Just because something looks weird doesn’t mean it’s not beneficial, and when it comes to our beauty routines, there are some wacky, unique, and downright fascinating ingredients that enhance our skin care. From spicy stimulants that boost circulation to edibles that seem more likely to pop on our plates than in our daily beauty regimen, here are six interesting ingredients you might be surprised to find in your favorite beauty products.
Snail slime + 5 other weird skin care ingredients
Despite compressive heat similar to that of a jalapeño, you might be surprised to learn that cherry peppers are used in some beauty products to invigorate the skin and increase circulation. “Not only can these peppers be used to spice up authentic South American cuisine,” says Erin Bruton, owner and head esthetician at EB Skin in Nashville, “but at EB Skin we use this unusual ingredient to ignite skin cells. skin !” In fact, Cherry Pepper Extract is the main attraction of EB Skin Cherry Pepper Peel, which happens to be used in their Sorella Apothecary natural facials.
“Cherry peel is recommended for normal to combination skin and can be used to treat aging, dullness, large pores and acne breakouts,” says Erin. “While it is best to leave this product in the hands of professionals, some clients with tolerant skin may also use it as a weekly at-home smoothing treatment. So if you’re looking for rosy, glowing skin, cherry peel might be the way to go. Who knew?
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Packed with antioxidants, mung beans are a staple in many Asian dishes, both sweet and savory. Mung beans are so high in nutrients, in fact, that they also make them a stellar ingredient in beauty products. “Due to the multitude of benefits of mung bean, it can be considered a powerful ingredient for skin care,” says Morgan Kelly, director of education and training for The Indie Queens, which provides products at Woo Skincare and Cosmetics in Atlanta. One such product is RéVive Radiance Mask, a brightening and hydrating mask containing mung bean seed oil. “It boosts the glow and luminosity of the skin when used topically,” says Morgan. “Mung beans are also rich in phytoestrogens, which promote the strength of collagen and elastin in the skin.” In fact, it’s so effective that you can watch the color transform as it rests on your skin and works its magic.
You’ve probably heard of K-pop, but have you heard of K-beauty? The ultimate goal of the hugely popular Korean beauty trend, it seems, is to achieve glowing skin through a multi-step process. However, Korean beauty products seem to have a unique way to achieve this, using a number of ingredients that seem a bit out of the ordinary. Perhaps one of the most controversial ingredients found in Korean beauty products, snail mucus tends to confuse people. Despite the initial shock at the idea of using snail slime, it turns out that snail mucin offers its fair share of benefits such as restoring hydration, improving wrinkles and scarring, repairing damaged tissue, slowing the aging process and treating stretch marks. No wonder K-Beauty has seen such a recent surge in popularity!
“I think Korean skin care has become more popular because the COVID pandemic has caused an epidemic of deteriorating mental health,” says Charlotte-based, Korean-born Doctor Zion Ko Lamm (and famous at Tik Tok!). “It’s almost as if our mental and spiritual selves have seen too much sun. By creating a holistic skin care routine, it’s a way to prioritize self-love and self-care. By incorporating mindfulness and meditation into our skincare routines, we help maintain a healthy glow inside and out!
Full of anti-inflammatory properties, green tea is a relatively well-known ingredient in everything from moisturizers to antioxidant masks. But did you know that white tea can be even more beneficial? “We include white tea and Camellia Sinensis leaf extract in our Behind the Scenes Color Corrector product,” says Jocelyn Atkinson, founder of Dermaflage in Memphis. “Made from the same plant as the more popular ‘green tea extract’, it is less processed and therefore has a higher catechin and antioxidant value than other teas.” A trick to masking skin discoloration, the concealer uses opposing colors on the color theory spectrum to counteract redness and reduce inflammation. “Many products contain green tea,” Jocelyn explains, “but fewer have white tea extract. Very few, if any, are green in color to effectively mask redness!”
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You may or may not like the taste of licorice. Either way, having it in your skin care definitely has its benefits. In fact, it provides a brightening effect by gently blurring unwanted dark areas of your skin and preventing hyperpigmentation. It is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties. “Licorice Root Extract is a unique skin care ingredient found in our bestselling Conceal + Concealer by Fitglow Beauty,” says Kate Zills, owner of Made Simple Living in Birmingham. “It not only works as a concealer to camouflage problem skin and conceal under the eyes, but it also works with your skin to improve its appearance and condition. Although not commonly used in concealers, licorice root extract is a fairly common herbal alternative for skin lightening, as in Brittanie’s Thyme Vitamin C Serum in Union Springs, Alabama. You can also find it in supplements for balancing hormones and as one of the main ingredients in products intended to soothe irritations such as acne and eczema.
Does the idea of marshmallows spark visions of s’mores by the campfire? You’re not alone. Still, strange as it sounds, you might find a healthy dose of marshmallow root among the ingredients in your favorite cleanser or lotion. “One of the most interesting ingredients we have in one of our organic skin care lines, Naturopathica, is marshmallow root,” says Tami Sprintz Hall, owner of Escape Day Spa in Nashville. “You can find it in three of our products, including Soothing Serum for Marshmallow and Ceramide Sensitivity, Soothing Cream for Marshmallow and Microalgae Sensitivity, and Cleansing Cream for Marshmallow and Probiotic Sensitivity. In fact, you can discover all three products in Escape’s Soothing Marshmallow Facial, which provides immediate relief to sensitive skin, calms inflammation, reduces redness and restores hydration. You can also purchase the products separately for daily home use. “The products nourish and help prevent visible signs of premature aging,” says Tami. “The hydrating marshmallow extract soothes even the most irritated and fragile skin.”
Ready to think outside the box? Try any of these creative and invigorating products or treatments, and experience a whole new skincare experience!
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