Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Gross Common Cosmetic Ingredients...are they in your skin care?

So this is something I find fascinating and fun- gross, common cosmetic ingredients! I was literally in the treatment room of Woodlands Wellness (before I moved) telling my client about some of these to distract her from the discomfort of laser hair removal, and we laughed so hard. I decided it would be a perfect blog topic for the same reason!

Please know that this is meant to be entertaining only and I will not be naming actual products as I do not want to get in trouble. The photos are obviously not mine either, and I linked them to original sources to cover myself. Ok! Let's begin.

1. Whale Poop

Well…..either whale poop or vomit can commonly be found in expensive perfumes. Its technical name is ambergris. Ambergris is a waxy, yellow, solid substance that lines the intestines of Sperm whales. It is suspected to protect them from sharp objects that they may swallow. It is the “gold of the sea” because its estimated earning potential is $10,000 for one pound.

2. Crushed Parasitic Beetles


Cochineal Beetles (Dactylopius Coccus) are tiny insects that feed on cactus plants and eat their red berries. When the beetles are crushed, they are red and dye is produced from their guts.....or, as I read on some sources say that the dye can be extracted.......the first one is way funnier. Anywho! It is safe for a majority of people so it’s a favorite of large companies. It can be found in lipstick, ice cream, candy, yogurt and eye shadow. Starbucks even used it at one time (until the vegans found out, that is). It is disguised as carmine, chochineal extract or natural red 4.


3. Roadkill


This is no joke. It’s for real!!!!!!!!! GASP (personal side note- this one actually makes me think of the time my ever-so-handy, adorable, amazing father made my Mom turn the car around to pick up a beaver carcass on the side of the road for its fur. He uses it to make flies to fish with! lol) 

Anyhow, animal carcasses are boiled and their fat bubbles up to the top. That glorious fatty substance that emerges is called tallow and is a common ingredient in many of your favorite cosmetics such as: eye make up, lipstick (haha you eat it!), foundation, shampoo, soap, moisturizer and skin care products. It's an extensive list! 

4. Bull Semen


Not as common as the others listed, but gross enough to make my list! Due to high protein content, bull semen has become a specialty salon treatment and can be found in high end products that deliver “healing” properties. Naturallycurly.com referred to it as “Viagra for hair”

5. Snail Ooze


I personally find this disgusting but fascinating! Side note-at home, we once prepared a salad from the family garden for dinner. I was so excited! We were all sitting around the dining room table talking, As I spoke, I stabbed a fork full of lettuce and continued talking with my hands…. After a moment or two of yabbering on, I looked to take that scrumptious bite of homemade deliciousness to see a slug climbing up the fork toward me. Gross! That’s what I think of on this one. Lol

So back to my point, snail ooze is used as an ingredient in many moisturizers. Snails produce glycolic acid and elastin naturally in their secretions to protect its own skin from cuts, bacteria and UV rays. Remember the snail facials? Now I understand why they existed.

Apparently this one has been around since the days of ancient Greece. Hippocrates reportedly prescribed a mixture of sour milk and crushed snails for skin inflammation. I am such a nerd for these type of details but I love it. Hope you do too.

6. Fish Scales

Guanine is the technical nail and it is a light reflective material found in mascara and finger nail polish most commonly, but can also be found in lip stick. It is ground up fish scales and it is not surprising that it produces a shimmering color.It is a surprising ingredient, but this one doesn’t gross me out too bad because I fish. Regardless, I thought it was worth mentioning.


7. Fetal Foreskin



Yep! You read that correctly. Little baby penises on your face. Literally!  I may be guilty of testing this one out myself and I must say, the product delivers. It is an anti-aging ingredient that uses a combination of soluble collagen, antioxidants, natural growth factors (hint: foreskin) and matrix proteins (hint hint) that they claim will slow the aging process and encourage new cell growth. It is actually a derivative of the foreskin, but its kinda funny isn't it?

8. Sheep Wool Wax

This is one I have grossed people out over for years! Lanolin. It can be found in almost every lip product. Take a look. It is also in lotion, balms, nipple soothing cream and shaving cream.

Lanolin is collected from sheep wool and the animal isn’t actually harmed for the process. It is a greasy, waxy substance that emerges once the sheep wool has been boiled after shearing.