We love our makeup. Even if we don’t, it is reasonable to assume that, at the very least, we use lotions and perfumes before heading out of our homes. But, have you ever wondered what goes into making these magic potions that keeps the world from ostracizing us?
The good news is, quite a few ingredients used are 100 percent natural. The bad news? They are beyond gross.
1. Lanolin / Animal Fur Grease
Lanolin is basically the grease that coats the fur of animals. It is waxy, so it helps them keep water away. Lanolin is mostly extracted from sheep, where it is allowed to build up for a really long time. It is used in quite a few lipsticks, lotions, and even shaving creams.
2.Ambergris / Whale Poop Or Vomit
Ambergris is mostly used in high-end perfumes. Too bad, it is just a fancy word for whale vomit/puke. It is secreted in the stomach lining of the whale to protect it from damage, and when there is a huge build-up of this stuff, the whale discards it. It can retain a fragrance for a really long time, and some popular brands of perfume are said to contain it.
3. Squalene / Shark Liver Oil
Squalene is a gooey substance that is extracted from the liver of sharks. It gets readily absorbed into your skin and does not leave a greasy residue, which is why it is widely used in moisturizers and lipsticks.
Lead is extremely harmful, but somehow, trace amounts of it make it into your lipstick. Although the amount present is not enough to cause serious damage, it is only with regards to the lipsticks produced in the US. Outside of it? You never know!
5. Carmine / Crushed Red Beetles
Hiding under the innocuous label of ‘carmine’, the red dye used in plenty of red lipsticks is crushed red beetles. The red pigment used is derived by boiling the bodies of cochineal bugs.
6. Guanine / Fish Scales
An important ingredient in shimmery nail paints and shampoos, guanine or ‘natural pearl extracts’ lend them their trademark luster. Needless to say, there is absolutely no pearl present. The shiny stuff is actually made from fish scales.
7. Bull Semen
Suffering from unmanageable, dry hair? Now, there are high-end salons that promise to make your hair smoother than ever. For a small fortune, you can opt for a treatment that infuses your hair with protein. The main ingredient in the treatment? Bull semen.
8. Diatomaceous Earth / Dead Algae
Algae are basically plants. And a plant extract doesn’t sound all that bad. Except, it is fewer leaves and more slime. Diatomaceous earth is the dead remains of slimy green stuff that you see on water bodies. But, since it is excellent at exfoliating, it has made its way into many skin products.
9. Tallow / Fat From Animal Carcasses
A lot of cosmetics contain animal fat or tallow. It is common knowledge. But the process of extraction? Animal carcasses are boiled to get to the fatty substances. And, these animals are procured from every imaginable source – labs, zoos, dead stock, and sometimes, even roadkill.
10. Snail Slime
Snail slime is the mucus produced by snails that makes it easy for them to crawl. A fun fact that will make your skin crawl, snail slime is used in a number of high-end skin products. The slime produced by them contains glycerol acid and elastin, which remove dead cells and make the skin smooth and supple.
11. Baby Foreskin
If an anti-aging cream claims to work, and, in fact, does work, maybe you shouldn’t be in much hurry to buy it. In many of the anti-aging creams, the ‘miracle’ ingredient that claims to boost collagen levels and smooth out wrinkles could be baby foreskin.
Using any products with these ingredients might not be a very appealing thought. But since they work, and are quite effective, maybe we can get over the icky factor.