Beauty glossary

What Is Yeast? 

Yeast: single-celled, microscopic organisms that live in your favorite bread, that glass of wine, most yogurts, and of course – love it or hate it – Marmite. In yeast extract form, this not-so-new ingredient is also becoming increasingly popular in skincare, thanks to its treasure trove of good-for-you nutrients, like amino acids, proteins, minerals antioxidants, and vitamins.

What Does Yeast Do? 

Yeast is seriously rich in beta-glucan, a powerful antioxidant that bravely protects skin from the harmful effects of free radicals (like pollution, UV Rays and environmental aggressors) that cause premature aging. It works overtime to strengthen skin structure, keeping cells healthy and happy – helping you maintain that lit-from-within glow.

In addition, it acts as a humectant, locking in moisture and preventing water loss, to improve overall hydration. The more skin is hydrated, the softer and more supple it will feel, and the more fine lines will be diminished. Buh-bye wrinkles!

This all-natural ingredient also boasts anti-inflammatory properties that soothe skin, reducing redness and irritation – making it ideal for sensitive souls. It’s also believed to be jam-packed with vitamin B and iron, which brightens and lifts skin. Bonus: recent studies suggest that yeast extract can quickly penetrate the skin to stimulate cell and tissue repair, as well as collagen production.

Who Should Use Yeast

Thanks to its skin-like structure, reactions are rare but avoid this hydrating hero if you know you have a specific Yeast allergy.

How To Use It In Your Routine

For those hoping to add Yeast into their routine, we recommend selecting leave-on products, so this miracle worker has time to, well… work. Not sure if that product has Yeast? This shy-but-dynamic ingredient sometimes appears in disguise under the name Faex.

As with all products, always check the shelf life. The ‘open jar’ symbol on the back of the bottle with a number inside indicates how many months you have to use it. This is particularly important when it comes to Yeast-laced products if you don’t want a side of mold with your face mask.

Our Fave Yeast Skincare Products:

Yeast Source: Ren

Ren Wake Wake Wonderful Night-Time Facial, $38: We love it when our skincare is hard at work while we catch some Zs, and this supercharged sleep mask is all about the night shift – thanks to its combination of active ingredients designed to smooth, revitalize and hydrate tired skin. 

Yeast Source: Cosrx

Cosrx Galactomyces Alcohol-Free Toner, $16: A liquid dream from K-beauty giant, Cosrx, this toner is enriched with Galactomyces Ferment (a type of yeast that balances and fortifies skin), anti-aging niacinamide and hydrating hyaluronic acid – for seriously kickass results at a bargain price tag!

Yeast Source: SK-11

SK-II Facial Treatment Essence, $165: A celebrity must-have, this Japanese ‘Miracle Water’, as it’s affectionately known, contains over 90% Pitera, a nutrient-rich Yeast Extract, which fights aging and purifies the skin. Just press it on your face, and voila, it clarifies and moisturizes all at once for glowing, radiant skin – so you can say #Iwokeuplikethis.

For more dope skincare ingredients that will amp up your skincare regime, check out our Beauty Glossary.