15 Gross Things That Are Actually Great For Your Skin

In the name of clear skin, I would put almost anything on my face. Weird plant? Sure. Random thing from my cupboard? Why not? Ingredient that I have no idea what it actually is? Pass it over. There are tons of different ingredients that go into our skincare products. While I’m open to putting pretty much anything on my face, even I’ll admit that some of them are downright weird.

If you’ve ever bothered to look at the back of your beauty products, the ingredient list might surprise you. If you look beyond all of the fancy Latin names and scientific mumbo jumbo, you might just realize you’ve been putting some strange things on your face without even realizing it.

While it can be easy to write off gross-sounding ingredients as gimmicks, in a lot of cases, the “weird” ingredients actually do have amazing skincare benefits. As I said before, there is a reason why I’ll put just about anything on my face. Check out 15 things in skincare products that are actually pretty gross, but can give you great skin.


1. Bee Venom



It sounds slightly terrifying, doesn’t it? TBH, anything with “venom” in it sounds frightening. Bee venom, however, is something that pops up in a few different products thanks to the way it improves your skin.


2. Cactus



Would you willingly go near a cactus? No. So, you probably wouldn’t put it on your face, right? But the same things that make cactus hardy enough to survive scorching deserts make them a perfect skincare ingredient.


3. Egg


Eggs are good for breakfast, but are they something you’d willingly put on your face? You actually should because they’ve been used for ages thanks to their brightening products. And unlike DIY egg skincare recipes, most products don’t have that “eggy” smell.


4. Charcoal



Charcoal has become one of the go-to ingredients thanks to the way it sucks dirt and oil from your pores. However, have you ever really thought about what charcoal is?


5. Lanolin



“Lanolin” doesn’t sound like such a bad thing. That is until you stop and think about it. Yeah, it’s the stuff from sheep’s wool, namely the wool grease or wool fat. That being said, there are countless lanolin-rich products that beauty lovers swear by thanks to the ingredient’s nourishing and protective properties.


6. Mud



When most of us get muddy, we take a shower and put our clothes in the wash. Yet a lot of us then willingly put mud on your faces to help treat breakouts and balance oil. And the mud actually does the job.


7. Collagen



You’ve probably heard of collagen in terms of the stuff people plump their lips with, but it’s also found in skincare products. If that doesn’t sound gross enough for you, some collagen actually comes from pigs.


8. Snail Slime



Snail slime. Snail excretion. Snail filtrate. Not one of the names makes it sound any better. However, snail-whatever-you-want-to-call-it is a hero ingredient in many Korean skin care products thanks to its skin-perfecting qualities.


9. Clay



Pink clay, black clay, green clay. You can change the color and the name, but it doesn’t really change the fact that you’re going to be rubbing a bit of gunk on your face to balance your skin.


10. Bird Poo



Yes, you read that correctly. This is one that even the most adventurous skincare lovers will raise their eyebrows at. Apparently bird poo, particularly the nightingale’s droppings, can help brighten dull skin. Before the ingredient started showing up in products, it made headlines when it showed up in fancy facials.


11. Donkey Milk



Putting traditional cow’s milk on your face isn’t eyebrow-raising, but donkey milk is another story. It’s not like most of us drink it so putting it on our faces seems a bit weird. Despite this, you should forget your preconceived ideas because it’s a skincare ingredient that has been getting a lot of praise recently.


12. Fermented Anything



Fermented foods are making all of the foodies go crazy, but does that mean we want to put them on our faces? Not so much, especially when you consider they’re known for being not the best-smelling foods. Well, the same things that make fermented foods good for your gut make them good for your skin. Hello, bacteria.


13. Honey



Honey on porridge? Yummy. But honey on your face? You’re probably imagining a sticky mess, right? Thankfully is most cases, products with honey aren’t sticky so you’re able to take advantage of honey’s humectant properties (AKA moisture-retaining) without the sticky residue.


14. Wine



TBH, wine is an acquired taste that even puts adults off. If you’re not keen to taste it, you’re probably not signing up to put it on your face. Note that you should try it as some people swear by the way it improves their irritated complexions.


15. Fish Roe



Fish roe, or fish eggs or caviar, as they’re more likely known to you, have popped up in a few different skincare products. Why? The ingredient is nourishing and it can help fight the signs of aging, apparently.


What other weird ingredients have you found in your skincare products? Let us know in the comments!

You can follow the author, Heather Cichowski, on Twitter.


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