Galactomyces Benefits: 8 Fermented (Korean) Skin Care Products
Are you concerned about large pores on your nose and cheeks or uneven skin tone on your face? It's time for you to learn about one of the buzziest new Korean skin care ingredients— Galactomyces ferment filtrate.
Ultimate guide to fermented skincare
The latest Korean and Japanese beauty craze sweeping the global cosmetics world is "fermented skin care" - Galactomyces. I know this can be confusing — what does "fermented" mean in the skincare industry?
You can think of fermented foods - like Kombucha, Kimchi, Miso, Kefir and sauerkraut. They contain probiotics, which are good bacteria. Bacteria like to hang out in our intestines and can influence our health. Also, these fermented ingredients can help balance the skin microbiome.
What is galactomyces ferment filtrate?
Galactomyces is a type of fungus belonging to the Dipodascaceae family and a by-product of the sake fermentation process.
According to legends, it was first detected in Japanese sake breweries in the 1970s, when people observed that these elderly brewers had hands that were more youthful and less wrinkled than their faces—kind of like the history of snail mucin in skin care. Scientists then caught it and eventual lab analysis of the traditional Japanese alcoholic beverage led to the discovery of galactomyces.
As the name suggests, this is a filtered extract—the filtration process leaves it free of bacteria and other unwanted material but produces nutrient-dense beneficial compounds that are packed with skin-friendly amino acids, vitamins, and minerals.
What is fermentation (in skincare)?
In order to understand this term, we need to have a clear vision of what fermentation actually is. According to Wikipedia, fermentation is defined as a metabolic process that produces chemical changes in organic substrates (mainly carbohydrates, such as starch or sugar) through the action of enzymes.
In other words, fermented ingredients have been exposed to microorganisms and increased the bioavailability of active ingredients. The explanation given here is the breakdown of large molecules into smaller components such as lactic acid, hyaluronic acid, and peptides that can be easily absorbed by the skin to promote collagen synthesis and nourish skin cells.
What are the benefits of galactomyces for the skin?
This all-in-one ingredient is an excellent source of antioxidants and also has the ability to improve pigmented spots, dullness, breakouts, and even product absorption.
Here's a breakdown of all the amazing skin-improving duties galactomyces can offer your skin for more radiant, clearer skin.
- Diminishes the appearance of enlarged pores, blackheads
- Strengthens the skin barrier
- Controls sebum production for oily skin
- Combats signs of aging
- Balances uneven skin tone
- Brightens up tired and dull-looking skin
- Improves hyper-pigmentation and dark spots
- Minimizes the risk of acne breakouts
A study published by JAAD (Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology) found that PITERA reduced the appearance of skin pigmentation and mitigated oxidative stress.
Another study, published in the Asian Journal of Beauty & Cosmetology, also involved 20 volunteers who applied a facial essence containing 97% GFF to their faces in three time applications a day.
The result shows that the number of open pores and blackheads was reduced by 15.66% to 21.84%, and the amount of sebum, keratin, and acne was also reduced while improving the skin's luminosity levels.
In addition, other researchers found that GFF treatment significantly improved enlarged pores, roughness, and redness. They observed two groups of young Japanese women (47 women in Study 1 and 57 women in Study 2) who applied galactomyces to their faces twice daily for 4 weeks.
Is galactomyces safe for all skin types?
Galactomyces is lightweight and overall very gentle, soothing and nourishing, making it suitable for most skin types.
However, if you have a history of fungal acne or extremely sensitive skin, I would recommend getting a patch test to determine potential negative skin reactions before fully committing to a new skin care product.
How do I use a galactomyces product?
Most facial care products containing GFF can be used twice a day, morning and night. It depends on the type of product you are using. The toner should be applied after cleansing the face, and followed by the essence, serums, and creams or lotions.
Can I use galactomyces with AHA BHA?
Yes, Unless you have extremely sensitive skin, you can usually combine GFF with AHA or BHA serums and creams, unlike active acids with retinol or vitamin C.
Can I use galactomyces with niacinamide?
The short answer to this question: yes, you can use products containing galactomyces with products containing niacinamide in your skin care routine.
Can I use galactomyces with snail mucin?
Here's the good news: it is possible to combine these two ingredients, and they may even create a synergistic pairing that provides anti-aging, hydrating, and skin brightening benefits.
