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Galactomyces In Skincare, Explained

Fact-checked by Ana Vasilescu.

Did you know that galactomyces packs all the good stuff to protect, hydrate, and brighten your skin? Are you struggling with a dehydrated complexion? Uneven tone? Or excess sebum and acne? Then galactomyces could be the gentle answer to your skin problems.

What are galactomyces?

Galactomyces, also known as Pitera or galactomyces ferment filtrate, is a fungus that comes from the fermentation process of Japanese sake. As it ferments, galactomyces breaks down and creates stuff your skin will love. We’re talking about antioxidants, amino acids, minerals, vitamins, and yeast peptides, which are all necessary to maintain healthy skin.

So how does galactomyces work? For one, it contains a whole host of amino acids that hydrate your skin. Galactomyces also regulate sebum production to make your skin less oily and might as well diminish dark patches. And since it’s rich in antioxidants, galactomyces protect your skin from daily stressors like UV radiation and pollutants.[1][2][3]

Galactomyces benefits for skin

  • Protects the skin: Galactomyces is a rich source of antioxidants.[3] Antioxidants are natural skin protectors. They neutralize free radicals and reduce cellular damage caused by UV exposure. Besides, galactomyces has been found to restore the proteins that maintain skin barrier function.[1]
  • Moisturizes: Galactomyces is a natural moisturizer that works to restore hydration to dry skin. It promotes the production of hyaluronic acid, which is a molecule found naturally in our skin that retains moisture.[2]
  • Brightens: As a brightening agent, galactomyces inhibits melanin, the pigment that darkens skin tone and causes dark spots. For the record, in a 2014 study, galactomyces diminished the appearance of dark spots and reduced melanin production by 60%, being effective in treating melasma and hyperpigmentation.[4]
  • Softens skin texture and soothes redness: A recent study on Japanese women found that applying galactomyces twice a day for four weeks can soften rough skin and soothe redness.[1] A boom for eczema- and rosacea-prone skin.
  • Regulates sebum production and heals acne: Galactomyces can balance sebum production and reduce acne breakouts. For reference, an essence containing 97% of galactomyces ferment filtrate was found to reduce the number of open pores by 15.66%, blackheads by 21.84%, sebum by 64.17%, and acne by 9.59%.

Is it safe?

Galactomyces is generally safe to use. However, just like other skincare ingredients, galactomyces can cause mild adverse reactions in some people with certain skin sensitivities or conditions.

We mentioned that galactomyces is a fungus. Therefore, if you suffer from fungal acne, this ingredient is not for you. One of the side effects of galactomyces is that it can make fungal acne worse by making the skin more itchy. While galactomyces can heal acne breakouts and acne scars, fungal acne is a different case. It is difficult to determine if your acne is fungal or not because they are almost the same in appearance. So if you’re not sure, it’s ideal to consult your dermatologist for professional advice.

How to use galactomyces

You’ll see galactomyces in a variety of skincare products, especially brightening, anti-aging, and pore-minimizing products. For the best results, use it every morning. If you have dry or combination skin, serums of thicker consistencies should work better. On the other hand, if you have oily skin, serums of thinner consistencies will do fine.

Who should use galactomyces

Unless you have fungal acne, you can use skincare products with galactomyces. Galactomyces is especially effective if you have dry and dull skin, deal with whiteheads, blackheads, or large pores, or are concerned about UV damage or uneven skin tone with dark patches.

What you can mix with galactomyces 

Galactomyces is a gentle and skin-friendly ingredient, so mixing it with other skincare actives shouldn’t be a problem. Even strong ingredients such as retinol, AHAs, BHAs, and vitamin C can work with galactomyces. Galactomyces also pairs quite well with niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, and snail mucin to relieve skin dryness and roughness. For skin discoloration and post-acne blemishes, studies found that using galactomyces with tranexamic acid, niacinamide, and hydroquinone is very effective at brightening the skin and reducing dark patches.[5]

The best galactomyces-containing skincare products

Here are the best skincare products with galactomyces:


SK-II Facial Treatment Essence

This essence makes the perfect introduction to the moisturizing and brightening powers of galactomyces ferment filtrate. It works to soften skin, fade dark spots, hikes up moisture levels, balance sebum, and reduce fine lines, being made in a base of galactomyces to provide the best in class results. Although it’s a bit pricier, this one is definitely worth saving for.

SK-II Facial Treatment Essence


Cosrx Galactomyces 95 Tone Balancing Essence

A more affordable alternative to SK-II Facial Treatment Essence comes from Cosrx. This essence won’t break the bank and contains no less than 95% galactomyces to fight dullness, dehydration, and uneven skin tone. In addition, the formula also packs humectants like sodium hyaluronate and glycerin, plus niacinamide and adenosine to reinforce the skin’s barrier and support hydration.

Cosrx Galactomyces 95 Tone Balancing Essence


Some By Mi Galactomyces Pure Vitamin C Glow Toner

For a serious dose of brightness, pick this toner. It touts 88% galactomyces ferment filtrate, 1% pure vitamin C, and niacinamide in a lightweight formula gentle enough not to bother even the most problematic complexions. Say goodbye to blotchy and thirsty skin and enjoy a radiant glow every morning with this toner.

