Using Fermented Skincare Products will not Help Your Skin

Natural fermentation "foaming"

Photo Credit Erik Charlton

An article in Bustle recently examined the idea that more and more people around the world are starting to use skincare products that include fermented elements. In other words, like the foods based on the process of fermentation, these products include bacterial cultures that are beneficial to our organism.

We already wrote about utilizing yogurt as an acne remedy, when we also examined the idea of using fermented products as a skincare application. Now, it would seem that the notion is gaining more traction with the broader public. Unfortunately, when the idea is disclosed in more detail, there are no scientific facts which show that using these products aids the skin in any way. Here’s why.

Unlike our digestive system, which houses many forms of bacteria that are included in our metabolic processes, there are no such bacteria on our skin. While the skin is covered with many types of bacteria, they do not produce any relevant function that aids the health of the skin. During an inflammation process, some types of bacteria begin to spread in an enclosed environment, leading to problems. Simply put, bacteria on the skin can either be harmful or neutral to our health.

So, applying fermented compounds to the skin with a purpose of aiding “good bacteria” is nonsense (there are no “allied” or useful bacteria on the skin). Secondary benefits, like stopping any bad bacterial growth works with questionable effects. On the other hand, using fermented enzymes to break down nutrients so that they are more easily absorbed makes more sense and could work. In this case, fermentation is used to enhance the impact of other active elements in a product, but the benefits of this seem marginal. Until a cosmetics company comes out with solid numbers on how fermentation increases the potency of a product, the effect of enzymes shouldn’t be counted upon.

Currently, it seems that using fermented skincare products is another example of faulty equation logic being applied. In this case, the same logic points that if fermented products are good for our digestive track, they must be good for our skin as well. As of now, there is no proof or even much solid scientific probability that corroborates this.

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