Most of us will go to the ends of the earth to maintain a beautiful appearance. We will try almost anything in order to fix the flaws we think we have.
Skincare advice is everywhere — we at Woman This Month should know; we write about it enough! Without a doubt, it is something that women think about frequently. Our face is the first thing that makes an impression and so, understandably, we want it to look great.
We all know by now which products will make you look younger, rid you of spots, protect your skin from the sun and moisturise and soften. But how about what these products actually contain?
The quest for achieving a flawless complexion is never-ending. The grass is always greener, but we still keep trying; we use the products with the most hype and the ones celebrities swear by, without stopping to consider what that magical ingredient is that makes skin plumper and lips shimmer.You may, in fact, discover that your products contain some of the most bizarre (and disgusting) ingredients possible. But does that even put you off if it improves the condition of your skin? The use of weird and wacky substances has been a trend for hundreds of years, but over time at least improvements in science have shown us which products are just too damaging to use. For example, the Elizabethans used lead to lighten their skin, which proved to be incredibly harmful. Dont Forget toothpaste on spots; we’ve had a hunt around for those really weird components that strangely prompt wonderful end results…
Purified snail goo has been found to contain excellent regenerative properties, which aid in skin firmness and wrinkle correction. Michael Todd Cosmetics spurred the use of this weird and slimy ingredient with the Knu Anti-Ageing Tri-Complex in 2009.
Since ancient times, cow dung has been used in skincare products to improve the appearance of the skin. The dung is dried out and then the nutrient-packed portions are extracted and added to facial creams. Scientists in Japan have also found a way to produce a vanilla-scented fragrance out of cow dung by heating it under high pressure.
This smelly drink is, strangely, a wonderful hair-wash. Its vitamin B and natural sugar content add volume and help your locks to shine. Beer is also jam-packed full of protein, which is great for strength and growth
If you love to rock red lipstick, then this secret ingredient may haunt you slightly. Cochineal beetles are often crushed up and processed to create carmine; a red dye that is common in lipstick, blush and even Starbucks’ strawberry Frappuccino!
Caviar is one of the most exclusive delicacies you can eat, but how about using it in your hair? Fish eggs can be found in some hair products, due to their strengthening and moisturising properties. Because of its high levels of calcium, protein, selenium, iron, magnesium, vitamins and omega-3s, it’s supposed to soften and smooth hair. Hair care brand Alterna certainly believes in Caviar’s hair rejuvenation powers; they have a whole line of Caviar products.
The “geisha” facial that is popular in the states is a highly sought-after treatment that harnesses the goodness of nightingale droppings. The droppings are dried, blitzed with UV light (for extreme sanitation) and then crushed into powder. This particular waste product contains special properties that leave skin cleansed, moisturised, silky-smooth and bright.
This is used as a somewhat scary alternative to Botox and provides a long-lasting anti-wrinkle treatment that is thought to reduce signs of ageing. At Sonya Dakar’s Beverly Hills Spa, the skincare expert uses synthetic snake venom developed to mimic the paralysing effect of a temple viper’s venom.
This is the grease animals have in their fur. It is a thick greasy product secreted by wool-bearing mammals to help shed water from their coats. It is scraped off from their coats and used in an array of products, including shaving cream, shampoo and lipstick. In fact, over 100 lipsticks on the market contain lanolin, including brands Revlon and Estée Lauder.
If you’re a fan of shimmery lip and nail products, you may be shocked to discover that it is often fish scales which are used to achieve this effect. Usually referred to as “pearl essence” on ingredient lists, this component actually comes from the herring.
Spermine, found in human sperm, is a strong anti-oxidant that helps clear and smooth skin. A Norwegian company found a way to synthesise it and now you can have a spermine facial to assist in smoothing out lines and wrinkles. The ingredient is increasingly found in everyday skincare products as well.
The byproduct of whale digestion, called ambergis, has long been used in perfumes. It’s earthy and musky aroma provides the ideal base note for the ingredients. Although this isn’t hugely common worldwide anymore, it is thought that a lot of French companies still use it, supposedly including Chanel!
Anyone with knowledge of the beauty industry will be familiar with the word ‘keratin’, associated with strong, smooth and shiny locks. There is a type of keratin that is found in bird feathers and is also used in shampoos and hair products. Because the amino acid chains in bird feathers are supposedly silkier than in human hair, they can make hair appear shinier and healthier.