There are some brands I become obsessed with before I even try any of their products. This is not one of those brands. Manyo Factory, with it’s weird name and Paula’s-Choice-esque (aka boring) packaging, didn’t really interest me at all until Margaret, Joan, and seemingly everyone on Instagram started raving about their Galactomyces 10X The First Treatment Wrap Masks. And you know what? They were right. Those masks are awesome, easily my favorite hydrogel to date, but that’s a review for another day.
Today, let me direct your attention to the Bifida Complex. It’s full of pumpkin (IT’S PUMPKIN PIE SEASON!!) and, thanks to its 6 month shelf-life, I’ve been using pretty much twice a day, most days, for the past 4 weeks so I’ve got thoughts on it to share!
Manyo Factory Bifida Ferment Complex
specially formulated with bifida recovery complex makes smoother, firmer and more luminous
Where does it fit in your routine?
This is a serum but it’s pretty thin. Follow the thin-to-thick rule when using. I apply after watery essences and toners but before thicker serums/ampoules, lotions and creams.
Size and Price
The bottle 50ml of product. It is available on Melody Cosme for $32, Amazon for $34.52, or or Memebox for $18.
(PS you can get 8% cash back from all memebox purchases from TopCashBack).
The cream is housed in an amber colored, cuboid, glass bottle and has a dropper top.
No discernible fragrance.
Color and texture
The serum is clear in color and has a texture that is denser than water but still very fluid. There is a miniscule amount of oiliness to the texture that I only really notice when I apply too much.
6 months from opening.
What’s in it?
- Fermented Ingredients: BIFIDA FERMENT LYSATE, LACTOBACILLUS / PUMPKIN FRUIT FERMENT FILTRATE, AUREOBASIDIUM PULLULANS FERMENT
I didn’t realize this when I bought this serum, but it’s actually a dupe of Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair, which features Bifida Ferment Lysate as its star ingredient. Independent research on bifida is limited, but according to L’oreal (parent company of Estee Lauder) research, bifida can mitigate skin sensitivity and improve hydration. In addition to Bifida lysate, this also contains a good amount of lactobacillus / pumpkin fruit ferment filtrate (aka the fermented stuff that results from pumpkin fruit fermented with lactobacillus). The idea behind fermentation is that it helps breakdown nutrients to make them easier for the skin to absorb. In this case, pumpkin is high antioxidants such as beta carotene, alpha-carotene, beta cryptoxanthin. Lactobacillus also produces lactic acid as part of the fermentation process, so it’s possible there are trace amounts of lactic acid in the ferment filtrate, although it’s not significant enough to exfoliate.
Niacinamide is one of those ingredients that does a little bit of everything. It strengthens your skin’s barrier by reducing transepidermal water loss (TEWL), increasing resistance to irritants such as SLS and the rate at which your skin syntheses barrier components, and with repeated daily application increases the thickness of the stratum corneum. It also has the potential to reduce the depth of wrinkles, especially when combined with other anti-aging agents such as kinetin, N-acetyl glucosamine, or palmitoyl pentapeptide, and has been shown as effective in treating hyperpigmentation.
- COPPER TRIPEPTIDE -1 & ACETYL HEXAPEPTIDE-8
If you can’t tell, I’m a little obsessed with copper right now. Peptides have become increasingly prevalent in skincare and copper is one of the most well studied. It is a potent wound healing agent and has beneficial anti-aging capabilities, such as stimulating collagen synthesis.
- Botanical Extracts: PANAX GINSENG CALLUS CULTURE, ZANTHOXYLUM PIPERITUM FRUIT, PULSATILLA KOREANA, USNEA BARBATA, PHYSALIS ALKEKENGI FRUIT, RED GINSENG
Botanical extracts such as these are a good source of general antioxidants. In addition, ginseng is an ingredients utilized heavily in both traditional Chinese medicine and Hanbang that I’m a big fan of. It’s various constituents have been shown to inhibit wrinkle formation, increase skin thickness, improve symptoms of atopic dermatitis (in mice), and potentially promote collagen production.
- GLYCERIN & SODIUM HYALURONATE
Your trusty humectant duo. Glycerin and Sodium hyaluronate both hold many times their own weight in water, making them great hydrators. Sodium hyaluronate as the added benefit that it can penetrate skin (most skincare ingredients, like collagen for instance, can’t do so because they are too large) into the epidermis, the dermis and the lymphatic endothelium and is effective in boosting skin’s moisture content, improving skin elasticity and reducing roughness.
I’ve mostly seen caffeine included in skincare products to depuff skin, but couldn’t actually find research to support it actually does that. It does, however, have antioxidant properties, helps protect cells against UV radiation, and slows down the process of photoaging of skin.
Do you guys remember learning about how the electron transport chain creates ATP, which is how your cells store and use energy? Well, the A in ATP stands for adenosine, which is a super important compound involved in a ton of biological processes. In skincare, it has general skin soothing properties and may help reduce the appearance of crow’s feet and glabellar facial lines.
Acne Triggers & Irritants
Cosdna identifies butylene glycol (1) and hydrolyzed algin (4) as acne triggers and hydrolyzed algin (4) as a potential irritant.
Bifida Ferment Lysate, Lactobacillus/Pumpkin Fruit Ferment Filtrate, Niacinamide, Butylene Glycol, Copper Tripeptide-1, Aureobasidium Pullulans Ferment, Panax Ginseng Callus Culture Extract, Zanthoxylum Piperitum Fruit Extract, Pulsatilla Koreana Extract, Usnea Barbata (Lichen) Extract, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Glycerin, Physalis Alkekengi Fruit Extract, Caffeine, Hydrolyzed Algin, Red Ginseng Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Adenosine, Methyl Gluceth-20, Epigallocatechin Gallate
This is one of those products where I can’t quite pin down what it does. It kind of brightens, kind of hydrates, and kind of calms my skin, I think, but not as well as more targeted products do. If you’re hoping to focus on a set of specific skin goal with your routine, this is probably not the product for you. On the other hand, if you want a general-purpose product, as opposed to using 5 different single-purpose products every morning, this would be suitable. It also contains a lot of ingredients (antioxidants, peptides) that are preventative and have benefits that are long (as in years) term, so it’s not really something I can speak to.
On the other hand, I really like the experience using this serum. My skin drinks it in like a cool glass of water, it doesn’t leave behind any stickiness, it layers very well with other skincare products, and it’s easy to apply. It also does not break me out like a certain other Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair dupes that I tried (here’s looking at you, Missha Long Name Borabit!). This is also a product that works really as a transition step. When I use this, whatever cream I’ve chosen to use during the day seems to apply easier and sink in faster.
This serum is well formulated, both in terms of experience and in terms of ingredients, but is more of all-in-one product that a product that targets specific skin goals, which is what I generally prefer with serums. If you’ve had luck with Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair and/or Missha Long Name Borabit, this is a similarly formulated product that is worth trying. Overall, not something I would repurchase, but if someone handed me a bottle for free, I would have no qualms about using it up.
Rating: 3.8/5 Stars
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