Skin Care Trends 2022: Fermented Beauty

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Skin Care Trends 2022: Fermented Beauty

Fermented foods like yoghurt, kombucha and miso are known to have various health benefits for those who eat them – From improved gut health to a boosted immune system. Now, the beauty industry is beginning to incorporate fermented extracts into targeted products to make them more effective at completing their designated task whilst supporting the health of the skin’s microbiome¹.

The trend is expected to gain significant traction this year with global consumer trend forecaster, WGSN², listing fermented beauty as one of the top trends in consumer behaviour and product development for 2022 and beyond.

In our latest blog, we explore this exciting new trend and the potential it has for the future of skin care.

What Are Fermented Beauty Products

Biological fermentation is a metabolic process through which an ingredient is broken down into smaller, more absorbable molecules by microorganisms, such as yeast or bacteria, thus enhancing the effects of the fermented ingredient.

In anaerobic conditions, beneficial microorganisms, like yeasts, moulds and bacteria, break down sugars and starches into alcohols and acids.

Fermented skincare products simply contain ingredients that have been made using fermentation.

Is Fermentation in Skin Care New?

The fermentation process itself is believed to be at least 10,000 years old, with its precise origins unknown. Today, it’s commonly used all over the world to make food and drinks, such as yoghurt, wine, sauerkraut and kimchi.

From a cosmetic perspective, fermented ingredients are new to skin care in the West, however their use in Asian countries, like Japan, stretches much further back into history.

It’s said that to maintain soft, tender skin, Japanese geishas traditionally used a fermented rice solution for lotions and toners. In the 1970s, scientists observed that the hands of sake brewers in Akita, Japan were smooth and supple from working with sake, which is made through the fermentation of yeast, for many years.

From this, it was discovered that the yeast used in rice fermentation supports the skin’s regeneration.

Research and interest into the benefits of fermented products in skin care and beauty has increased gradually since then but it has only recently begun to gain global traction in the mainstream skin care market.

Over the past ten years or so, the Western world has become more and more interested in Asian beauty trends; K-beauty³ and J-beauty⁴ are two notable examples of this. This has arguably opened the door for products like fermented skin care to gain popularity in the West.

What Are the Benefits of Fermented Beauty Products?

The fermentation process introduces natural skin-loving ingredients to beauty products, such as organic acids, vitamins, and antioxidants. With enhanced potency and absorbency, these can be used to target a variety of concerns, from inflammation to visible signs of ageing.

Fermentation Produces Antioxidants

Created using an entirely organic process, fermented skincare is said to work in perfect harmony with the skin without interrupting its natural processes.

It can also help to protect thin, sensitive or irritation prone skin from external aggressors by enriching the skin’s barrier because the vitamins and antioxidants created during the fermentation process fortify the microbiome and prevent moisture loss.

On top of this, any harmful bacteria die off during fermentation, so there is no risk of throwing off the skin’s delicately balanced microbiome or causing irritation for sensitive skin.

Anti-Inflammatory Properties

There is extensive research done on how fermented food positively affect the body. It is proven to improve integrity and balance of the gut by decreasing pro-inflammatory cytokines⁵ – this process reduces inflammation in the gut.

Suitable for All Skin Types

Fermented ingredients are loaded with natural antioxidants, vitamins and amino acids, which help to increase skin cell turnover rate

Better Absorption

Fermented ingredients have been broken down into smaller components which are easier for the skin to absorb; this is sometimes referred to as making the ingredients ‘biocompatible’ or ‘bioavailable’.

If you think of the skin’s surface as a sieve which filters out and doesn’t absorb larger molecules, it makes sense that smaller molecules are more easily absorbed. The more of an ingredient that can be absorbed, the less is left to build up on the surface and contribute to breakouts.

Better absorption is associated with improved potency and can mean natural ingredients are able to penetrate deeper into the skin’s surface than non-fermented ingredients.

Anti-Ageing Properties

The turnover of new skin cells slows down with age and as a result of exposure to the sun, this causes fine lines and wrinkles to become more visible.

When ingredients are fermented, they produce Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs). These naturally occurring acids enhance the rate at which skin cells regenerate by gently removing the top layer of dead skin to reveal fresh new cells beneath.

With long term use, AHAs can also help to encourage collagen and elastin production, improving the structure and elasticity of skin to counteract some of the visible signs of ageing. Collagen production naturally declines at around 25 years old, which is why our skin begins to thin and lose elasticity as we age.

Fermented Skin Care Ingredients

Some of the key fermented ingredients rising in popularity within the skin care market include kombucha, soy milk and fermented oil.


Kombucha is a yeast-fermented tea drink said to have originated from China and Japan, it’s becoming a rising beauty ingredient because its antioxidant properties are great for anti-ageing, hydration, and skin regeneration.

Soy Milk

Soy milk is fermented using lactobacilli, which is often referred to as ‘good bacteria’. Rich in linoleic acid, fatty acids and antioxidants, soy milk helps to improve skin elasticity and firmness as well as targeting hyperpigmentation.

Fermented Oil

Usually, oil that’s not fresh is considered an unhealthy product to apply to your skin, however, oil that has been intentionally aged with fermentation can be great for deeply nourishing⁶ skin for a youthful, dewy complexion.

Fermented oil⁷ is obtained by infusing oils with anaerobic microorganisms (do not require oxygen to survive), which then convert available carbohydrates in the body to acid and energy.

Boutique Cosmetic Consultancy, Development and Production

At Jarvis Cosmetic Developments, we provide a highly specialised and personal service to each of our clients throughout every stage of the development⁸ process. Our experience and longevity at the forefront of the market means we are fully equipped to support our clients with the selection of the most suitable raw materials, environmental issues, brand conceptualisation and anything else you may need.

If you’d like to discuss the use of fermented ingredients within skin care and cosmetics further, or you’d like to talk to us about your next project, please get in touch⁹ with our team today.







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