7 Surprising Ingredients in Skincare Products ...


There are lots of surprising ingredients in skincare products, which I’ve discovered over the years of trying out new items to find what works best for me. I can’t even pronounce some of them, which concerns me because I don’t really know what I’m putting on my skin. Because your skin is your largest organ, it pays to take good care of it. I suggest talking to your dermatologist about the best products for your skin, but check out this list of surprising ingredients in skincare products to get started. Some are good and some are bad, so be ready to shop when you’re done!

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Bird Droppings

Not just any bird poop, but the droppings from Japanese Nightingales appear in a small number of products. If that’s not one of the most surprising ingredients in skincare products, I don’t know what is. You won’t find bird poop in drugstore brands, but it is used in the occasional facial skincare product at select beauty spas. It’s said that the bird droppings can soothe and refresh skin. Experts are skeptical, but some people believe the hype. The poop is sanitized first, so if you want to give a try, it’s not quite as disgusting as it sounds.


Propylene Glycol

Go ahead and scan your skincare products. I’ll wait. It’s common so you might wonder why this ingredient appears on my list. Well, here’s the surprising part. Propylene glycol is essentially antifreeze. That’s right – the stuff you put in your car that is toxic to animals. Not only is it pretty harsh and can irritate your skin, but it’s also a neurotoxin, which means it can interfere with proper brain function. If your favorite products contain this ingredient, it might be best to investigate some natural alternatives.


Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

Again, it’s not surprising in the sense that it’s not that common, because it appears in a huge number of skincare products, including soap, facial cleanser and hair care items. The ingredient is called by its scientific name, but is used to create those suds that help you know you’re getting clean. It also appears in many heavy-duty cleaners so you know it might be a bit too harsh for your skin.



It might be surprising to learn that lanolin comes from sheep wool and is a powerful ingredient for softening and hydrating your skin. That’s beneficial for most people. Lanolin appears in lots of lotions, but you’ve probably seen it used most often in nipple creams for nursing moms. Lanolin isn’t recommended for people with wool allergies since it can produce symptoms.



Urea, otherwise known as urine or pee, is often used in skincare products for its powerful hydrating properties. Rest assured that you can benefit from urine without the gross out factor because most skincare manufacturers use lab created versions that won’t expose you to someone’s bodily waste. Look for urea if you have dry, rough skin.



Nope. It’s not just for your coffee anymore. Caffeine is a surprising, but good, ingredient cropping up in all types of skincare products. It can reduce puffiness under your eyes by tightening the blood vessels underneath your epidermis. It’s temporary, but using lotions and creams that contain caffeine can help you look refreshed and awake if you struggle with under eye bags in the morning.



Relax – it’s synthetic, but many people are surprised to learn that snake venom is used in skincare. Similar to Botox, venom applied to the skin makes your body think you’ve been bitten. In response, blood flow to the area increases, plumping skin in a way that mimics collagen treatments. This ingredient may or not be good. It can be dangerous if you’re allergic to snakes, which you might not know if you’ve never been bitten. Talk to your doctor before trying this one.

Are you surprised? What other surprising ingredients have you seen in skincare products?

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Where Thoughts and Opinions Converge

Holy crap. Definitely surprised. Although when I saw "urea" in the ingredient list of one of my body lotions and told my friends it was urine, they didn't believe me.

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