Can I use galactomyces every day?
Yes, in fact, you can use topical products containing galactomyces ferment filtrate daily, as it is generally a gentle ingredient and very good to use in layers with other products.
Best Korean (and Japanese) galactomyces products to try
Cosrx Galactomyces 95 Tone Balancing Essence
A highly concentrated anti-aging essence, consisting of 95% GFF, helps brighten and even out skin tone while delivering abundant antioxidants and nutrients to tired-looking, lifeless skin.
Hyaluronic acid and panthenol give your skin a burst of hydration for dry, dehydrated skin, and over time, it appears more radiant and clear. In addition, it promises to boost the absorption of subsequent products into the skin.
PS. This is a new version of Cosrx Galactomyces 95 Whitening Power Essence.
💘 Shop now Cosrx Galactomyces 95 Tone Balancing Essence
Purito Galacto Niacin 97 Power Essence
This potent essence contains 97% fermented ingredients, including 92% Galactomyces ferment filtrate, derived from brewer's yeast, which is rich in vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, and peptides that work to improve skin tone and smooth rough surfaces.
Combining the benefits of 5% niacinamide (vitamin B3), certified by the KFDA (Korean FDA) as a skin brightening enhancer, this fragrance-free formula is ideal for those who suffer from discoloration, and pigmentation and for those who worry about wrinkles when they look in the mirror. It's cruelty-free and vegan.
Mizon Skin Power Original First Essence
A daily toner-like essence boasts 94.5% premium GFF, which offers antioxidant effects and protection from environmental aggressors, leaving skin supple, soft, and youthful.
This excellent skin-softening recipe delivers rejuvenating and moisturizing effects, making it a must-have product for anyone in need of a natural glow boost. Suitable for all skin types.
SK-II Facial Treatment Essence
This iconic, award-winning Japanese facial product features over 90% Pitera™, a transformative ingredient that keeps your skin's natural renewal cycle in optimal condition for skin nourishment. It helps visibly soften texture, reduce the appearance of dark spots and fine lines due to dryness, and even out the appearance of skin tone.
The powerful treatment is a longtime bestseller with a formula that has remained unchanged for nearly 40 years and has become a staple for many celebrities, beauty YouTubers, and influencers.
Benton Fermentation Essence
A lightweight, quick-absorbing essence contains galactomyces ferment filtrate, a fermented yeast, and adenosine to help restore your skin's elasticity, suppleness and radiance. This makes it ideal for people who have concerns with wrinkles, rough skin texture, and dull skin.
Thanks to powerful moisturizing ingredients—allantoin, ceramide, and hyaluronic acid—the mildly acidic pH formula helps skin to be hydrated and achieve smooth, youthful skin. The product is made with EWG green level ingredients without harmful chemicals and is cruelty-free.
💘 Shop now Benton Fermentation Essence
Some By Mi Galactomyces Pure Vitamin C Glow Serum
A multi-functional serum is infused with a powerful cocktail of two of the most popular and intensive brightening ingredients —75% galactomyces ferment filtrate and 3% ascorbic acid (the most potent form of vitamin C).
The antioxidant bomb targets dark spots, reduces pigmentation and improves fine lines and wrinkles. It also moisturizes, nourishes, and soothes skin irritated by external aggressions and stress.
iUNIK Rose Galactomyces Synergy Serum
This gentle formulation is a combination of 50% galactomyces ferment filtrate and 10% cabbage rosewater to moisturize, balance, and lift skin while improving your skin tone and texture by removing dead skin cells and blackheads.
If you have these concerns, those with oily skin, enlarged pores, and dark, dull skin, this can be a wonderful choice for you. Because it is designed to regulate sebum production and minimize the appearance of pores, fade hyperpigmentation, and smooth fine lines.
Manyo Factory Galactomy Niacin Essence
Formulated with 97% highly concentrated Galactomyces ferment filtrate, 2% niacinamide and approximately 1% sodium hyaluronate, this intensive treatment effectively restores skin vitality, fights uneven skin tone and pigmentation of all kinds.
The readily absorbing and alcohol-free formula is gentle on the skin and visibly softens skin texture, controls the water-oil balance of the face, and retains moisture, making it a stronger boost for dull, premature, and lifeless skin.