Leuconostoc Ferment Filtrate: What Is It, Skin & Hair Benefits, Cosmetic Uses & Side Effects

Priya Singh
Fact-Checker: Priya Singh
This article was last updated on: October 9, 2023
Table of Contents

Navigating the world of personal care products, especially cosmetics, can feel like learning a new language. Skincare and hair care products abound with complex terminology and myriad ingredients, many of which seem incomprehensible to anyone without a cosmetic science or chemistry background – this can make understanding what we’re putting on our bodies a rather daunting task.

One such ingredient that often raises eyebrows due to its tongue-twisting name is Leuconostoc Ferment Filtrate. While it may sound like a term straight out of a biotechnician’s vocabulary, it’s a relatively common component in certain cosmetic products.

This article aims to unravel the mysteries surrounding Leuconostoc Ferment Filtrate. We’ll delve into what it is and the reasons behind its use in cosmetic products and explore its benefits and potential side effects.

What is Leuconostoc Ferment Filtrate?

Leuconostoc Ferment Filtrate is a natural preservative derived from the microorganism Leuconostoc, specifically a type of lactic acid bacteria.

It is created through the fermentation process of radish roots. This might bring the likes of kimchi or sauerkraut to your mind, and you wouldn’t be far off – same idea, but different application.

Leuconostoc Ferment Filtrate is an antimicrobial and conditioning agent in cosmetic formulations. It helps to keep the product fresh and extends its shelf life by inhibiting the growth of bacteria, yeast, and mold. In addition, it also provides conditioning benefits to the skin and hair by enhancing moisturization and softness.

It’s not typically sold as a standalone ingredient for home use; rather it’s added as part of the formulation in a wide variety of cosmetic products, including face creams, body lotions, hair conditioners, and more. The concentration used in these products can vary, but it usually ranges from 2% to 4%.

Who Can Use Leuconostoc Ferment Filtrate?

One intriguing aspect of Leuconostoc Ferment Filtrate is its universal suitability. It’s generally well-tolerated by most skin types, including sensitive and acne-prone skin. Its conditioning properties make it a boon for dry skin, while its antimicrobial trait can benefit oily and combination skin by controlling excess sebum production.

As for its suitability for dietary preferences or restrictions, Leuconostoc Ferment Filtrate is indeed vegan and vegetarian-friendly. It’s derived from radish root fermentation, not from animals, which aligns well with plant-based lifestyles.

Pregnant and breastfeeding women can also use products containing Leuconostoc Ferment Filtrate. It’s a natural, gentle ingredient with no known harmful effects for this group, but as always, it’s wise to consult with a healthcare provider before adding a new product to your routine during pregnancy or nursing.

Leuconostoc Ferment Filtrate Skin Benefits

When applied topically to the skin, Leuconostoc Ferment Filtrate offers the following beneficial effects:

  • Anti-Seborrhoeic: This function of Leuconostoc Ferment Filtrate can help regulate sebum production in the skin. Sebum is a natural oil your skin produces. Too much sebum, however, can lead to oily skin and contribute to acne. Leuconostoc Ferment Filtrate can help balance this sebum production, reducing shine and potentially calming breakouts. This happens because lactic acid bacteria produce biosurfactants that can manage the skin’s sebum production.
  • Antimicrobial: Leuconostoc Ferment Filtrate also acts as a natural antimicrobial agent. This means it can kill or suppress the growth of microbes such as bacteria, fungi, and viruses. This is especially beneficial in skincare as it can help prevent infection and inflammation that can lead to skin issues like acne and redness.
  • Skin Conditioning: Leuconostoc Ferment Filtrate is a potent skin conditioning agent. It helps to smoothen and soften the skin by providing it with necessary hydration. This makes the skin plumper, reduces the visibility of lines and wrinkles, and boosts overall skin health.

However, please note that the beneficial effects of Leuconostoc Ferment Filtrate are not permanent. Continuous usage of products containing this ingredient is necessary to sustain its effects; consistency is key to any skincare routine.

Leuconostoc Ferment Filtrate Hair Benefits

When applied topically to your hair, Leuconostoc Ferment Filtrate offers the following beneficial effects:

  • Hair Conditioning: Much like its action on the skin, Leuconostoc Ferment Filtrate is a remarkable conditioning agent for the hair. It helps tackle dry, brittle hair by enhancing its moisture content, leading to softer, smoother hair. This is achieved by the lactic acid bacteria forming an absorbent layer on the hair shaft, which aids in moisture retention, thus improving the overall texture and appearance of the hair.
  • Anti-Seborrhoeic: As with skin, Leuconostoc Ferment Filtrate can help regulate sebum production in hair as well. Excessive sebum in the hair and scalp can lead to greasy and dandruff issues. The ingredient’s anti-seborrhoeic properties help manage sebum production, maintaining the balance needed for healthy hair and scalp.
  • Supports Scalp Health: Its antimicrobial function can also benefit scalp health. Inhibiting the growth of bacteria or fungi on the scalp helps prevent scalp infections, promoting healthier hair growth and reducing problems like scalp itching or flaking.

Just like with the skin, the beneficial effects of Leuconostoc Ferment Filtrate on hair are not permanent. To maintain these benefits, you need to use products that contain this ingredient consistently.

Leuconostoc Ferment Filtrate’s Non-active Cosmetic Uses

Leuconostoc Ferment Filtrate also serves other non-active roles within the formulation of cosmetic products. Let’s delve into these:

  • Preservative: One of the most significant non-active uses of Leuconostoc Ferment Filtrate is as a natural preservative. Inhibiting the growth of bacteria, yeast, and mold helps extend the shelf life of cosmetic products. Notably, its use as a preservative is desirable by those seeking natural or organic skincare options as it provides an alternative to synthetic preservatives like parabens. Its mechanism of antimicrobial activity can be attributed to the substances produced during the fermentation process, including organic acids and biosurfactants, which create an unfavorable environment for microbial growth.

Bear in mind that although these functions are classified as non-active, they’re crucial for the cosmetic product’s overall efficacy, safety, and sensory appeal.

Leuconostoc Ferment Filtrate Potential Side Effects

It’s important to remember that individual reactions to cosmetic ingredients can vary significantly. This is largely because our skin types, genetic makeup, allergies, and overall health status are unique. Therefore, while certain ingredients may be generally safe and well-tolerated, there’s always the probability of experiencing an adverse reaction. This underlies the importance of understanding our own unique skin needs. You can use this guide to find your skin type.

Potential side effects and interactions of Leuconostoc Ferment Filtrate could include:

  • Skin irritation: Like any ingredient, Leuconostoc Ferment Filtrate may cause irritation or a mild allergic reaction in some individuals, manifesting as redness, itching, or swelling.
  • Eye irritation: If a product containing this ingredient comes into contact with the eyes, it may cause discomfort or irritation.

If any of these side effects are experienced, it’s advisable to stop using the product immediately and wash the affected area with copious amounts of water. If symptoms persist, seeking medical advice is recommended.

That being said, please remember that these adverse reactions are pretty rare. More often than not, Leuconostoc Ferment Filtrate is considered safe and effective in cosmetic applications. However, it’s also important to understand that even the safest ingredients can cause reactions in specific individuals, particularly those with sensitive skin or allergies.

This is where the practice of patch testing comes into play. A patch test, which involves applying a small amount of product to a discreet area of skin and observing for any adverse reactions over 24-48 hours, is a preventive measure that can help identify potential skin reactions before using the product on a larger area. Follow this patch testing guide for a step-by-step approach to how to carry out this important practice.

Comedogenic Rating

Leuconostoc Ferment Filtrate can be given a comedogenic rating of 0/5. This means it is non-comedogenic or doesn’t block or clog pores. This rating is mainly due to its nature of being a fermentation filtrate, which is typically easily absorbed by the skin without leaving a residue that could potentially block the pores.

Thus, Leuconostoc Ferment Filtrate can be considered a suitable ingredient for those prone to acne or breakouts due to its non-comedogenic properties.


Embarking on a journey of effective skin and hair care often involves a combination of well-informed choices, experimentation, and a healthy dose of patience. It’s a process of trial and error, and consistency is key once you identify what works for you.

Leuconostoc Ferment Filtrate is an ingredient that offers both active and non-active benefits, a dual-role that is not commonly found. Its active effects of anti-seborrhoeic, antimicrobial, and conditioning benefits can be immediately appreciated on the skin and hair, while its non-active roles enhance the product’s overall formulation and effectiveness.

While it has not yet reached the popularity of ingredients like hyaluronic acid or retinol, Leuconostoc Ferment Filtrate is steadily gaining attention in the cosmetic world for its distinct properties. It’s not an avant-garde ingredient per se, but its unique blend of benefits sets it apart from common conditioning agents and preservatives.

Results from this ingredient largely depend on the concentration used in the product and the frequency of use. However, with consistent use, noticeable skin and hair texture changes and health can be observed within a few weeks.

Regarding concerns, rest assured that Leuconostoc Ferment Filtrate is generally safe, gentle, and well-tolerated by most skin types. Its rare side effects are usually minor and easily managed. As with any new product, it’s always wise to pay attention to how your skin and hair respond and adjust your usage accordingly.

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