Fermentation Is Changing the Beauty Industry
What’s cooking in beauty care in general and skincare in particular? Fermentation! When most people hear the word “fermentation,” they think of processed foods and beverages. But fermentation isn’t just a cooking technique, it’s also significant in beauty product creation.

In the West, the demand for organic skincare, as well as Korean beauty regimes (popularly called K-beauty), has spawned a new trend. K-beauty gave wings to fermented beauty products sales. These products are purportedly beneficial to skin while also beneficial to the environment.

According to Future Market Insights’ report on fermented ingredients, demand grew 7.3% to surpass $39.2 billion last year. The market is expected to top $74.5 billion by 2031; that’s a CAGR of 6.6%. Gains are due to major manufacturers’ expanding capacity, as well as new entrants to the category.

People all over the globe are fascinated by the skin of Koreans who are known to flawless skin, with less pigmentation, fewer pimples, overall a healthy skin. There is no surprise why the world is obsessed with Korean skincare products and routine.

Skincare in Korea is a multi-step technique that has sparked a lot of interest in the beauty industry recently. Korean beauty is recognized for its layered technique, which is a highly thoughtful and in-depth approach to skincare. Korea has been reaping the advantages of fermentation in their beauty regime for several years while most of us were only familiar of its health advantages through intake of foods and beverages. After emergence of concept fermented beauty, we’ve learned that when applied topically, a similar process will develop in skin cells which will enhance skin condition.

Fermentation is a hundred-year-old method for the decay of organic substances under the activity of enzymes generated by microorganisms. This process is prominent in various parts of the world, particularly in Asia. Enzymes, bacteria, and yeast cause basic elements or substances to decay, converting them into far more potent components.

These procedures are well known in food and beverages with widespread awareness of health advantages of fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut and Kefir. However, in the recent past, the Korean beauty industry started to apply the same understanding to their latest skincare lines, with evident results. That’s how the term ‘fermented beauty’ originated.

Fermented substances in skincare provide a wide range of advantages, including improved skin radiance, wrinkle reduction, and general skin health. The major advantages of using fermented beauty products are sun protection enhanced with probiotics, and the microbiota of the skin is improved with fermented oils. When chemicals are broken down during fermentation, the smaller the molecules get, the deeper they permeate into skin. Fermented beauty products increase the concentration of active ingredients in the skin and enable them to penetrate deeper. Moreover, Fermented skincare is gentler on the skin than traditional skincare. This is due to the fact that its contents have been broken down, making it suitable for those with sensitive skin.

Such products work wonders for fine lines and wrinkles—products that include amino acids which are the building blocks of protein, when used topically can aid with hydration, and collagen formation and firm up the skin.

Fermented red ginseng, another well-known ingredient in fermented beauty products has been demonstrated to improve skin brightness and radiance in studies. Other ingredients such as yeast stimulates collagen production and soy produces more hyaluronic acid. Sake extracts, again quite popular are basically probiotics, when applied topically, they help maintain a healthy skin barrier, preventing concerns like dry skin, acne, irritation, and even eczema.

Fresh Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask is a well-known product in the marketplace due to its key ingredient Kombucha. Kombucha is a powerful antioxidant that fights wrinkle-causing free radicals while also softening, smoothing, and boosting shine. Other ingredients of this product includes Lychee seed extract, known to boost natural collagen, firming polysaccharides that assists in smoothening skin, and jicama root juice, recognized for its moisturizing and nourishing effects.

The Gallinée brand, a prebiotics expert, has a hair washing cream packed with fermented rice water , a popular therapy for hair growth and prevention of hair loss practiced widely in Korea. An added benefit of these fermented ingredients is that they also improve the shelf life of these beauty product compositions.

The industry for fermented ingredients has already gained widespread awareness and is on the verge of a major growth spurt backed by rising preference for safe, organic, naturally sourced products. Also, this market will profit from the fact that consumers are gravitating toward products that are more environment friendly and making smart choices in this regard. Beyond just skincare, several cosmetic manufacturers are also exploring fermented ingredients.

The Gen Z and Millennial generations are the most likely consumers of these products due to their focus on organic healthcare and skincare, they are also willing to spend higher amounts for effective goods in the future.

The fermented beauty market will also profit from the growth in ecommerce and D2C sales as more manufacturers are wooing consumers online. While such products are raging in the Asian market, in the next five years the global market will open up hugely to Korean fermented products in beauty!

About the Author

Sneha Varghese is an experienced research professional and senior research consultant at ESOMAR-certified market research and consulting firm Future Market Insights (FMI). FMI is headquartered in Dubai, with offices in the US, UK and India. MarketNgage is the Market Research Subscription Platform from FMI that assists stakeholders in obtaining in-depth research across industries, markets and niche segments. You can connect with Sneha on LinkedIn.

Future Market Insights (FMI), is an ESOMAR-certified market research and consulting market research company. FMI is a leading provider of market intelligence and consulting services, serving clients in over 150 countries; its market research reports and industry analysis help businesses navigate challenges and make critical decisions with confidence and clarity amidst breakneck competition. Now avail flexible Research Subscriptions, and access Research multi-format through downloadable databooks, infographics, charts, and interactive playbook for data visualization and full reports through MarketNgage, the unified market intelligence engine powered by Future Market Insights. Sign up for a 7 day free trial.

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