It's commonly used to make popular foods and drinks, but where skin care is concerned, fermentation holds a ton of possibilities.
In fact, back in the '70s, scientists noticed that sake brewers in Akita, Japan, had wrinkled faces showing signs of ageing, but their hands, which were constantly dipped in the brewery, remained youthful. The secret? The fermented brews their hands were soaking in!
How fermentation works
During the fermentation process, natural skincare ingredients are transformed into a powerful concoction of acids, vitamins, and antioxidants that enhance their potency beyond their unfermented state.
These become a breeding ground for probiotics (good bacteria), which act like tiny warriors that defend your skin.
A study published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science in 2020 found that applying probiotics topically can provide active support and replenishment to your skin's natural barrier, helping it maintain balanced pH levels, fight free radicals, and enhance its radiance.
But there’s no point having incredible skincare if your skin doesn’t absorb it correctly, right?
This is where fermentation becomes a complete game-changer. By breaking down molecules into smaller compounds, they are more readily absorbed into your skin and can penetrate your skin barrier much easier.
Y’see, our skin acts like a sieve, filtering out larger molecules, but fermentation enables substances with a molecular weight of under 500 daltons to be absorbed.
This not only prevents residue buildup on the skin's surface, which can lead to breakouts, but also enables ingredients to work more efficiently.
Many fermented ingredients are also known for promoting healthy bacteria growth on the skin, while simultaneously eliminating bad bacteria.
Our favourite fermented ingredients for skincare
We've been rockin' fermented and probiotic ingredients in our Woohoo products since 2010—way before matcha lattes were even a glimmer in your barista's eye (yep, we were trailblazers!).
By fermenting some of the key ingredients in our products, we're able to boost the potency of their active components.
And that's not all - our fermented formulas are the perfect choice for those with sensitive or dry skin. They work in harmony with your complexion, mimicking its natural functions and supporting it without any harsh disruptions. So you can enjoy a glowing, radiant complexion without worrying about irritation. Hooray!
Our fantastical fermented squad includes Noni Fruit, Papaya Extract, Yeast Extract and Lactobacillus, which offer a multitude of benefits for all skin types, thanks to their prebiotic and probiotic properties.
(Don't know the difference between prebiotics and probiotics? Probiotics contain the good bacteria, whereas prebiotics provide the food for good bacteria to thrive).
These superstars come loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory benefits, making them a major win-win.
Let's take a peek into their skin-tastic benefits, shall we?
Ah, good ol' papaya. We've been smearing this tropical treat on our lips for years, thanks to its healing prowess. When papaya takes a trip to Fermentation Town, it turns into a gentle enzymatic exfoliator, all thanks to the abundance of papain—a natural enzyme that helps break down dead skin cells and unclog pores. Papain is chock-full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can help brighten your skin, fade dark spots, and even out your skin tone.
Noni fruit has snagged a ton of industry kudos, and it's easy to see why. This little treasure trove of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants works its magic to rejuvenate and nourish your skin, leaving it refreshed and revitalised. The antioxidants in noni fruit also help defend your skin from pesky free radicals. But wait, there's more! Fermented noni fruit also has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, making it a superstar for calming redness, soothing irritation, and keeping blemishes and oily, acne-prone skin under control. Bravo!
Sure, yeast is famous for its bread and beer shenanigans, but when it comes to skincare, this microscopic marvel is truly a game-changer. Fermented yeast extract is overflowing with skin-loving nutrients, like amino acids, peptides, and essential vitamins B and C. The bioactive compounds help reinforce the skin's natural barrier, promote skin cell turnover, gently exfoliate, and encourage the growth of fresh, radiant cells. How cool is that?
Join the Fermented Fiesta
Ready to give these powerhouse ingredients a try? Look no further than these delightful Woohoo creations:
If your skin shows visible signs of dryness and is in need of a hydration boost…
- The Sweet Dreams Ultra Rich Beauty Cream comes packed with Saccharide Isomerate—a prebiotic created from a skin-identical complex carbohydrate that not only balances your skin's microbiome but also offers intense hydration to kick flakiness, dryness, and itchiness to the curb. Plus, it strengthens your skin's natural defenses.
'Sweet Dreams' Ultra-Rich Beauty Cream
If you’re dealing with acne-prone and oily skin, you might want to reach for…
- FG Serum 02, which is brimming with Fermented Noni—a skin microbiota guardian and balancer extraordinaire that dials down sebum (oil) production and visibly minimises pores. Noni helps boost your skin's health and detoxification, letting it bounce back from blemishes like a hero.
'FG' Serum 02 - Clear (blemishes + acne)
If you want a dose of smoothness, brightness and a good ol’ collagen boost…
- Perfectly Happy Light Vitamin C Cream harnesses the powers of Fermented Papaya to revitalise and freshen up your complexion. It offers a gentle exfoliation action, courtesy of the papain enzyme, and penetrates deeply into your skin to hydrate, protect and repair while helping the skin recover from the aging effects of oxidative stress.
'Perfectly Happy' Light Vitamin C Cream
For those who prefer their complexions to look cool, calm and collected after shaving…
The Game Changer Aftershave boasts a triple dose of good bacteria (both pre-and-probiotics) with Alpha-Glucan Oligosaccharide, Polymnia Sonchifolia Root Juice, and Lactobacillus. This super ingredient helps reinforce your skin's natural barrier and maintains a well-balanced skin microbiome.
'Game Changer' Aftershave 100ml
So if it’s a strong and healthy skin barrier you’re after, fermented skincare just may hold the key.
Let's toast to that—with a glass of kombucha, of course! 🥂