What’s Fermented Skincare? Here’s What You Need To Know


By now the evidence is abundantly clear: fermented foods, which contain probiotics – a.k.a. the good bacteria found in foods like yogurt, miso, kefir, kimchi and sauerkraut – are essential for a healthy gut and immune system. But they have a ton of benefits for the skin as well, and not just when ingested but when applied topically. That’s where fermented beauty products come in.

Here’s the short of it: When active ingredients used to formulate skincare products are fermented, they are broken down into smaller molecules, which makes them easier for our skin to absorb. That means our skin is getting more of a punch whether that means anti-aging, anti-inflammatory – basically it supercharges whatever the ingredient at hand is meant to do.

To dive deeper into this growing K-beauty-inspired skincare trend, we spoke with Laura Fruitman, CMO at The Uncovery, Ferver, a new fermented beauty brand.

theFashionSpot: Can you tell us a little bit about your background and how you got into the beauty space?
Laura Fruitman: I’ve worked in beauty for over 15 years. I had originally wanted to go to law school and took a job out of college at Estee Lauder to understand business a bit before before, but found this was my calling instead – I loved the intersection of art, business, science and psychology and wanted to continue to build beauty businesses.

I worked at Estee Lauder for four years at Clinique and their think-tank, BeautyBank, before going to get my MBA at Wharton. I started at Unilever over ten years ago working on TRESemme, Dove, and building my own brand, The Right To Shower, a social enterprise line of shower products that helps bring showers to people living on the streets. I joined The Uncovery (the amazing new beauty accelerator by Unilever) as CMO at the beginning of 2021. Since then we’ve launched seven new beauty brands, including Ferver.

theFashionSpot: What does fermentation mean?
Laura Fruitman: Fermentation is a chemical breakdown of a substance by bacteria, yeasts or other microorganisms and is most commonly seen in foods and beverages. As it relates to skincare, fermentation breaks down natural molecules and makes them smaller, so it is literally easier for them to absorb deeper into your skin’s surface. Through the process of fermentation, these smaller molecules become more potent and precise for optimal bioavailability, a.k.a. better results for your skincare needs.

Image: Алексей Филатов for Getty

theFashionSpot: What does it mean that a beauty product is fermented?
Laura Fruitman: Fermentation is a spirited, active and powerful natural process with potency at its heart – a billion bacteria supercharging the efficacy of skincare actives for clean skincare that actually works.

theFashionSpot: Is there any evidence that it works?
Laura Fruitman: Yes!!! Our claims at Ferver are all backed by scientific tests, which show the benefits of fermentation as it relates to skincare. In addition, we have done modeling as well as conducted tests to show the penetration of our fermented ingredients is better than the penetration of their non-fermented counterparts.

Image: Yulia Panova for Getty

theFashionSpot: Who is fermented skincare best suited for?
Laura Fruitman: It’s at the intersection of beauty and holistic wellness – for the consumer who wants the best of both.

theFashionSpot: Can you tell us a little bit about the line and what makes it unique?
Laura Fruitman: Currently clean/naturals shoppers have to make a choice between clean skincare – or – effective skincare. They want skincare that reflects their wider beliefs such as vegan, but they also want products that deliver real results. Currently, natural skincare fails to deliver on the latter. They often smell nice, look nice, but that’s about it. And to get the ‘real’ results our consumer often has to cheat on her morals, and go to brands who are far from clean, like The Ordinary.

Ferver eradicates this choice – a clean skincare brand that actually works, with real claims and real efficacy. And it’s all achieved through fermentation. An amazing natural process, but developed with the rigor and discipline of biotech science. Each of the Ferver products are carefully designed to deliver the utmost in efficacy starting with the selection of the most relevant hero fermented ingredient and ending with the additional of other functional ingredients that are critical to achieving highly functional skin care.


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