The story goes that women working in a sake factory noticed that their hands remained smooth and soft through the years from being immersed in the fermenting yeast all the time. That’s likely an apocryphal tale, but new research shows that fermentation does assist in anti-aging products. High-end lines like SK-II use fermented sake, while its mid-price dupe Missha uses fermented beer. I drink a lot of hard cider, so I’m fermenting from the stomach out; why not try it on my face?
I missed out on the first Fermented Box, and was totally bummed when I saw it revealed because I wanted it. So I jumped right on Fermented 2, and I’m so glad I did!
Memebox is a Korean Beauty mystery box. They generally release new boxes each week; some are themed and others miscellaneous products. All items are Korean, usually lesser-known brands. Boxes range in price (starting usually at $23 USD) and standard shipping (which takes a couple of weeks) is $6.99 USD per box ordered (so if you order two boxes, it’s $13.98 for shipping). Boxes are usually pre-ordered to be shipped at a later date, although they do have some ready to ship now.
Memebox products come packaged in a sturdy pink cardboard box with crumpled tissue paper for padding. The box then comes in either a pink bubblewrap mailer or a shipping box if multiple boxes are shipping at once. The products are usually arranged neatly and are often sealed by the manufacturer.
NOTE: I’m currently using both Missha’s Time Revolution First Essence and It’s Skin Power 10 Yeast Extract, so I haven’t tried most of the following products yet. Also, fermented products have a distinct yeasty odor, so if that worries you, fermented products may not be your thing. All superbox items are full sized.
BOCIANS Cycle Repair Whitening Spot (15mL)
“This whitening spot cream is enriched with various fermented extracts and hyaluronic acids which hydrate deep into the skin and improve elasticity. The naturally-derived moisturizing formula also nourishes the skin, giving it a healthier glow from within.”
Spot creams are good for a little extra boost to a particular wrinkle area, like the corners of eyes or the parentheses from nose to lips. Apply a spot cream just before your full face cream so you don’t rub it out applying other products, and let it absorb before adding your final face cream.
cotterang Aesthetic Reparative-K Cream (20g)
“This facial cream is packed with high concentrates of centella asiatica extracts, jojoba oil, sunflower seed oil, and gold extracts. Its soothing formula works to hydrate and calm reddened, sensitive skin by creating a protective layer on top and by instigating cell regeneration.”
Before I started using Korean skin care, I had redness around my nose and some patches on my cheeks. That’s mostly gone away, but I still use an anti-inflammatory cream at night to soothe my skin. I’m going to save this one for the drier winter months.
cotterang Panda Eye Essence Mask (x3)
“Made from pure vitamin C, vitamin E, and various fermented components – honey, beans, mistletoe, licorice, and bacillus – this mask brightens up skin tone and treats fine lines and wrinkles.”
“You typed 3 and only took a picture of 2,” I hear you saying. That’s because I slapped a pair of these on my eyes as soon as I opened the box and relaxed for half an hour. The patches stayed in place and the skin under my eyes felt soft and well hydrated when I finally peeled them off. I would definitely recommend this product if you’re concerned about fine lines around your eyes or dark circles under them.
Tosowoong Time Shift Toner (120mL)
“This toner is enriched with nutrition-rich fermented extracts, galactomyces ferments, snail mucus extracts, bifida ferments, and various plant oils. It works to soothe and moisturize skin by creating a protective layer on top.”
The first post-cleansing step of any good Asian skin care routine is toner, which adds hydration back to the washed skin. This one looks to be filled with ingredients that treat and hydrate skin. I couldn’t find much on galactomyces other than a definition of it as a yeasty fungus. Bifida ferments are a probiotic usually found in the gut; they don’t seem to have much of a topical effect. Including them seems a case of tossing everything likely in the pot. Still, I’ll use this toner when I’ve finished the Missha First Essence and see if it’s comparable.
The Skin House Face Calming Galactomyces Cream (30mL)
“This facial cream soothes and replenishes skin stressed out from external stimulus for a healthier, more elastic complexion overall.”
I love the snail cream I have from The Skin House, so I expect to also love this when my current cream runs out. A thick, moisturizing cream like this is best used at night so it doesn’t pill under makeup.
SOY BIO+ Fermented Soap (80g)
“Made from fermented beans and BTX complex, this soap is highly prized for its gentle yet thorough cleansing power. Its abundant bubbles gently penetrate into your clogged pores and cleanse away all dead skin cells and impurities for a moist, supple, and brightened complexion overall.”
I’m not a big fan of bar soaps, as they seem to collect grime and sit in their own stew of gunk. I may keep this in the shower during the winter to save time on washing my face in there. Since it’s wrapped in paper, it’s currently giving off the strongest fermented smell in my drawer of unused products, but it’s not entirely unpleasant. It’s a little like sniffing a good-quality beer.
DERMAHOUSE Galactomyces Wrinkle Care essence mask
“Fight signs of fine lines and wrinkles on your face with this mask made from a whole bottle of galactomyces and adenosine ampoule. Its gentle and nutrition-rich formula will tighten and brighten up your skin for an overall well-balanced, healthy-looking complexion.”
Whoo, yeasty sheet mask! I’m saving this for a particularly dry day.
D’RAN Wonder Serum (30mL)
“This skin-saving serum is enriched with 7 different powerful fermented plant extracts and various skin cell renewing snail mucin and EGF compounds. It effectively treats signs of aging by expediting skin cell regeneration and firming and toning the skin.”
The box shipment was delayed because this product apparently expires soon, and Memebox wanted to replace it with a similar product. They decided to send this serum out anyway as a bonus item. Epidermal growth factor does stimulate cell growth, but since I can’t read the product ingredients, I’m not sure how much may be included in this serum. I’m going to switch out my It’s Skin for this item so I can use it before it expires and loses potency.
Overall, I think this was a pretty amazing box and I’m really glad I bought it. It’s sold out, of course, but it was popular, so look for Fermented 3 to pop up for sale eventually.
LINKS AND CODES
$5 off orders over $100 – AFFILIATE-9833-3488Y-VBYN
$10 off orders over $150 – AFFILIATE-2632-U4F4W-XGMS
All links and codes on this page are affiliate links, for which I receive commission. All products featured in this review were purchased by me.
Next up: Cacao Memebox, unless my Brightening box is liberated from Customs purgatory in the meantime.