Top 10 Products You Didn’t Know Are Used in Cosmetics


Make-up and common cosmetics have been around for centuries. In the olden days cosmetics were at times, very dangerous, and could be fatal. Egyptian women would use kohl as a method to line and darken the eyes. Women throughout the 19th century would often use lead oxide and carbonate as a way to create whiter skin. Others used belladonna in their eyes in order to create a sparkle.

While cosmetics are meant to enhance beauty and make one prettier, the ingredients used aren’t always the prettiest. Some of these are very common while others are used far and between. However, it’s safe to say that these ingredients aren’t ones you’d probably think are in your cosmetics bag.

10. Waste cooking oil

Scientists and cosmetic lines have found out that by using waste cooking oil, a certain type of surfactant is created which is then put into cosmetics. So what’s it do to make you a little bit prettier? Supposedly, the surfactant helps to regenerate damaged skin. Many of these companies will get the waste oil from fast food restaurants and cafés. A little gross but if you can put something to good use, do it!

9. Oleoresin Capsicum

If you’re a police officer or someone who requires some painful self-defense, you may know what Oleoresin Capsicum is. Better known as “OC spray” or just “pepper spray,” this substance is widely used in sprays by police men, law enforcement, and often hikers who may encounter dangerous animals. It’s definitely known for being painful, and even able to cause temporary blindness when it makes contact with the eye. However, the substance, usually extracted as capsaicin from chilies, is also used in cosmetics. If you’ve ever used a lipstick or lipgloss, or some other cosmetic that has a “tingly” feel to it, you can rest assured that it’s the oleoresin capsicum giving you that feeling. And no, shoving your lipstick in the eye of your ex boyfriend won’t keep him away.

8. Chicken bone marrow

Chicken bone marrow is just one of the many animal parts used in the making of cosmetics. It is said that chicken bone marrow is full of glucosamine, which is great to use on the skin as it promotes new healthy growth for a youthful look. Chicken bone marrow is also considered to be an anti-inflammatory. You’d more than likely find this product in moisturizers as well as face creams.

7. Fish scales

Ever used any type of cosmetic that had a shimmer to it? Maybe lotion, nail polish, or lipstick? If you have, that lovely shimmer you wore more than likely came from the use of fish scales. Pearlescence, as it’s called, is the silver shiny substance found in fish scales that is often used in cosmetics to give them that glow and shimmer. Herring is mainly used to obtain the pearlescence and today it is one of the most supplemented fish by-products in the world.

6. Cochineal dye

While you’re not likely to find cochineal dye listed as an ingredient in your cosmetics, you just may find carmine, cochineal, or carminic acid. If you find any of these ingredients listed, you probably are using a cosmetic that has some sort of red hue to it, such as lipstick. Though it seems pretty harmless, this dye used in a lot of cosmetics comes from cochineal beetles. The bugs are drowned in hot water, dried, and then ground to a fine powder. The crimson red dye is then extracted and used in whatever beauty product you can imagine. It’s also used in food products as well, such as gelatins, juices, and even candy.

5. Bull semen

As surprising as it seems, using semen in cosmetics didn’t just start. It’s been a long-time tradition to use cod sperm in lotions as it provides a quality that binds water. However, most recently, some companies and salons have begun to use nothing other than bull semen. According to a U.K. salon, bull semen provides any type of hair with a brilliant sheen that no other substance can match. The salon, known as Hari’s Salon, uses bull semen mixed with katria root, to neutralize the odor, and viola, shiny hair. If you’re up for some semen in your hair, take a trip to the U.K. with $90 in hand. Maybe the cowboys know something we don’t.

4. Human foreskin

Looking for the fountain of youth? Look no further than foreskin. It probably sounds a little bit gross, and probably a little bit unethical to some, but human foreskin is actually used by numerous cosmetic companies around the world. In the medical field, human foreskin has been used for years as a method to cultivate new skin growth, instead of performing skin graphs on burn patients. It’s been proven to work much more effectively. The same method is also used in the cosmetics world. Companies, the most notable being SkinMedica, use foreskin fibroblasts in cosmetic creams and collagens, especially those made to reduce wrinkles. It is said that one piece of foreskin from a baby boy can be used to create about 4 acres of new skin.

3. Ambergris

Ambergris; sounds like something nice, maybe pretty, however, it’s everything but that. It’s actually a gray or black substance that is found in the digestive system of sperm whales, we’ll just call it bile, or “whale by-product,” both work. Despite its dark color and waxy texture, ambergris is said to have a very earthy and sweet smell to it. The substance was widely used in cosmetics, especially perfumes because of its smell. However, not many companies use it today as synthetic scents have become much more popular. Whoever decided to smell this definitely has some guts!

2. Urea

Image result for Urea makeup

Who knew urine contained something cosmetic companies would flip over? Urea, a chief waste product of our body as well as from animals, is used in antiperspirants, moisturizers, mouthwashes, deodorants, and shampoos. That’s right; you’re getting all beautified with the help of an organic compound in urine! Urea is used because it is known to absorb, attract and retain water, and contains vitamins A, D, E, and K. Not only does it work wonders on sweat and moisturizing, it is also a great anti-inflammatory as well as a sun protection. Thankfully, most companies now use synthetic urea instead of extracting it from a horse.

