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Korean beauty inspires North American trends, that much is clear. South Korea brought us the sheet mask, the air cushion, snail cream and pig collagen. And while the concepts and ingredients sound bizarre, people swear by them. The latest ingredient in K-beauty is fermentation, which, you might know, is how kimchi is traditionally made.

So, in basic terms, what is fermentation? Well, the process occurs when something – cabbage, for example – is left to sit in a brine and breakdown organically. So, kind of like rotting or decomposing mixed with pickling. Fermentation also occurs in booze-making, except in this case, the chemical breakdown turns sugars into ethyl alcohol.

While fermenting things makes cabbage delicious and alcohol super-delicious, why would you put something like ’em on your face? It turns out, the good bacteria that is created during the process generates lactic acid. And this reaction creates B-vitamins, yeast, Omega-3 fatty acids, probiotics and enzymes. As Oskia founder Georgie Cleeve puts it, “Yeast breaks down the active ingredients [in beauty products] making them easier to absorb.”

So, are you interested in rubbing some salty, broken down botanicals on your face? Here’s where to start: