Sake eye creams, sea kelp face 'sheets' and beauty mists made with fermented porridge oats are the latest bizarre cosmetic trends to come from the Far East
Sake, oats and fermented herbs are among new 'miracle' ingredients
Powder cleansers that turn into creamy foam are huge beauty trend
Masks made of coconut jelly or sea kelp are also big trend in Asia
First came rice powder and snail slime. Now, a new wave of Far Eastern beauty ingredients,
including fermented porridge oats and coconut jelly, are set to appear on shelves.
Among them is PiteraTM, a compound created during the sake (Japanese rice wine) fermentation process,
which was discovered after scientists noticed that elderly brewery workers had extraordinarily soft, youthful hands.
But the yeast compound, which has since been snapped up by skincare brand SK-II, is far from the only
new 'wonder ingredient' to appear.
Sake, oats and fermented herbs are among new 'miracle' ingredients appearing in beauty products from the Far East
Other Far Eastern cosmetics crazes include powdered cleansers from Korea that turn into a creamy foam
as soon as they come into contact with water, serum sheet masks made with coconut jelly or sea kelp,
and fermented porridge oats and rice.
The new beauty mists, which are being marketed in the UK and US by Glow Skincare, are also available with
other fermented herbs and flowers including chrysanthemum and dandelion - said to help nourish and
moisturise the skin.
According to the brains behind the products, the fermentation process intensifies the nutrient content.
It helps to break down the ingredients, remove any toxins and absorb better into the skin.
The fermented ingredients also act a natural preservative, so no extra chemicals are needed.
Botanical mists made with an array fermented rice, oats, herbs and flowers (left) and serum sheet masks
made of sea kelp are both currently in vogue in Korea
Jun-han Park, the CEO of Whamisa, an organic fermentation cosmetic brand, has been working with
fermentation in skincare since 1992.
He said: 'Fermentation is a metabolic process where carbohydrates and sugars are converted to
skin-loving enzymes and amino acids via the growth of 'good' microorganisms like lactobacillus.
'While extensive research on fermentation in skincare is just starting, there are already studies that show
the bio-availability of skin care products are increased when fermented, as ingredients are 'broken down'
into smaller, more easily absorbed molecules.
'Fermentation also helps to increase the nutrient density and concentration of ingredients, by breaking down
the molecular structure of ingredients - for example, wine has several times the antioxidant content of grapes.
'It also helps to preserve the effectiveness of active ingredients and allows for formulas to use fewer
preservatives as fermentation removes 'bad bacteria'.
Left: Skincare brand SK-II have incorporated PiteraTM into their luxury products Right: Cate Blanchett, 45, is the
Asian cosmetics companies, which have pioneered high tech brightening ingredients and cleansing oils
along with snail slime, are famous for creating unusual new products.
And their efforts haven't gone unnoticed, with A-listers joining the ranks of Far Eastern product fans,
among them SK-II ambassador, Cate Blanchett.
The actress, 45, swears by the brand and says it is responsible for her 'radiant and clear' complexion.
'My skin has a radiance and clarity it didn't have 11 years ago, which is saying something,' she explains.
'When I first started using SK-II, I was so overwhelmed by the positive results it had – immediately, but then
over the years, long-term results - I've become quite evangelical about it with my friends.'
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