At FaceTory, we’ve been on a ferments kick recently, talking all about the benefits of fermented and probiotic skincare. Chances are that you first heard about ferments in food. Whether that's because of kimchi or kombucha, traditional East Asian foods and newer fermented recipes have taken the world by storm. Today we want to talk about what benefits fermented foods have on our skin, and how they help us from the inside out.
Health Starts in the Gut
We’ve spoken a lot about the microbiome and the skin barrier, the bacteria that live in and surround our bodies, and the layer of skin that protects us from the outside world. But a lot of our health is also dependent on what happens inside – more specifically in our guts. It’s not glamorous to talk about gut health, but it is important. A lot of necessary bacteria bloom and grow in our guts and help us digest what we eat, and break down nutrients
Pickled vs Fermented: What’s the Difference?
You may have heard that “all fermented food is pickled, but not all pickled food is fermented,” but what does that mean? To pickle something, it has to either be fermented (“cooked” in a natural brine) or bathed in vinegar, which means that technically anything fermented could qualify as being “pickled,” while not everything “pickled” may have been officially fermented.
Why does that matter? When food is actually fermented it can enhance some of the better parts of the food for your gut including amino acids in meat and proteins, and vitamins and probiotics in other foods, which can have all kinds of benefits, especially for your gut’s microbiome. Pickled food, on the other hand, may taste similar, but does not come with any specific benefits.
Is Fermented Food for Everyone?
From yogurt to sourdough bread and miso soup, there are countless ways to get some of the health benefits that come from eating fermented foods. However, just like how people’s skin can react differently to various products and skincare routines, not everyone’s gut will respond to probiotic-rich foods the same way.
Some of the side effects can include bloating, headaches, and even resistance to antibiotics. While many people have positive responses to fermented foods, it's always a good idea to talk first to your doctor or dermatologist if you’re curious about how your body may respond to introducing something new to your diet or routine.
That’s a wrap on today’s lesson on fermented foods. Stay tuned for more informed skincare tips!
The FaceTory Team