Weekly dose of microtrends that will shape our future

The Key To Beautiful Skin Is In Your Gut

by Corinne Rivera

Hello Forecasters, 

Welcome back to the Inflection Point.

This week, we’re covering ‘Fermented Foods’


  • Behind K-beauty trends like ‘glass skin’ is a diet rich in probiotics. 
  • Matcha’s powerful antioxidants can help prevent ‘inflammaging.’
  • Fermented and pickled foods are trending worldwide —  we ranked the ones consumers love best. 
  • Expect to hear more about Mitochondria's role in skin health. 

So, are pickles the next big dill?

Let’s discuss.

*but first, a story…

Milkmaids had nice skin.

Sometime in the 18th century, Edward Jenner was checking out some milkmaids.

'Damn, they have nice skin...but how?!'

In a world where 30-50% of the global population contracted smallpox, how did milkmaids avoid getting an ugly 'pox-marked' face?

Turns out it was their exposure to cowpox. A milder yet similar infection that gave them immunity from the more deadly smallpox.

This observation led Jenner to conceive the first vaccine – illuminating the power of bacteria. 

Let food be thy medicine.

More than 2,000 years ago, Hippocrates suggested that “all disease begins in the gut.”

Advancements in microbiology, metagenomics, and immunology conclude:

He was on to something! 

So if many diseases start in the gut, the inverse must be true; health and, by extension, beauty must also live there.

The gut-skin connection.

Korean skincare has exploded in global consumer interest in the past three years. 

Terms like 'glass skin' and 'dewy complexion' are products of the K-Beauty phenomenon. But these excellent product marketing terms distract us from Korea's real skincare secret.


Enter the anti-inflammatory powerhouse of Asian cuisine.

Inflammation, or 'inflammaging,' is a major contributor to skin concerns like redness, wrinkles, and loss of elasticity.

The most common anti-inflammatory staple in Asian culture?

Green Tea.

And in the West, Matcha has steadily increased in popularity.

Potent antioxidants and amino acids combat free radical damage that supports vibrant skin.

Here are four matcha brands generating significant consumer buzz:

  1. Kettl - Shirakawa Samidori Match 
  2. Ito En - Matcha Love Organic Ceremonial 
  3. Blue Willow Tea - Shohaku Ceremonial Matcha 
  4. Breakaway Matcha - Blend 94 Matcha 

Probiotic foods are on the rise.

Korean culinary staples, like kimchi, are packed with living bacteria. These probiotic-rich foods support a balanced immune system, diverse microbiome, and good skin!

Ranked by NWO.ai’s Impact Score, here is a list of fermented foods consumers are talking about the most:

  1. Grassfed Sour Cream
  2. Grassfed Kefir 
  3. Nato
  4. Sauerkraut 
  5. Grassfed Yogurt
  6. Kimchi
  7. Kombucha
  8. Soy Sauce
  9. Miso
  10. Tempeh

It’s not the cow; it's the how.

We only have to look at our grocery store's endless alternative milk options to realize that the dairy stigma is real. 

But times are changing. 

As more consumers believe that ingredients like rape seed oil in oat milk and carrageenan in almond milk can cause bowel inflammation, they’re returning to natural dairy. 

But only the good kind. 

While the consumer signal for ‘dairy’ has been sharply declining, we’re seeing the rise of grass-fed dairy dominate consumer conversations.

There are many reasons why people opt for grass-fed over industrial dairy:

  • No antibiotics
  • No hormones
  • Lots of gut-healthy probiotics

Industrial dairy undergoes high-heat pasteurization processes that kill off gut-healthy bacteria. Grass-fed, on the other hand, undergoes minimal processing, preserving its probiotic content. 

Expect to hear more about ‘Mitochondria Damage’ in relation to skin aging. 

In case you missed the meme sensation, ‘Mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell!

No, but really…

Damaged mitochondria struggle to keep up with energy demands, leading to reduced collagen production and weakened skin barrier function. This manifests as premature aging, wrinkles, and loss of elasticity. 

Mitochondria also produce a byproduct called reactive oxygen species (ROS), and when they build up, they trigger inflammatory pathways that contribute to skin redness, sensitivity, and chronic conditions like eczema. 

Dysfunction can also disrupt melanocyte function, leading to hyperpigmentation. 

Antioxidants and probiotics are potent means to support healthy mitochondria.

Brands that help their consumers understand the relationship between a healthy gut and great skin stand to gain from the fermented food trend. 

The newly launched Deinde uses ‘inflammaging’ as its core brand messaging. 

Expect to see this term more in beauty, health, and skincare. 

OK, that’s all we’ve got for now.

Thanks for spending time with us on this week’s Inflection Point. 

We’ll see you next time. 

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