Depending on who you ask, the secret ingredient for beautiful, supple skin can vary — a lot. For example, nightingale droppings (aka bird poop) are all the rage for some, while others swear by snail mucin. We know, it sounds extreme, but there’s more… much more. Here’s our roundup of strange ingredients found in beauty products today.
Uguisu no fun, which translates from Japanese to “nightingale feces,” has been a traditional part of a geisha’s beauty routine for centuries. They believed that it cleared up and brightened their skin. Today, you may notice it as an ingredient in various beauty products. In fact, at the Shizuka Spa in New York, it’s a staple ingredient in their $180 Geisha Facial.
Snail Mucin is actually quite common in many Korean skincare products, such as sheet masks and creams. Here’s why — snail mucin is high in elastin, proteins, anti-microbials, copper peptides, hyaluronic acid and glycolic acid. It’s essentially the same slime that snails produce to heal cuts on their bodies from rocks and other rough surfaces.
This skincare ingredient may sound terrifying, but bare with us. Horse oil, which is derived from horse fat, has been used for centuries in the Far East to treat burns, cuts and eczema. Horse oil contains an essential fatty acid called linolenic acid, which has anti-inflammatory properties and helps maintain and repair the barrier of the skin.
But before you call PETA, know that horses are not being harmed to make skincare products. There’s a relatively small amount of fat per horse, making it too expensive to farm horses just for the oil. Also, horse meat is consumed in a lot of countries across Asia and Europe, so the byproduct that’s not eaten (the fat) is also used to make horse oil.
You may have heard that honey can do wonders for your skin, but don’t throw away the rest of the hive. Bee venom is a potent skincare ingredient, but don’t worry; it doesn’t hurt like a bee sting. It helps stimulate the skin and reduces wrinkles. Some have even called it “nature’s answer to Botox” due to its collagen boosting properties.
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