Some By Mi Galactomyces Pure Vitamin C Glow Toner


Manyo Factory Galactomy Essence Cream

This K-beauty brand dubs itself the “sorceress of nature,” reason this cream is made with 99.9% natural organic ingredients. The entire formula is made on a base of galactomyces, featuring a generous amount of 24.8%. All whilst niacinamide and licorice root extract work to minimize dark spots. Its rich texture moisturizes instantly and absorbs quickly leaving skin baby-soft.

Manyo Factory Galactomy Essence Cream


Cos De BAHA Galactomyces 94% Serum

Galactomyces provides its best benefits when used in serum — the reason this product makes such a terrific treatment for enlarged pores, dark spots, and signs of aging. It loads 94% galactomyces ferment filtrate, glycerin, niacinamide, and sodium hyaluronate to improve the skin’s appearance on all fronts, delivering not only anti-aging and brightening effects, but a burst of moisture as well.

Cos De Baha Galactomyces 94% Treatment Essence Serum


Benton Fermentation Eye Cream

Hands down, this is the best galactomyces product for the eye area. It’s made on a base of galactomyces ferment filtrate, so it works quite well when it comes to brightening and hydrating the skin. In plus, the addition of peptides and ceramides locks in moisture and boosts collagen production for firmer skin.

Benton Fermentation Eye Cream


Drunk Elephant Sweet Biome™ Spray

There are several methods to incorporate galactomyces into your skincare routine, but a mist is arguably the easiest. The spray aims to supply your skin with nutrients in order to restore, soothe, and balance. Other ingredients worth being mentioned are antioxidants, minerals, ceramides, and amino acids.

Drunk Elephant Sweet Biome™ Fermented Sake Spray


Papa Recipe Blemish Cream

This cream is made with 60% galactomyces filtrate, plus other plant-derived ferments. Papa Recipe Blemish Cream addresses those who struggle with breakouts and is lauded for its efficacy in reducing blemishes, and blackheads, clearing the skin, and soothing redness. Bonus points as the formula doesn’t contain fragrances, is vegan, and uses 100% natural ingredients to reduce acne breakouts.

Papa Recipe Blemish Cream

  1. Can galactomyces cause breakouts?

    As a type of fungus, galactomyces can make fungal acne worse. As for other types of breakouts, galactomyces was found effective in reducing the number of blackheads and whiteheads by regulating sebum and keeping pores clear.

  2. Does galactomyces lighten skin?

    As a melanin inhibitor, galactomyces eliminates the pigment responsible for dark spots and discoloration, therefore, can lighten the skin to some extent.

  3. Can I use galactomyces with AHA?

    There’s no problem with using both galactomyces and AHAs, such as glycolic and lactic acids, as part of your skincare routine. In fact, pairing them can increase skin tolerance and mitigate the irritating effects of AHAs.

  4. Can I use galactomyces with retinol?

    Using galactomyces and retinol in your skincare regimen is perfectly safe and can result in a more potent treatment for aging signs. Retinol can temporarily weaken the protective barrier, resulting in increased sensitivities, and galactomyces can help in this process by strengthening the moisture barrier.

  5. Can I use galactomyces with vitamin C?

    Galactomyces and vitamin C are one of the best combos to brighten dark spots and promote an even-looking complexion. As both are antioxidants and melanin inhibitors, the two target the main causes of skin discoloration.


Women’s Concepts uses reliable sources, including dermatologists’ insights, clinical trials, and scientific journals, to find accurate information and support all the facts shared in our articles. All statements and claims have clear and legit references. Read our editorial policy to learn more about our sources of information, our process of researching and fact-checking the content, and how our team strives to keep all articles updated, completed, and trustworthy.

  1. Miyamoto, Kukizo & Dissanayake, Bandara & Omotezako, Tatsuya & Takemura, Masaki & Tsuji, Gaku & Furue, Masutaka. (2021). Daily Fluctuation of Facial Pore Area, Roughness and Redness among Young Japanese Women; Beneficial Effects of Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate Containing Antioxidative Skin Care Formula. Journal of Clinical Medicine, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/352182196
  2. Hattori, Kenji & Nakajima, Akiko & Date, Akira & Tamura, Hiroomi & Ishida, Kyoko. (2010). Effects of galactomyces ferment filtrate on epidermal barrier marker caspase-14 in human skin cells, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/297526462
  3. JKW, Cooper & Koshoffer, Amy & Kadekaro, Ana & T, Hakozaki & RE, Boissy. (2019). Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate Suppresses Reactive Oxygen Species Generation and Promotes Cellular Redox Balance in Human Melanocytes via Nrf2-ARE Pathway. Journal of Clinical and Cosmetic Dermatology, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/332891900
  4. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, Galactomyces ferment filtrate reduces melanin synthesis and oxidative stress in normal human melanocytes, https://www.jaad.org/article/S0190-9622(14)00529-5/fulltext
  5. GraceLaurenSantoso, GraceLaurenSantoso & AnisIrawanAnwar, AnisIrawanAnwar & FaridaTabri, FaridaTabri & KhairuddinDjawad, KhairuddinDjawad & AsnawiMadjid, AsnawiMadjid & ArifinSeweng, ArifinSeweng. (2018). The Effectiveness of Combination Serum of Tranexamic Acid, Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate, Niacinamide And Alpha Arbutin in Enhancing Skin Brightness. International Journal of Medical Reviews and Case Reports, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/327086527
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