Sake Is a Beloved Drink in Japanese Culture, but Can the Ingredient Also Help Your Skin?

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What do twosomes like Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie, skiing and the Swiss Alps, and sake and skin care have in common? Well, put simply, each pair is better together. The 2000s were defined by The Simple Life, the Alps are known for their awe-worthy slopes, and sake can deliver some surprising benefits to skin that you won't find from many other ingredients. But does it really work?

Let's start from the beginning. It's near impossible to hear the word sake and not think of the chilled cups of rice wine you might order with your omakase. But before you think of adding a bottle to your nighttime routine, it's important to understand exactly what kind of sake is being utilized in skin-care products.

"When we are talking about sake in skin care, it's important to note that it's not actually sake, as in sake wine, so much as it is the nutrient-dense fermented yeast that is used to make sake — the actual ingredient name is galactomyces ferment filtrate — which is akin to the association between resveratrol (a nutrient-dense extract of grape) and wine," Tiffany Masterson, the founder of Drunk Elephant, told POPSUGAR. "Sake uses a particular type of yeast in the fermentation process (that's the galactomyces ferment filtrate), so in a sense, it is like the 'grape' of the sake process."

Still, there are plenty of benefits of this Japanese skin-care staple. Because the fermentation process increases the production of good-for-your-skin antioxidant compounds, when sake extract is applied topically, it can renew and refresh the skin's barrier, among other things. Dermatologist Corey Hartman, founder and medical director of Skin Wellness Dermatology in Birmingham, AL, noted that sake can even out the skin's texture, gently cleanse, and soothe inflammation caused by eczema and acne.

Because the fermentation process increases the production of good-for-your-skin antioxidant compounds, when sake extract is applied topically, it can renew and refresh the skin's barrier, among other things.

Additionally, "sake is a natural skin lightener thanks to the kojic acid, which is a potent compound produced during the fermentation process that reduces the amount of melanin your skin produces," Dr. Hartman said. That means, with consistent use, you may notice dark spots fade over time. Due to the vast array of benefits that skin can receive from sake, it's easy to see understand why brands like Drunk Elephant and Cocokind (and more ahead) would include this boozy buzzy ingredient in its products.

Sake-infused products can help to improve the health of all skin, regardless of your main concerns or age, meaning you can raise your glass to this notable ingredient every time your skin is craving it. Cheers.

Fresh Sake Bath
fresh.com

Fresh Sake Bath

Add a dash of this Fresh Sake Bath ($82) to your tub and enjoy total relaxation. This foamy formula is made with sake, which is meant to purify and soften skin.

Drunk Elephant Sweet Biome Fermented Sake Spray
drunkelephant.com

Drunk Elephant Sweet Biome Fermented Sake Spray

Fan-favorite brand Drunk Elephant recently added this Sweet Biome Fermented Sake Spray ($42) to its collection, which is made with fermented sake extract. The spray claims to restore, soothe, and create a balanced microbiome for skin while also reducing redness and promoting healthy collagen production.

Cocokind Sake Body Lotion
cocokind.com

Cocokind Sake Body Lotion

This Cocokind Sake Body Lotion ($16) gently exfoliates skin, soothes dryness, and helps to replenish the skin's barrier. Use this when you're in need of an extra dose of hydration.

Shani Darden Skin Care Sake Toning Essence
sephora.com

Shani Darden Skin Care Sake Toning Essence

After cleansing, layer a few drops of this Shani Darden Skin Care Sake Toning Essence ($52) on your face if you're looking to brighten the appearance of your skin. It also helps to reduce oil production, thus working to keep skin free from clogged pores and acne.