Favorite Ferments: What the Pros are Using

Experts chat with American Spa about their favorite fermented ingredients // Photo by sveta_zarzamora/iStock/Getty Images Plus

As part of our In the Mix: Fermented Skincare story from the October issue, we were lucky enough to chat with some industry experts about their favorite fermented ingredients. In this online exclusive, five pros pick their favorites. Which one is for you?

Janel Luu, founder and CEO, Le Mieux Cosmetics and PurErb:

  • Red Ginseng: increased antioxdant concentration brightens, improves circulation, reduces toxins, reduces fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Saccharomyces (yeast) ferment filtrate: hydrates skin and helps balance uneven skin tone
  • Saccharomyces soy-protein ferment, saccharomyces copper ferment, saccharomyces zinc ferment, and saccharomyces manganese ferment: help promote collagen synthesis, enhance tissue repair, and reduce signs of environmental damage. 
  • Pseudoalteromonas ferment extract: helps skin retain water and promotes collagen and elastin synthesis, reducing the appearance of wrinkles.

Steven Rosenfeld, president, Columbia SkinCare:

  • Lactococcus ferment lysate: maintains a healthy balance in the skin’s microbiome by maximizing the benefits of ‘good’ bacteria, strengthening the skin’s natural defenses for optimal hydration, reduced inflammation and redness, improved appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and fewer acne breakouts.

Rhonda Allison, founder and CEO, Rhonda Allison Cosmeceuticals:

  • Thermus thermophilus ferment and alteromonas ferment extract: assist in ATP production, protect against environmental aggressors and DNA damage, and repair damaged tissue.
  • Kombucha: a black tea ferment with a ‘lipo-filling’ active that helps smooth the skin and improve radiance.
  • For exfoliation and rejuvenation: Rice ferment (sake), pumpkin ferment, and wine extract (fermented grapes)contain potent antioxidants and assist in cell regeneration, detoxifying and reducing the appearance of fine lines.
  • Fermented fruits: help stimulate cell regeneration and repair damage.

Sue Harmsworth, founder, ESPA:

  • Baker’s yeast bioferment: anti-aging active designed to help maintain the skin’s internal clock, boosting the skin’s natural defenses and revitalizing processes. 
  • Dihydroxyacetone (DHA): a tanning active created through the fermentation of wheat.
  • Bifida ferment lysate: a repair complex derived from fermenting a friendly bacteria that helps protect against UV.

Barbara Close, founder and CEO, Naturopathica:

  • Thermus thermophillus ferment: deep sea enzymes that help preserve and reinforce the skin’s natural defenses against extreme conditions like sun and heat exposure
  • Radish root ferment: a natural preservative and a peptide that inhibits microbial growth,  derived from kimchi 
  • Pumpkin (Lactobacillus) ferment extract: a proteolytic enzyme that breaks down protein barriers on the surface of the skin to gently exfoliate, exposing smoother, healthier and younger-looking skin. 
  • Bamboo (Lactobacillus) ferment filtrate: a natural silicone replacement obtained by macerating, then fermenting bamboo stalks and leaves, this ingredient smooths and adds shine, slip, and glide to body and hair products. 

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