A recent trend in beauty may be growing right out of your yogurt container. Fermented foods show fantastic results for gut health—but would you use them on your skin?
Several cutting-edge skincare companies say that fermented ingredients like those found in yogurt are just the thing your skin needs to treat it from the outside in. They maintain that what works for the digestion also works on the surface of your skin.
Sherylynn Gibbs, founder of Sevani Botanica, author of No Bull Beauty, and an aesthetician with 25 years of experience, has seen trends in beauty come and go. Based on clients reporting visible results, she knows that probiotics work.
She found that certain strains of probiotics encourage smoother skin, minimize wrinkles, and kill the bacteria that contribute to acne. She finds it useful for nearly all skin conditions to promote a more youthful complexion.
Before we take a look at what that actually looks like in skin care products, let’s understand what fermentation means.
Fermentation, Probiotics, & Prebiotics
To maintain a healthy system, the gut requires a proliferation of good bacteria that’s found in abundant supply in fermented foods. Fermentation occurs when food goes through a process of lactofermentation in which natural bacteria feed on the sugar and starch in food creating lactic acid. (Source)
Research shows that the dietary intake of fermented foods aids digestion and gut health, detoxifies the body, beautifies the skin, and enhances nutrient absorption.
You probably know these common fermented foods already like kombucha, yogurt, sauerkraut, and kefir. Adding them to the diet, among other lifestyle changes, often corrects imbalances like candida, chronic fatigue, depression, weight problems, early aging, ADHD, autism, hormone imbalance, and auto-immune disorders. (Source)
You may hear terms like prebiotics and probiotics when discussing fermentation too. Think of them like the ideal partnership. Fermented foods produce probiotics—or “good” bacteria—in the body, while prebiotics promote the growth of good bacteria by feeding them. Common food sources of prebiotics include onions, garlic, banana, asparagus, leeks, and Jerusalem artichokes. (Source) The two together form a synergistic dynamic that wipes out illness-causing-bacteria by supporting the good stuff.
Since the body delivers nutrients to more important organs first, the skin, hair, and nails are the first places where dietary deficiencies will show up. It’s no secret then that beneficial bacteria in the gut supply the key to good health and skin.
It’s also the reason that fermented foods form a vital addition to a healthy diet.
Now that we know what fermented ingredients do IN the body, let’s explore the benefits of using fermented ingredients ON the skin. Interestingly, they work in much the same way.
Topical Benefits of Fermented Ingredients
In researching this post, I asked seven skin care companies to weigh in on what makes fermentation the latest go-to treatment for glowing skin. In addition to using fermented ingredients, these brands stand out due to their commitment to rigorous testing, proven results, product innovation, years of experience, and positive customer feedback.
Across the board, these are the benefits that they listed.