“An observer of our biological sciences today sees dark figures moving over a bridge of glass. We are faced with an ever expanding universe of light and darkness. The greater the circle of understanding becomes, the greater is the circumference of surrounding ignorance.” Erwin Chargaff
Sometimes something simple can make a big, glowy difference to your skin. At least that’s what I felt like when I tried my first SK-II face mask which is used by many celebrities like Gigi Hadid as a go-to home facial treatment. It’s refreshing, soothing and brightens the skin dramatically. But it is 6 masks for 95 USD, which is a ridiculous amount of money compared to the regular average 3 USD for asian sheet masks. What’s the magic behind it? SK-II’s general key ingredient is Pitera, also called SFF for Saccharomycopsis ferment filtrate, a rich and liquid yeast by-product of the fermentation process full of nutrients like amino acids, minerals, vitamins, and organic acids. “It is said Sake brewers’ hands stay remarkably young-looking to the rest of the skin because of the exposure to fermentation’s by-products like Pitera.” Sounds good, though I only found one paper that explain the miraculous anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidant properties partially. So if you don’t feel like spending much money on this sheet face mask I guess the best way is to make our own ferment filtrate. And it is actually really easy!
Before we start we want to make sure everything is lab clean. It is absolutely important to work with very clean containers, spoons and water because we want to avoid the growth of unwanted bacteria.
Step 1: Buy good quality Koji-Kin (yeast for Sake brewing process) and add it to your favorite cooked (glutinous!) rice, if you don’t have sake rice, which you delute with clean, lukewarm water. Don’t bring the mix to boil, it will kill the yeast. Yeasts like temperatures close to body temperature. Let it sit in the warmth for about 1h.
Step 2: Put the mixture in a jar and cover it with a plastic wrap for about 3 days to let the yeast nurture from the rice to produce the desired ferment filtrate. The longer you let it sit the more nutrients you will get (sake brewers usually add a bit Lactic Acid to prevent the growth of unwanted wild yeasts and bacteria. So if you have it in your hands, add a few drops for a small batch.) but not more than 10 days, that should do it.
Step 3: Drain the liquid from the rice, bring it to boil for a short time to deactivate the yeast and store it in the refrigerator.
Step 4: Soak one of Muji’s Compressed Face Masks (super thin woven cotton sheets, about 1,50 USD per package) in the ferment filtrate and leave it on your face (like this if you are new to this).
The effects of this homemade mask were in my opinion comparable to the original. I have the desired glowing and soft skin after I use it and it is fun to make. I hope you enjoy DIY masks, which are not just oatmeal and honey or yoghurt and cucumber, too. Best, Ea Birkkam
today: tokyo minimalist