Yes, I put Yakult on my face and here's what happened
I’ve been battling acne for what feels like forever, with topical treatments, soaps, oils, and acne sets. Anything that promise clearer skin, you name it, I’ve probably tried it. I’ve even gone so far as to DIY a number of Pinterest hacks that I eventually regretted. My skin is a bit better now that I have a trusted skincare routine but I can't help but feel curious when a beauty read introduces a new idea for treating acne and removing the dark marks it leaves behind.
My fascination with searching for better skincare centers a lot on the ingredients used in them. I’m currently on a rice bran and/or rice-based skincare trial as it's supposed to aid in skin brightening, but a recent read about everyone's favorite probiotics drink got my wheels turning. Could the “good bacteria” in Yakult be as good for my skin as well my gut?
The Skin-Gut Connection
If you've ever been told to avoid eating oily foods or to cut dairy out of your diet to prevent pimples, there may actually be a basis for this. The skin-gut connection is one that dermatologists have been studying for decades, and it basically means that a problematic digestive function can cause skin problems as well. By making sure that the digestive tract is healthy and free from toxins, the skin is more likely to stay clear and not exhibit negative reactions. And as we know, probiotics like Yakult are good for healthy tummies!
I feel even more convinced about the skin-gut connection based on what I've personally observed. Yakult has been a staple drink in our household ever since an internist recommended that my sister drink two bottles a day to help in her digestive issues. Up until recently, when she stopped drinking Yakult, she noticed a difference in her skin condition. Her twice daily dose of the fermented skim milk didn't completely clear her skin of acne but compared to her pre-Yakult days, her pimples didn’t pop out in large and painful groups as it usually did.
Inspired by her experience (anecdotal as it may be), I decided to take things further and try using Yakult as a sleeping mask for a week. After my regular cleansing regimen, I would pour a small amount of the liquid onto my palm and pat it on my skin. I felt cotton pads would just mostly absorb the Yakult so I skipped that but compressed masks can work! I would leave it on my skin for 5 to 10 minutes, rinse it off completely, and proceed with my regular skincare.
While it didn’t heal my pimples and I ended up smelling like sour milk for a good amount of the night, I feel that it did make my pores look a lot cleaner and less visible! I can say for sure that it was due to the use of Yakult as I’ve been out of good pore cleansers and acids for weeks. While it’s something I’d recommend (it's sticky, uncomfortable, and I don't know if it's okay to put sugary drinks on your face) it was still a nice experiment. I’ll stick to drinking my dose of Lactobacillus casei Shirota instead as it is more convenient!
It was pretty surprising to see my pores clean using such a wallet (and stomach) -friendly solution but it's really not meant for topical application. If you really want Yakult in your skincare though, you can actually get it from Japan! The Yakult Institute develops skincare products for a cosmetic line called Yakult Beautiens, which utilizes microorganisms (such as lactic acid bacteria) that can help in anti-aging and boosting the moisture of the skin. Unfortunately, they're not available in the Philippines but you can find them on display at the Yakult plant in Calamba, Laguna.
Now before you get disappointed, Yakult isn't the only option. There are actually quite a few fermented skincare options locally and readily available in the PH! The fermentation helps to boost an ingredient's efficacy by breaking it down and making it easier for our skin to absorb, plus it creates more nutrients and good bacteria that help to fortify the skin. Here are a few options worth trying out:
COSRX Galactomyces 95 Whitening Power Essence (P900 at theskincarecurator.com) - Contains 95% galactomyces ferment filtrate or fermented yeast as by-product of creating sake that acts as an antioxidant on the skin
SK-II Treatment Essence (P10,101 at Sephora PH) - Contains Pitera, an ingredient from sake fermentation that contains amino acids, vitamins, and minerals for skin rejuvenation.
Missha Time Revolution First Treatment Essence (P2,295) - Contains 80% fermented yeast product to help rejuvenate and refresh the skin. This is often considered as a cheaper dupe for SK-II!
Estee Lauder Micro Essence (P4,500 at Estee Lauder) - Contains the brand’s exclusive Micro-Nutrient Bio Ferment for nourishing skin
Origins Essence Lotion with Dual Ferment Complex - Contains Dual Ferment Complex, with Persian silk tree and willowherb that treats pores and softens the skin
Goodal Nature’s Solution Honey Firming Pack - Contains propolis and lactobacillus ferment, a bacteria used in the production of yogurt, kimchi and other fermented goods, that acts as a probiotic to help in the prevention of acne.
Tony Moly I’m Real Makgeolli Sheet Mask (P78 at Tony Moly) - Contains the Korean fermentation starter and rice drink, Makgeolli, that contains enzymes that help improve the skin’s elasticity.
Happy Skin Zit Zapper ZZ Cream (P1, 299 at Happy Skin) - Not skincare but it contains yogurt or fermented milk/yogurt cultures that produces lactic acid, an ingredient known to help in anti-aging and prevention of breakouts
Fermentation provides beneficial nutrients to our bodies. The process helps breakdown microorganisms and bacteria, and develop new (good) ones that reduces the toxins in our body and helps it become nourished and healthy. In terms of skincare, fermentation makes nutrients or good bacteria easily absorbed and well-equipped to aid in cell renewal for a smoother and brighter skin.
For best results, it may be a good idea to complement a fermented skincare regimen with a diet high in probiotics. You can get them from yogurt, kombucha, and even kimchi (which might be the real secret to Korean chok chok skin). It just makes sense - a healthy body is requisite for more radiant skin!
Have you used fermented skincare items before? How did they work for your skin?