Ingredient Focus : Bifida Ferment Lysate ft. Swanicoco FTE

9:44 PM

I was about to write a review of Swanicoco First Treatment Essence (FTE), but then I decided to write an Ingredient Focus article about its main ingredient as it seems you guys enjoy this type of posts :D I also like them because I like researching and writing about ingredients and skincare! 

The topic of this blog post is all about Bifida Ferement Lysate, the star ingredient of Swanicoco FTE and Estée Lauder Advance Night Repair.

Bifida ferment lysate is a lysate of the fermentation product of Bifida (Bifidobacterium longum), a bacterium present in the human gastrointestinal tract.
In science and medicine it seems like probiotics and microbiota are getting more and more attention these days, but are they exactly?
They are living microorganisms that are believed to provide health benefits when consumed. In fact it is considered that sufficient clinical trials have been conducted to enable meta-analyses to be done for several clinical conditions. For example, evidence exists to support the use of probiotics in bacterial vaginosis, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome. These are for the oral consumption of probiotics. In terms of skincare there are only a couple of studies performed (at least publicly available) that show promising results, especially for sensitive skin. 

For information, here lysate (as in Bifida Ferment Lysate) means the bifida are not living any more (so Bifida ferment lysate is not a probiotic in its true meaning). That's why I will focus my discussion on Bifida ferment "lysate" and not on probiotics or just on bifida. On a side note, I just wanted to mention that I also found that eating probiotics (for example under the form of yoghurt) could help with skin glow and hair growth (1). There is also a theory, the “gut-brain-skin theory” that considers that gut microbes and oral probiotics could be linked to the skin, and particularly acne severity, by their ability to influence systemic inflammation, oxidative stress, glycemic control, tissue lipid content, and even mood (2). These are preliminary studies but I wanted to mention them anway.

But back to Bifida ferment lysate and its topical application.

Bifida ferment lysate is one of the stars ingredient in one of the most iconic serums in the world, Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair. Based on Estée Lauder information, it potently protects against UV-induced damage in the skin and helps with DNA repair. An Estee Lauder patent from 2009 also talks about DNA repair activity of Bifida Ferment Lysate. They believe that a DNA repair enzyme may be a component of various inactivated bacterial lysates such as Bifida Ferment lysate (3). Of course, a patent doesn’t mean anything from a scientific point of view (you don’t need to demonstrate anything to fill a patent), but considering it comes from Estée Lauder, such an established and well respected company, chances are rather high that Bifida ferment lysate is indeed interesting when applied to the skin.

For info, the version of the Estée Lauder Advance Night Repair I have here is a special edition that has been released this year for the breast cancer awareness month (October). 20% of your purchase will be donate to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation to help the research. Other products from the Estée Lauder Group (Clinique, Bobbi Brown, La Mer,....) are also available in a special Pink Ribbon edition in october.

Concerning the scientific literature, I found one article (written by L’Oréal Research) that show promising results (4). The article was written by a cosmetic industry researcher but as it appears in a peer review journal, this is a good point (although the impact factor of the journal is quite low, i.e. 2.679) and the study seems to be properly conducted.

The study showed that applying 10% bacterial extract to sensitive, reactive skin helped with better barrier function and decreased skin sensitivity. They tested a topical cream containing the active extract in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial on sixty-six female volunteers with reactive skin. The cream was applied to the face, arms and legs twice a day for 2 months. The results demonstrated that the volunteers who applied the cream with bacterial extract had a significant decrease in skin sensitivity at the end of the treatment. Interestingly the difference was significant at Day 57 but not at Day 29, this could suggest that you need to apply the bifida cream for at least 2 months before seeing results. Applying it for one month was not enough to see a difference with placebo.

Moreover, the treatment led to increase skin resistance against physical and chemical aggressions compared to the group of volunteers who applied the control cream (again, significant difference only after 2 months, not after 1 month). Notably, the number of strippings required to disrupt skin barrier function was significantly increased for volunteers treated with the active cream. Clinical and self-assessment scores revealed a significant decrease in skin dryness after 29 days for volunteers treated with the cream containing the 10% bacterial extract. These findings suggest that new approaches, based on a bacteria lysate, could be developed for the treatment and ⁄ or prevention of symptoms related to reactive skin.

All in all, the interactions between Bifida ferment lysate and the skin are definitely complex and more work and studies are required. However, there are some very promising in vitro but also clinical studies that show that Bifida ferment lysate could have important effects on the skin and especially on reactive skin. It could decrease skin sensitivity, help the skin maintain its barrier function, increase skin resistance and decrease skin dryness when applied for at least 2 months.

