The skincare industry has long reached for unusual ingredients that may benefit the complexion, and we’ve already covered some popular ones such as Snail mucin. Now, we’ll take a closer look at some of the industry’s strangest formula features, and in what products you might find them.
Melittin (Bee venom!)
When you think of the pain of a bee sting, it’s probably the last thing you want anywhere near your face. However, skincare clinical research has revealed the non-painful effects of bee venom that may be useful in promoting skin health. Melittin is found in serums and moisturizers, as well as lip-plumping products due to its ability to cause a rush of swelling that creates a plumped skin effect. This and the accompanying increase in blood circulation make it a startling but effective choice in reducing the appearance of wrinkles and granting a more youthful complexion.
You can find Melittin in products such as the firming cream by Rodial.
Croton lechleri (AKA Dragon’s Blood)
This spooky-sounding ingredient is not actually blood at all, it’s a resin found in certain plant species that has long been used in medicinal fields to staunch bleeding and promote healing in internal and external ailments. The resin has a distinctive bright red color, giving it its Halloweenesque name. In the skincare realm, dragon’s blood is used to fight redness, which sounds a bit counterintuitive but is a product of the resin’s powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
This unique ingredient can be found in moisturizers such as the one created by Essance skincare.
Guanine (Fish scales)
Whenever you find yourself seeking out that perfect, pearlescent highlighter or shimmery manicure -- you’re likely encountering finely crushed fish scales. Guanine is used in many cosmetics and shimmering body lotions, due to its highly reflective and non-toxic nature. It has the added benefit of being plastic-free, unlike many glitters and micro-reflective products.
Guanine is found in a variety of shimmery, or illuminating products, including this brightening primer by Esprique, Japan.
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