Gross Skin Care Ingredients That Actually Help Your Skin

Strange But True - These Skin Care Ingredients Actually Work

BLANKENFELDE, GERMANY - APRIL 25: Worker bees surround a queen, who is marked with a yellow spot on her back, in the colony of beekeper Reiner Gabriel in the garden of his home near Berlin on April 25, 2013 in Blankenfelde, Germany. Local beekeepers claim their yearly loss rates within their bee populations has gone from an average of 10% per year to 30% per year over the last 10 years, though they are unsure whether the cause lies with a mite and a virus it might be spreading or with the increased use of certain pesticides by local farmers. According to a recent report prepared by Greenpeace seven pesticides currently in use in Europe present a real danger to bees. Bees are essential in nature in pollenating a wide variety of plants and trees.
Sean Gallup/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Looking at the ingredient list on a skincare product can sometimes be very eye-opening.  You might see ingredients there that you never thought belonged on your face.  But before you dismiss an ingredient as gross or weird find out just why it is being used in your skin care product.  Keep reading to find just why these gross sounding skin care ingredients are actually good for your skin.


Lanolin comes from sheep.

Luckily no sheep are harmed in order to collect this fairly common skin care ingredient. Just like human skin produces oil (called sebum) in order to soften and protect our skin, sheep's wool produces lanolin which soothes, heals, and moisturizes sheep's skin.  Lanolin actually makes sheep's wool waterproof which explains why it is so good at protecting human skin.  The lanolin is extracted from the wool after the sheep are sheared, and of course, it is then refined and purified before being used in products for humans.  There are some people who are allergic to lanolin so if you do find that your skin is turning red and becomes itchy when using a product with lanolin in it stop using it immediately. Try it in Wild Ferns Lanolin and Collagen Face Cream.

Chicken Bone Marrow

Yes, you read that correctly.  But you won't find those words in your skin care product ingredient list. Instead, you will see the word glucosamine.

  What exactly does this ingredient do for your skin?  This oil is anti-inflammatory and helps keep moisture in the skin.  It is also said to reduce the appearance of wrinkles.  There are claims that glucosamine can stimulate the production of hyaluronic acid in the skin. You can find it in face creams and moisturizers like Dermalogica's Age Smart Power Rich.

Bee Venom

Said to be beloved by celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Middleton, bee venom is used as an anti-aging ingredient. When added to a skin care product the bee venom can trick your skin into thinking that it has been stung (without any bad side effects) and your skin will plump up and tighten.  If that isn't enough bee venom is full of enzymes, amino acids, and peptides.  This ingredient increases blood circulation and might help to build collagen in the skin.  And like with extracting lanolin from sheep, no bees are harmed when extracting the venom from their stingers.  Unfortunately using this ingredient in a product doesn't come cheap, and the prices for the skin care products with bee venom reflect how expensive this ingredient is. Try it in Manuka Doctor Skincare Apinourish Rejuvenating Face Mask or Nip + Fab Bee Sting Body Souffle.


Once again we are definitely not making this up.  Yes, placenta.  As you may already know the placenta is the organ that grows in a pregnant mammal, connecting the mother to the fetus in order to nourish and sustain the fetus during pregnancy.  Purified cow and human placenta are used in skin care products. Rich in proteins, minerals, and vitamins placenta can hydrate and condition the skin.

 It can also be a source of hyaluronic acid for the skin.  Unfortunately, not everyone is so keen on this ingredient's benefits because the estrogen that is naturally found in the placenta may cause health issues for people. If you do want to try it you can find placenta in ​​Merino Placenta & Vitamin C, B5, E & Propolis Refining Anti-Ageing Eye Cream.

Tree Bark

Not just any tree bark, of course.  This tree bark is from the tepezcohuite tree and scientifically known as mimosa tenuiflora.  Native to northern Brazil and southern Mexico, the Mayan people have used this tree bark to treat skin abrasions.  It has also been used to heal skin burns, is said to have an antiseptic effect on the skin, and fight free radical damage. In addition, tepezcohuite can increase hydration in the skin. You can find this ingredient in Nuance Salma Hayek AM/PM Anti-Aging Super Serum Concentrate.