Fermentation may sound like something you’d learn about in science class, or else something to do with some suspicious moulding substance you’d rather not know about, let alone slather all over your
But recently we’ve seen the rise of fermented beauty, which calls upon the numerous benefits of the fermentation process to provide some impressive
The process goes like this; the ingredient is soaked in a solution to allow bacteria to grow. The bacteria then breaks
down the sugars within the ingredient resulting in a number of effects. In fermented foods, like sauerkraut, yoghurt
and kimchi, the lack of sugar gives a tart, funky flavour and the beneficial bacteria boost gut health, making fermentation a bit of a wellness buzzword.
“Any product that contains water – all foaming shampoos, cleansers, moisturisers and many more – need to be preserved to ensure that bacteria doesn’t spread (bacteria loves water) and that products are safe for human health throughout their shelf life," explains Sophie Thompson, founder of Sister & Co. Skin Food. "Synthetic preservatives, known as parabens (methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben and isobutylparaben), have been linked to hormonal disruption and, in particular, breast cancer."
To avoid the issue of including synthetics while retaining the shelf life of their products, one brand uses a natural preservative, Radish Root Ferment, where radishes are fermented with a lactic acid bacteria called Leuconostoc Kimchii for an amazing natural alternative. Other brands are using fermented ingredients for their superior potency and skincare benefits.
READ NEXT: Zoë Brown spills the tea on her hair, skincare and wellness secrets
And while the trend is still young, we are hoping to see more fermented fancies very soon; “Fermented and probiotic ingredients are now a big thing over here, after first getting a name for themselves in Korea. One of the big new claims from these brands is that fermenting their ingredients first helps the skin absorb them better. We’re testing that hypothesis out in our own formulations – stay posted for the results!”.