Galactomyces: Ferment Your Face

You've already fortified your meals with fermented foods: yogurt at breakfast, kimchi on your tacos, and even a little kefir and sauerkraut here and there.  The next move?  Adding a galactomyces ferment filtrate essence to your beauty arsenal.  Here's why this extra layer is worth the extra 30 seconds - and the investment.

Can we talk about Cate Blanchett for a second?  Her complexion is the stuff dreams are made of.  Perfectly smooth but not frozen, clear and even-toned, and oh-so-naturally glowing.  Celebrity spokespeople come a dime a dozen, but Blanchett, as the face of SK-II, is in another stratosphere.  And if it didn't cost a small fortune, I'd have jumped on the Sk-II bandwagon long ago.  

 Let's call a spade a spade: this complexion is FLAWLESS.  Absolutely FLAWLESS.

Let's call a spade a spade: this complexion is FLAWLESS.  Absolutely FLAWLESS.

Thankfully the K-Beauty craze has reached a fever pitch, and after doing a little research, I found a dupe for SK-II.  It turns out that its star ingredient, Pitera, is nothing more than the brand's trade name for galactomyces ferment filtrate, which is not only widely-used by other brands, but also in a higher concentration at a lower price point.  After stumbling on this very thorough comparison, I hopped on Amazon and ordered the CosRx Galactomyces 95 Whitening Power Essence.  

 Posing with some Korean stationery, for your viewing pleasure. 

Posing with some Korean stationery, for your viewing pleasure. 

First, let's clarify two words here: whitening and essence.  The term "whitening," in some beauty cultures carries the implication of bleaching.  In my experience and knowledge of the ingredients, this product would be better categorized in the States as a brightener.  The name choice is rather unfortunate, but some things...well, let's just say they get lost in translation.

An essence is a watery, easily-absorbed product that's used on cleansed, toned skin (unless you're using a super-moisturizing toner - then the essence is used before the toner.  Got all that?).  The most touted benefit of an essence is increased efficacy of the remainder of your regimen; your serum, facial oil, and moisturizer will ideally be better absorbed when layered over an essence.  The CosRx Galactomyces 95 Whitening Power Essence claims to have "a structure similar to skin, achieving dual functions of whitening and anti-wrinkle at once."  

While there is some research supporting the efficacy of galactomyces (click here for a nice roundup of the latest evidence), I am SHOCKED by how much I I'm enjoying this product after only two weeks of use.  I'm also amazed by how easily it absorbs into the skin.  It feels like NOTHING.  Moreover, by time I've layered a vitamin C serum, ampoule, and balm, my skin feels supple with no tackiness whatsoever.  

Since galactomyces comprises 95% of the formulation, I have to assume it agrees with me.  My overall complexion is more even-toned, the pores on and around my nose are less visible, and overall there's a vast improvement in texture.  With summer right around the corner, I'm actively working toward paring down my routine as far as complexion products are concerned, and as of now I feel that a quick application of Guerlain Meteorites is enough of a skin-perfector.  

 Since using the CosRX, all I need is a swipe of these little heavenly balls to face the day.

Since using the CosRX, all I need is a swipe of these little heavenly balls to face the day.

If you've always been curious about SK-II but less enthused by the price tag, check out the CosRX Galactomyces 95 Whitening Power Essence.  It's a budget-friendly entryway to the benefits of fermented skincare.  Buy it here.