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Boost your skincare routine with fermentation

Explore the restorative powers of fermented foods

Fermentation has been studied extensively for its role in digestion, weight loss and overall gut health, but what about its applications in the skincare industry? Beauty bloggers have picked up on the fermentation fad, hyping its contribution to nourished and hydrated skin.

Fermented beauty products have been touted for their potency compared to other products, along with specific benefits for sensitive and dry skin. Here’s what you need to know about the science behind them — and why they’re so popular in the beauty industry today.

Published On: 10/02/18

The science of fermentation

With the help of microorganisms like yeast and good bacteria, fermentation transforms sugars and starches into enzymes and amino acids. The process packs fermented foods full of nutrients like B vitamins, probiotics and Omega-3 fatty acids. It also naturally eliminates unwanted bacteria and toxins, resulting in greater nutrient density compared to unfermented foods.

How does fermentation work in skincare?

In a nutshell, microorganisms break down the active ingredients at a molecular level. The fermentation process creates amino acids and antioxidants that nourish the skin, and it helps the skin absorb nutrients, minerals and actives more quickly.


That’s how BASF developed two fermented skincare products, Relipidium™ and Phytokine™, for their line of “superfood” beauty formulations. One moisturizes and balances with a specific yeast extract, while the other firms and restructures the skin with soy.

Microbiota-balancing with yeast

In order to cultivate skin health and beauty, BASF created Relipidium™,by bio-fermenting an expertly-selected yeast extract with an exclusive strain of a good bacteria called Lactobacillus plantarum.

After using the product for four weeks, subjects of a study demonstrated improved barrier function recovery, stronger skin defenses and rebalanced skin microflora.

In layman’s terms, that means Relipidium™ shows the promise to protect your skin from various stressors — like sun and environmental pollutants — and help it heal from previous damage. It also holds the potential to improve hydration, restore the skin’s condition and promote more youthful and healthy-looking skin overall.

Ideal for these concerns:
  1. Dry, dehydrated skin
  2. Repair from sun exposure
  3. General youth restoration

Firming and regenerating with soy

The development process for Phytokine™ was similar: BASF scientists bio-fermented a soy extract with Lactobacillus plantarum, using a combination of chemical processes to enzymatically modify the soy proteins.

After four weeks, study subjects showed evidence of increased collagen production and lipid synthesis, which helps give your skin a feeling of youthful firmness and elasticity.

Overall, Phytokine™ shows the potential to firm and hydrate skin while improving its ability to regenerate from damage and stress.

Ideal for these concerns:
  1. Restoring stressed-out skin
  2. Protection from the elements
  3. Firming and contouring
Science and beauty:

A chemical attraction

Fermented foods are good for more than just your belly: they’re full of nutrients that contribute to healthier, younger-looking skin. If they’re already a part of your diet, why not add them to your skincare routine too?

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