Weird Ingredients that are Lurking in Your Skincare Products

Curated by Claudia Shannon / Research Scientist / ishonest

Look, I’m all for experimenting and trying new stuff that could keep your skin young and flawless (if they’re science-approved). But, some trends are just taking it too far.

I get it that brands want to keep it interesting, but bird poo? REALLY? That’s not even the weirdest thing that’s lurking in your skincare products right now. You can find all sorts of gross stuff in there these days.

ishonest No.222 - Fine Lines & Wrinkles

No.222 - Fine Lines & Wrinkles

Here are the top 4 (according to yours truly) weird ingredients in skincare right now:

Weird Skincare Ingredient #1: Placenta

Yep, the organ that connects a woman (or a mammal) to her baby. Its job is too feed the fetus and allow the wee thing to dispose of waste (yes, babies make waste even in the belly).

The good news is, you’re not slathering human placenta all over your skin. The type used in cosmetics is derived from cows (it’s purified, by the way). But, why?

Placenta contains vitamins, minerals and proteins that have moisturizing and antioxidant properties. They hydrate skin and make it more elastic.

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The dark side (apart from the gross factor)? Placenta is full of hormones that could potentially cause problems (think premature breast growth in toddlers and risk of developing certain types of cancer).

Weird Skincare Ingredient #2: Snail Slime

I blame the Koreans for this. The Brazilians may have discovered its super moisturizing properties, but it’s the Koreans who made it famous.

Snail slime contains allantoin, a soothing substance that regenerates snail shells when they get damaged. It works for humans, too. If you have any wounds on your skin, snail slime will help them heal faster.

It’s very moisturizing, too. It can make even the driest, flakiest of skin soft and healthy in a few days. But, I’d rather stick to natural oils. You know…

Weird Skincare Ingredient #3: Nightingale Poop

ishonest No.313 - Prevent Acne

No.313 - Prevent Acne

Legend has it it was geishas who noticed how good nightingale’s poo is at clearing up their complexions (don’t ask me why they even tried it in the first place. Ewww).

Now, a spa in New York offers a offers a Geisha facial that is supposed to soften and brighten your skin. For $180, you can have bird’s poo slathered all over your face.

In case you’re wondering, yes, it works. Nightingale’s poo contains guanine, one of the four bases found in DNA. Guanine is iridescent, so it brightens your skin very well.

Plus, the poo also contains urea, a humectant that draws moisture from the environment into your skin, helping to keep it hydrated for hours.

Weird Skincare Ingredient #4: Sperm

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This is not an urban legend. Sperm makes your skin younger.

Sperm contains spermine, an antioxidant that’s said to help with acne, too. If you have $250 to waste, you can look for a spa that offers a sperm facial.

I have no intention of trying it ever, but if I did, I can think of more fun (and free) ways to get my fix. Ahem…

Would you try these weird ingredients in the name of beauty or do they gross you out too much? Leave a comment and let you know.

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