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Cosmetic ingredients inspired by nature

Cosmetic formulators have long used ingredients from nature to make products.  Some of the more common ingredients include Lanolin, Milk, Honey, and Musk.  Then there are things like Gelatin, fish scales, ground up insect shells, and even placental protein.  However, using animal derived ingredients these days is mostly frowned on.  Of course, not all animal based or inspired ingredients are the same.  Here are three recent cosmetic ingredients inspired by animals that can be found in cosmetic products.   bee cosmetics

Spider silk protein
Using proteins similar to the ones found in spider silk, this company has come up with an ingredient that is supposed to offer a truly “functional” silk protein for your formulation. Not sure how this would perform any different than other silk proteins and no evidence is provided. Sounds like they’re just spinning a line to me.

Snake venom
Capitalizing on the notion that injecting your face with a toxic material like Botox provides beneficial effects, this company has created “syn-ake” a material similar to snake venom. They say that the venom like compound gives anti-aging effects that are better than Botox. Better than Botox? Right. Can anyone say snake in the grass?

Bee venom
Not to be out done by the snake venom companies, some brands have incorporated bee venom in their cosmetics. The idea is that topically applying bee venom will fool the body into thinking it has been stung. This will cause skin to puff up a little and reduce wrinkles. Sure it will. But you know what they say…beauty is in the eye of the bee-holder.

Cosmetic marketers are constantly looking for new stories to sell products that generally work about the same.  These ingredients certainly provide clever stories which may prompt people to buy, but whether they make substantial improvements over the anti-aging products that already exist, I find that hard to bee-lieve.

{ 3 comments… add one }

  • Rob 01/19/2014, 7:59 pm

    In NZ, we do a lot of export products to Asia, and Deer Velvet, Sheep Placenta (also horse and deer placenta) feature very highly in those kind of products (especially dietary supplements).

    I have been asked to work on some products to export to Viet Nam – and I know they expect these kinds of products too. However, nothing could be worse than a pot of cream I was given – damned expensive, but it contained Human Placenta.
    I drew the line at using that – but I can’t say it made the trash can look any more youthful!

  • Colin 01/17/2014, 12:13 pm

    Great article thanks. I did wonder if I could come up with some better puns. I tried out nearly a dozen to see if any could improve on Perry’s. But no pun in ten did.

    • Perry Romanowski 01/17/2014, 12:57 pm

      Thanks Colin – lol!

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