Culture club: The best fermented beauty buys

By Julia Wray | Published: 24-May-2022

With the microbiome as the star of new skin care strategies, consumers are more receptive than ever to the power of fermentation in beauty

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Fermentation is the powerhouse behind many of our favourite foods and beverages, from beer to kimchi. But it is swiftly becoming a staple of beauty products.

There is a boom in bioscience-derived ingredients, sustainably obtained via fermentation, from sugar cane-based silicone alternatives to fermented honey actives for microbiome balance.

Marketing managers, meanwhile, are putting fermented goods at the centre of their messaging. Indeed, trends forecasting firm WGSN named fermented beauty as ‘one to watch’ for 2022.

“The desire for potent ingredients that last longer is driving interest in kombucha for the skin,” wrote the company in its annual trend report. “Driven by the K and J-beauty markets, fermentation releases enzymes that break down molecules so they can better penetrate the skin, delivering powerful ingredients into the structure of the skin or hair.

“The process of fermentation also cultivates the growth of beneficial bacteria such as lactic, organic and acetic acids, which act as natural preservatives.

“These naturally occurring bacterias prolong the shelf life of formulas, appealing to both the sustainably minded and value-focused consumer.”

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