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Gross or Genius? 7 Weird Ingredients That May Find Their Way Into Your Skincare Products

Gross or Genius? 7 Weird Ingredients That May Find Their Way Into Your Skincare Products

The world of beauty is a fascinating one. Every day a new product is born and the ingredient list? Let’s just say that it gets better by the day! No, we’re not talking about common beauty ingredients like shea butter, beeswax, aloe vera, Vitamin C or E–we’re talking about the rather interesting ones. The ones that make you think twice, research online and watch a hundred product reviews and tutorials before purchasing! Bizzare beauty treatments are so passé, these unreal beauty ingredients have stolen the show now.

7 Weird Ingredients In Your Skincare Products

Trust us, it only gets freakier from here! 😀

1. Rooster Comb

One of the purposes of the bright red comb on the rooster’s head is to catch a hen’s attention. Pharmaceutical companies extract hyaluronic acid from the cartilage of the rooster combs. Hyaluronic acid helps to retain moisture in the skin, reduces the appearances of fine lines and makes skin feel hydrated. You’ll be surprised to know that even our skin is capable of producing hyaluronic acid. However, since we use other skincare products and come in contact with environmental factors like humidity, heat and pollution, our skin loses moisture. Hence, to undo the damage, one must drink plenty of water and topically apply products that contain hyaluronic acid in them. While there are a few beauty companies that still make a buck by using rooster combs to extract HA, we urge you uo opt for HA that’s made in labs using plant sources. 

2. Bee Venom


Bee venom sounds like a dangerous ingredient to be in beauty products, but it’s not all that bad. Bee venom helps to hydrate, moisturise and plump the skin. Not to mention that bee venoms also keeps the wrinkles and fine lines at bay. So how do beauty companies extract bee venom? They don’t kill the bees. A bee collection frame is an electric device that’s mounted on top of the commercial honey frames. An electro-simulator is then switched on and any bee that comes in contact with it gets a mild electric shock. This angers the bee and it stings into a glass-like sheet. Evapourised venom then alerts other bees and they start to sting the glass sheet too. The glass sheets are then packed into a special container and then taken to the labs for processing. 

3. Snail Mucus

If you search on the web about snail mucus beauty products, you will be spoiled for choice! Creams, serums, sheet masks – they all have snail mucin listed as an ingredient in them. Initially, snails were considered pests to farmers and they often toss them into the river or leave them on the street. However, today, farmers make an extra buck by selling them to official snail farms. In fact, there are more than 80 snail farms in Nakhon Nayok province in Thailand. Some snails are grown in captivity too. Not just Thailand, but snail mucus infused beauty products are a rage all over South Korea too. How is snail mucus extracted? A CosRX spokesperson said in a digital interview that the snails are placed in a dark, quiet room and for 30 minutes or so, they are allowed to roam the net, leaving behind mucin. The transparent gel is believed to contain ions, water, macromolecules and proteins which contribute to improving one’s skin texture by making it supple, moist and baby soft. There is also research conducted by peta2 that tells not a very happy story. They say that the farmers purposely rub salt on the snail’s body so that it produces more mucus. So we would think twice before buying products with this ingredient.

4. Cavier


Caviar is a delicacy that’s spread on bread or eaten as a garnish. They come with a heavy price tag and when smeared on the face, they can help improve the skin’s texture. Reducing wrinkles, making skin plump and more elastic, caviar-infused products have the word “luxury” labelled all over them. Also, they’re rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, amino acids and have anti-ageing properties that help to protect and regenerate the skin cells. They can be applied directly on the skin or you can use products that contain caviar extract–whatever fits your budget. 

5. Lanolin

One of the most effective ingredients found in lip balms is lanolin. It sourced from wool grease and is entirely natural. Lanolin helps to cure chapped lips and keeps the pout soft, moisturised and hydrated. The extraction process of lanolin does not harm the sheep. Also, if you have sensitive skin, you should avoid this ingredient as it will irritate the lips and cause swelling. 

6. Guano aka Bird Poop


Did you know that bird poop contains urea? Eww, right! It’s used to make skincare products such as face washes and moisturisers. It contains amino acids that help to add shine to dull skin. Urea is popular in cosmetic applications as it helps the skin to absorb and hold moisture better. Guano is usually collected when birds gather at large numbers at a particular area like the beach, park or pond. Since it’s difficult to obtain, most beauty companies use synthetic urea today. 

7. Pig Collagen

Yes, pig collagen exists and many women claim that it helps to tighten pores, improve elasticity and have a hydrating effect on the skin. Collagen is extracted from the pig’s skin and is safe to use on humans as it’s similar to our collagen. Before the products makes its way to the store, its tested and treated to avoid any risk of infection. There are also synthetic forms of collagen available today. Described as ‘hydrolyzed collagen’, this is found in the bones and skin of fish, rabbits and horses. 

Which these grossed you out the most? We’re all ears!

Images: Pexels

23 Jun 2020

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