South Korea’s greatest exports include skincare and kimchi, two addictive creations that seem to come from completely different worlds. But they actually have one crucial thing in common—and that’s fermentation.

Does the thought of “spoiled” ingredients make you nauseous? It shouldn’t! This scientific process is exactly what makes kimchi the superfood that it is. And just as it did with kimchi, SoKo has discovered that skincare is at its finest when fermented. Today, we’re taking a closer look at the science behind the strangeness.

WHAT IS FERMENTATION?

Fermentation is a natural process in which ingredients are broken down into smaller particles using micro-organisms. This results in enzymes that trigger chemical reactions. Over time, these chemical reactions produce skin-loving nutrients in their most active forms: good bacteria, amino acids, vitamins, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatories.

WHY DOES MY SKIN NEED IT?

One word: potency. When fermentation breaks down ingredients, it boosts the efficacy of products. Smaller particles penetrate skin at a far more rapid rate. This lessens the risk of irritation and ensures that no nutrients go to waste. You get maximum absorption, maximum glow, maximum everything.

Fermented formulas are also naturally acidic. This means they require less preservatives and play an active role in maintaining a healthy skin barrier. No hype here—just pure, honest science.

OUR RECOS

Ready to supercharge your regimen? Get fermented (in the best way possible) with these cult faves.
1. Neogen Cereal Real Fresh Foam Cleanser, P1,300 — This innovative cleanser is infused with fermented grains to purify and brighten the skin. Its water-based formula is gentle on all skin types.
2. Tony Moly Timeless Ferment Snail Foam Cleanser, 13% OFF at P778 (limited time only) — Formulated with golden tea ferment snail extract, this rich foam flushes out debris and plumps up aging skin.

3. COSRX Galactomyces 95 Whitening Power Essence, 10% OFF at P963 (limited time only) — Made with 95% fermented yeast, this brightening essence firms skin and brings out a more radiant tone.
4. Benton Fermentation Essence, P1,100 — This intensive anti-aging product plumps up fine lines with ceramide, hyaluronic acid, and galactomyces ferment filtrate.
5. Tosowoong Pure Green Tea Mask Pack, P145 — Soaked in 60% fermented green tea extract, this sheet mask is super effective for combination to oily complexions.
6. 100% Fermented Camellia Oil, P550 — This pure face oil fights every sign of aging by strengthening your skin’s natural moisture barrier.

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