Yeast For Your Face? : The Science of a Korean Skin Care Ingredient Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate
Women all over the world love Korean Beauty Products. If you are new to Korean skin care, one thing you'll probably notice is the unusual ingredients they use in their skin care products. One of these unique ingredients I'd like to highlight in this post is Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate.
What are the research made on this product? Is this actually a functional ingredient? Do they really improve your skin condition or is it just added to give "story" to their product for brands to stand out from others?
What is Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate?
This ingredient is pretty wordy but it becomes a lot simpler when we break it down:
♦ Galactomyces – is a species of yeast also used in fermenting sake or rice wine
♦ Ferment - yeast undergo a process called “fermentation”. During fermentation, they are placed inside bioreactors, or fermentation units. These fermentation units provide them food and cozy environment for them to grow and multiply. As these microorganisms grow, they also excrete nutrient-dense substances that are beneficial for the skin. (It may sound ugly, but they are basically swimming in their own poop )
♦ Filtrate – Filtrate is the liquid that comes out during filtration. After fermentation, the yeast and other undesired materials are filtered out so only the magic beauty sauce remains.
The metabolites that this yeast excrete is rich in amino acids, vitamins and minerals. According to Angel Yeast Co., Ltd., a cosmetic ingredient supplier, these metabolites have anti-aging and whitening effects.
The Science and Available Research on Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate
Several studies have confirmed that Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate improves skin function and quality. However, the specific chemicals responsible for improving skin and their mechanisms of action has not been fully explored. A study by Takei K et al (2015) found that Galactomycles Ferment Filtrate increases the skin's response to stimulus by improving the skin's barrier properties. This is done by activation of aryl hydrocarbon receptors- proteins in the skin that performs biological regulation.
♦ Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate shows to reduce open pores by 15.66%, blackhead pores by 21.84%, sebum by 64%, and increase skin brightness by 2.49%. 
♦ A study also proved that yeast ferment can protect the skin epidermis from inflammation 
♦ A study found out how yeast ferment can potentially delay aging because of its capacity to prevent death of cells.
♦ Shows to have antioxidant properties and brightens skin by reduction of melanin production
A supplier data of the ingredient shows the following result:
This experiment performed by an ingredient supplier claims that Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate can decrease melanin in our skin, hence an effective whitening agent.
Melanin is the dark pigment in our skin. The more melanin, the darker the skin is
The graph above shows the result of a study conducted in measuring the elasticity of the skin. R2 value is a measure of of skin's elasticity. This result claims that Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate has effective anti-aging properties.
Elasticity is the ability of the skin to get back to its original state after being applied with pressure. The abundance of collagen and elastin fibers in the skin keeps it elastic. An aged skin will have less collagen and elastin hence become less elastic.
A Word of Caution
As I was researching about this ingredient, it made me curious about why some people on Reddit has very bad reaction to products containing Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate. Some claimed that it has worsen their acne. And then finally I came across a blog that explained it, which is also supported by a research study by Vlachos C et al (2012). According to the study, people who has “malassezia folliculitis” better known as “fungal acne" may react negatively with substances that activates the aryl hydrocarbon receptors .
This actually make sense. Because Galactomyces work by activating Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptors, it may aggravate fungal acne. Also, we should remember that Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate is of fungal origin, some metabolites from Galactomyces may serve as "nutrition" and support the growth of fungus found in fungal acne.
Malasesszia folliculitis or fungal acne is caused by yeast instead of bacteria. It is present as small flesh to red colored bumps on the skin.
Here's What I think about the Ingredient
Its effect of lightening skin and reducing pore size may be too low to notice (2.49% and 15.66% respectively). However, I can confirm with the study’s finding on reduction of sebum by 64% after trying Cosrx Galactomyces Essence. Though it did not significantly affect my skin’s appearance, it made my skin feel soft and less oily when I wake up the next morning. The anti-aging mechanism of galactomyces ferment filtrate is more on the preventive side so don’t expect too much when you’re trying to get rid of existing wrinkles.
Products Containing Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate
THAT'S ALL FOR NOW! Thanks for dropping by and I'm looking forward to highlighting more interesting cosmetic products or ingredients!
 Takei et al (2015) The Effects of Essence-Formed Cosmetic Ingredients Containing the Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate on Skin Improvements in Keratinization, Pores, Sebum Excretion, Brightness and Acne,Clin Exp Dermatol. 2015 Oct;40(7):786-93.
 Tsai HH, et al (2006) Inhibition of inflammatory nitric oxide production and epidermis damages by Saccharomycopsis Ferment Filtrate. J Dermatol Sci. 2006 Jun;42(3):249-57
 Vlachos C, et al. (2012)Malassezia-derived indoles activate the aryl hydrocarbon receptor and inhibit Toll-like receptor-induced maturation in monocyte-derived dendritic cells. Br J Dermatol. 2012 Sep;167(3):496-505.