Name: Swanicoco The Bio Therapy 1st Essence
Content: 100 mL
Price: 48,000원 (swanicoco website), 51 USD (koreadepart), 51 USD (w2beauty)
Use: As a FTE (First Treatment Essence), apply it as your first step after cleansing your face. Pat gently to promote absorption

It has an almost water-like density and viscosity, it is slightly (but only slightly) more viscous and has no particular scent. It is absorbed very quickly and doesn’t leave any residue on the skin. It’s perfect for the 7 skin method (if you like doing this, i.e. apply 7 layers of hydrating skin aka toner). I personally like to apply 2-3 layers of it in the evening and just one in the morning.

Bifida Ferment Lysate (99%), Butylene Glycol, Allantoin, Xanthan Gum.

Swanicoco specifies that the Bifida Ferment Lysate is composed of Bifida Ferment lysate, Butylene Glycol, 1, 2-Hexanediol, and Ethylhexylglycerin. I really like that they do this because most of the times we don’t know how the extract is made and what is contains. So good point, Swanicoco!

This FTE (First Treatment Essence) feels hydrating and is not sticky so great for people who like layering products such as essences or toners (skin). I really like the short ingredient list because this causes less risk of reaction. For me, Bifida Ferment Lysate seems to play a huge role in soothing the skin. Typically I tend to have redness on my cheeks but when I use this FTE or Estée Lauder Advance Night Repair for example, my redness is kept at bay.

I also noticed something in terms of brightening or evening skin tone. I don’t know if this is a coincidence or not, but 2 weeks ago I finished this FTE and Swanicoco Propolis Ampoule (both at the same time!) and my skin started to behave and get more dull and less healthy-looking. I don’t know if my skin is really missing these 2 products or this is a coincidence like as said, but I have the strong impression that both products helped to even out my skin tone, soothed it and make it more healthy-looking (i.e, more brightened or less dull). In the meantime, I’ve started reusing Estée Lauder ANR and indeed the redness on my cheek has decreased, it is almost not visible any more, and my skin has started to get brighter again.

So yes, I like this First Treatment Ampoule and find that it is worth it! I think it could also work great for DIY lotion masks! If you want something more moisturizing, the Estée Lauder ANR would be perfect for you as it’s thicker and more emollient (it's a serum), the Swanicoco FTE is purely hydrating (it's a FTE). You can also use both in your routine in the first essence step (Swanicoco FTE) and in the serum step (Estée Lauder ANR).

So yes for me, Bifida Ferment Lysate is a very intersting ingredient that soothes my skin, helps with redness I have on my cheeks, feels calming and seems to make my skin look more healthy, maybe it's because of its role in the maintenance of the skin barrier function.
I like both Swanicoco FTE as a first step and Estée Lauder Advance Night Repair as a serum as both does the job to keep my skin healthy.

Have you tried any Bifida Fermend Lysate based products? In addition to the Estée Lauder and Swanicoco product, I've tried the Graymelin Bifida 100% (100% bifida ferment lysate) but it didn't do much for me. It's dispensed as an ampoule but it has the consistency of a FTE (water-like viscosity). I find it confusing because you're supposed to use it at your ampoule step but it's so liquidy that I think it works best as a first step but again, a dropper for a FTE is weird. Anway, the Estée Lauder and the Swanicoco were much better! Just noticed the new Lancôme Génifique Sensitive that does look great from an ingredient point of view! 

Purchase info
Swanicoco FTE can be purchased for 48,000원 on swanicoco website, 51 USD on koreadepart, and 51 USD on w2beauty.

*PR samples*

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  1. I always learn so much from your posts! I haven't tried any of the products you mentioned but I have been curious about the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair.

    Billie |

    1. Thank you! I'm so glad if you can learn something here :) the Estée Lauder serum is definitely a good one I can recommend! I also like the Swanicoco 1st essence as it's super hydrating and it also helps the other products you use absorbe better!

  2. This was such an informative post I haven't tried any of these products but I plan to look into a few of them to see if their available here in the UK.


    1. Thank you, Taslyn! The Estée Lauder and Lancôme are for sure. For the Swanicoco, you can easily order it online from reliable retailers such as koreadepart or w2beauty.

  3. This is really interesting! Skincare is super an important part of my life! Great Post

    Lucy Jane |

    1. Thank you! Happy to hear you enjoy skincare as much as I do!

  4. Well I really appreciate your efforts!This post is rich in information!

  5. Comme toujours tes articles sur les produits de soin et leurs ingrédients sont vraiment riches en information ! J'utilise le célèbre sérum ANR d'Estée Lauder que j'aime beaucoup ! Et j'avais dans le viseur le nouveau sérum de Lancôme... tu confirmes donc mon choix ;)
    Belle soirée,

    Kédidja |

  6. I’ve encountered this ingredient as it was featured in Innisfree anti-aging sheet mask and was wondering how it really works when applied topically on skin in high concentration. Definitely worth to read so thank you so much for sharing!


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