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Skincare

A study about fermented skincare from South-Korea

Fermented cosmetic products are originated in South-Korea, the process usually involves the fermentation of black tea, herbs, flowers, seaweed and many more. Fermented cosmetics mimic better the skin cells’ functions and they are more symbiotic with the skin overall. If you look for natural products, especially because you have sensitive skin, fermented skincare is for you!

Keywords:

(definitions from Oxford dictionary)

  • enzyme: a substance produced by a living organism which acts as a catalyst to bring about a specific biochemical reaction

  • fermentation: the chemical breakdown of a substance by bacteria, yeasts, or other microorganisms

  • hyaluronic acid: a polysaccharide molecule which is one of the chief components of connective tissue, forming a gelatinous matrix that surrounds cells.

  • symbiosis: interaction between two different organisms living in close physical association, typically to the advantage of both.

The science behind fermentation

Benton Fermentation Eye cream

Firstly, bacteria. Many people freak out from this word but there is more to bacteria than what you think. Just like there is a good witch and bad witch, many good and many bad bacteria exist. We’ve all heard about probiotics, the advantages of kefir and Greek yoghurt. These are examples of good bacteria. Whereas, the ones that cause inflamed acne on your skin, are the harmful bacteria.

What we want to achieve is decreasing the bad guys and increasing the good guys in our lives (this is true in general), especially because the skin is our biggest organ and the first defence mechanism of our immune system. Since the fermentation process often involves bacteria, applying fermented cosmetic products to the skin increases the number of good bacteria with positive benefits.

Secondly, big molecules that wouldn’t be able to penetrate the skin get broken into smaller ingredients during the fermentation process. Microorganisms break down big molecules, hence your skin can easily absorb the nutrients that would otherwise be impossible.

Thirdly, fermentation is a natural preserving process. Just like fermented food and drinks are preserved for a long period, this is true for a cosmetic product as well. Meaning that there is no or less need to add synthetic preservatives or harsh chemicals. This is an important aspect to people with sensitive skin or someone who is eco-friendly and try to reduce the use of chemicals.

To ferment or not to ferment?

Research shows that fermented ingredients, in general, have more benefits than non-fermented ingredients.

An article in the Journal in Medicinal Food describes that fermented red ginseng provides increased anti-wrinkle efficacy and significantly reduces irritation compared to normal red ginseng (Lee et al., 2002). This is one of the reasons why cosmetic companies use more and more fermented ingredients nowadays. Most cosmetic products want to preserve youth – increased anti-wrinkle effect with the least irritation possible.

Another study shows that fermented soy milk extract increases the production of hyaluronic acid in the skin whereas nonfermented soy milk doesn’t. The fermented soy milk extract „is expected to prevent the age-dependent loss of cutaneous hyaluronic acid” (Miyazaki et al., 2003). Hyaluronic acid is essential for preserving a youthful look since this molecule keeps your skin hydrated and it also has skin healing properties. Skin ageing is inevitable and it can start as early as at the age of 25 but professional cosmetics and an efficient daily skincare routine can slow this process down significantly.

Benton Fermentation Eye Cream

It’s never too early to start anti-ageing treatments, especially around the eye. When using this fermented cosmetic product, you don’t have to worry about irritation or side-effects of harmful chemicals.

The Benton Fermentation Eye cream features a high concentration of great quality fermented ingredients. Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate (GFF) is a byproduct of fermented sake, a kind of yeast that is full of nutrients. Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF) is a skin-conditioning agent which increases the rate of renewal of the skin and slows down the thinning of ageing skin, therefore, minimizes wrinkles. The ingredients also include macadamia seed oil, aloe leaf extract and sodium hyaluronate which holds on to water in the skin.

This product perfectly moisturizes the delicate skin around the eyes and stimulates cell growth. This is the perfect eye cream both for prevention and for taking care of fine lines or crows feet.

Benton Fermentation essence

The most important ingredients in the Fermentation Essence are the fermented ingredients that make even the roughest skin soft and smooth. The structure of the essence ensures a high level of absorption and by providing hydration to the skin, the subsequent cosmetics of your routine are also better absorbed.

The key ingredients of the essence are Galactomyces Enzyme Filtrate, Bifida Enzyme Lysate, sh-Oligopeptide-1 and Ceramides. Galactomyces Enzyme Filtrate has an anti-ageing effect, brightens the appearance of the skin and regulates sebum production. Bifida Enzyme Lysate is a type of probiotic that hydrates, strengthens the skin’s barrier and reduces skin damage caused by UV radiation. Sh-Oligopeptide-1 renews skin cells, accelerates regeneration, and stimulates the formation of new skin cells.

References:

Lee et al. (2002), Fermenting Red Ginseng Enhances Its Safety and Efficacy as a Novel Skin Care Anti-Aging Ingredient: In Vitro and Animal Study, Journal of Medicinal Food, Vol. 15, No. 11. [online] Available at: https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/jmf.2012.2187 [Accessed: 16.09.2019]

Miyazaki et al. (2003), Bifidobacterium-Fermented Soy Milk Extract Stimulates Hyaluronic Acid Production in Human Skin Cells and Hairless Mouse Skin, Skin Pharmacol Appl Skin Physiol, Vol.16, No.2.  [online] Available at: https://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/69031 [Accessed: 16.09.2019]

Lexico Dictionaries | English. (2019). English Dictionary, Thesaurus, & Grammar Help | Lexico.com. [online] Available at: https://www.lexico.com/en [Accessed 17.09.2019].