Snail Sludge, Bee Venom, and Other Weird Ingredients in Your Skin-Care Products

Just how far would you go to get great skin?

Snail on a stick

Image courtesy of Getty.

If you think you know your grooming products, think again. Long gone are the days when name-checking the likes of essential oils, vitamin C, and retinol were enough to make us feel well-informed about what we were slathering on our faces. Now even the most dedicated product junkie will be surprised—no, let's say shocked—to learn how far skin-care brands are going in the name of good face.

Here, five of the most unusual ingredients we've discovered—and if you're up for trying something new, a selection of products you can find them in.

Silver Hydrosol

Found in: La Potion Infinie by Argentum Apothecary

The scoop: Turns out, the precious metal not only looks good on your skin but is actually good for it, too. Silver hydrosol—positively charged silver ions (made of 99.99 percent pure silver) that are suspended in purified water—is a powerful agent against irritants and bacteria. It improves elasticity and firmness and is especially calming and soothing post-shave.

Sheep Placenta

Found in: Ovine Placenta Creme by Nature's Beauty

The scoop: First things first: No animals are harmed in the placenta-procurement process, as it is harvested post-birth. The ingredient is packed with essentials for healthy skin like proteins and nutrients, but what has captured the grooming world's attention is its remarkable ability to calm down flushed-red complexions.

Snail Extract

Found in: Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Skin Treatment by Missha

The scoop: This is a sticky situation you'll want to slip into. The mucus secreted by snails is a serious powerhouse when it comes to turning back the hands of time. Proven skin-fortifying agents like glycolic acid, collagen, elastin, and allantoin also turned the slimy secretion, whose popularity initially started in Korea, into a global phenomenon.

Bee Venom

Found in: Manuka Honey & Bee Venom Serum by Beetox

The scoop: Bee venom, also known as apitoxin, inflames the skin after a bee sting. But when when applied topically, it does the reverse, soothing skin. Those with acne-plagued complexions will especially take great comfort in the ingredient's antibiotic properties.

Human Umbilical Cord Serum

Found in: Cellactive Face Serum by Novo Solutions MD

The scoop: Okay, we'll let you cringe at this one. But if it helps at all, consider that this serum is sourced from purified umbilical cords that are inspected and processed in an FDA-certified cryobank in the U.S., and the reported benefits are many, including: reducing inflammation, repairing damaged skin tissue, and stimulating collagen production.

Katie Chang is a writer and shopkeeper based in Brooklyn. Follow her at @katieshewrote.

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