8 Shocking Ingredients in Popular Beauty Products

Pucker up

Who doesn't have a vanity full beauty products? (Most of which we never use!) Whatever these top shelf items may be—for hair, skin, makeup, or grooming—we're all addicted to buying and using them, even experimenting with fad concoctions religiously.

Projected to reach almost 300 billion by 2017, the global beauty industry is always introducing new products and formulations for just about everything. We're addicted, and they know it. As a result there's a cream, dye, tint, rejuvenator, plumper, tightener, lightener for just about everything.

Shocking disgusting ingredients in beauty products and cosmetics

If we actually knew what were inside our favorite products, would we still want to use them?

So what exactly is inside these products? What exactly are those multi-syllabled ingredients that, more often than not, leave us tongue-tied instead of providing clarity about ingredients and their origin. Where do they come from and what do they do? Here are a list of popular ingredients found in common beauty products we use daily:

  1. Wale Vomit: Also know as Ambergris, it is one of the most sought after (and expensive) substances in the world. Dubbed, "gold of the sea," it is used in high-end perfumes and fragrances. If you own designer perfume, then chances are you also own a bit of wale barf. Nice!
  2. Fish scales: Fish scales are processed to make guanine, the shimmery ingredient found in lipsticks, glosses, nail polished, eye shadows, bronzers and highlighters.
  3. Bird poop: First used in Japan by Geishas and Kabuki actors, nightingale droppings is said to be as potent as Botox. Wanna try it? At your next spa treatment, ask for a "Geisha facial." Or, you can purchase it online in a pre-made mask...or powder form if you like experimenting with DIY formulations.
  4. Bull Semen: Yes, your read that right. Bull spunk. And no, we're not kidding! Bull semen, apparently, is an ingredient that guarantees soft, shiny and luscious hair. Bull semen hair treatments are offered at few high-end salons in California and London, and can cost anywhere from $300 - $700. 
  5. Sheep fat: Ever heard of Lanolin? Sure you have! It's on just about every ingredients list for lotions, moisturizing lipsticks, makeup removers, etc. Lanolin is derived from fat deposits taken from the skin of fur-bearing animals. 
  6. Snail slime: Snail secretions contain mucin extract which helps to promote collagen and skin rejuvenation. Used in many facials to tighten the skin, snail slime is also used to reduce hyper-pigmentation and scars. 
  7. Emu Bird oil: You know that cute bird that kinda looks like an ostrich? Yea, that one. Much like the fur trade, there are enough ethical and animal rights issues associated with emu farming that – despite the glowing reviews – I've never felt the need to try it. Emu oil can only be harvested by killing the bird and extracting oil from its internal organs. There are many ethical and cruelty-free alternatives on the market, but Emu oil has quite a large following, many of whom swear by its heeling and moisturizing properties. Emu oil is commonly found in high-end moisturizers, sunscreens, shaving foams, lotions, and hair products. 
  8. Crushed Beetles: Cochineal beetles, when crushed, produce a vibrant red paste which is then used in lipsticks, eyeshadows and blushes.  

by T. Gianetti | January 28, 2016


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