1. Human placenta

If you’re Tom Cruise, a mom, or a father brave enough to stay in the delivery room, you probably know what a placenta is, and I doubt it’s something you want to remember knowing about or even seeing. Despite how disgusting they look, some people have actually found a new use for them: cosmetics. The company Plazan has created and manufactured an entire line of cosmetics made with human placenta. Why placenta? Apparently cosmetics that use hormones extracted from the placenta, such as Hyaluronic Acid and Protein Hydrolysate, help to promote tissue growth, which is very effective in removing wrinkles. As if it’s any better, our bodies don’t become reliant upon products with human placenta because it’s made with our biological structure, both those products that use animal placenta are another story.

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  1. I don’t really mind using my makeup product and I am aware of the contents which are an extract from a placenta. Because it keeps my skin smooth and wrinkles free for a 50 yr.Been using this product for 20 years.

  2. yuck this is why i stick with only lipstick from mia & lillie cosmetics. they have lots of natural and vegan options

  3. Oh my goodness where is humanity going…… because of money we have loss the value of life….Any way is it really important for as to put on these things just for some sick peoples definition of beauty. I just don’t understand why we humans cant accept nature and what it brings.

  4. How do we know for sure you’re not making this up? I mean I am a adolescent and I’m very worried. I just want to know if you are telling the truth so that I can believe you. And all makeups are not made out of this stuff. Just some of it is.

  5. How come there is no proof or mentions of any brands? Are these ingredients in drug store products? This sounds a lot like what you can find in chinese and other asian factories.

    • Skin Medica, and HydraFacial, a facial treatment that uses baby foreskin to fight acne, treat hyper- pigmentation and reduce wrinkles. … criticism for endorsing a face creamderived from human foreskin.

  6. Just be conscious of the products your use. Cosmetics are like any industry, there are going to be aspects of it that are not necessarily going to be pleasing or even humane. Just do your research into brands that are pure, safe, vegan certified, etc and check your ingredients. If you’re not sure what an ingredient is, look into it. What you put on your skin does go to your bloodstream. So do your homework, and then make your choices for yourself as to what you put on your skin.

  7. the worst thing they used is foreskin, because that is theft. There are some serious ethical questions raised in this harvesting of babies foreskin. I feel something was stole from me, so oprah and barbara can promote facial cream for rich middle aged women, who are probably circumcising their sons. these women will never look beautiful because beauty comes from within and creams cannot make up for any of it. they will realize it before it’s too late, what they have done and are doing, or else they will have to pay

  8. Is it why some ladies has persistance pain during menstruation? Since the Human placenta has the contraction effect, if someone stopped using lotion made out of human placenta,will dysmenorrhea stop? Plse help.

  9. Waste Vegetable Oil can be used for so many things from feedstock, to biodiesel to cosmetic supplies. Recycling these days is about more than just protecting the planet, its good business sense.

  10. seriously, EVERYONE reading this should be horrified that baby boys are being subjected to genital mutilation and to think these sickos then turn around and profit from this loss of a functionally important body part is beyond despicable, it’s criminal!

    learn the truth search google: circumcision damage; doctors opposing circumcision; nocirc DOT org; David Reimer; botched circumcision; intersex documentary; beyondthebris DOT com

  11. This is nothing. Want to be really shocked? Go explore what the FDA says is 'safe' to put into the food you eat every day.

  12. The only ones on the list should bother anyone are the ones that cause suffering. There is just nothing sexy about suffering. I wouldn't drown a beetle for vanity. And who knows how they harvest the contents of a sperm whale's digestive system?

    But the one that takes the cake(ed on makeup) is the infant foreskin face de-wrinkling creme. No baby boy ever donated his foreskin. The foreskin includes over half the male pleasure-receptive nerve endings and provides an exquisite frictionless mode of stimulation exactly like a woman's hood does.

    Infancy is the worst time to circumcise. Just Google "circumcision damage" to see horrid cosmetic and functional outcomes of infant circumcision that don't manifest until puberty.

    No national medical association of doctors on earth (not even Israel's) endorses routine circumcision.

    Foreskin feels REALLY good. HIS body, HIS decision.

    • Well said. I’d rather look older than dirt than have babies lose such an important part of their bodies! Everyone deserves the right to genital integrity.

    • tenaciousdeucer on

      The reasoning behind circumcision is so halfassed and contrived, yet most Americans still do it to their boys. I mean otherwise intelligent and successful people doing it because it “look better” or “you can’t have him wondering why his doesn’t look like dads” – as if kids and dads are always comparing penises…

  13. If you are going to use bull semen, or any of these things that have to actually be made into a drug to be useful? Go ahead and pay your "plastic dr" to give you a shot of something… just slathering it on your skin is not going to do very much at all. Ambergris is whale vomit that is rare and expensive. Perfumes are actually scented with this stuff…. Women in Asia eat ground up pearls for their complexion. Look at what you eat and drink if you put garbage in, you will get garbage out. I love makeup but there is options out there, just be aware of what you are using.

  14. After reading this, I offer this information: At least two countries, the U.K. and Australia, are moving to ban products containing synthetic food & beverage dyes thought to cause problems in children, including symptoms of ADHD, plus other health concerns in adolescents and adults.

    One U.S. company, a Minnesota firm, has developed an all-natural, non-GM alternative to the petroleum-based dyes that for years have been used in foods, beverages, cosmetics and other products we put on or in our bodies.

    High in antioxidants, this new product, now catching the eye of large U.S. food/beverage manufacturers, is derived from a specially developed 'purple' corn hybrid. Once the natural dyes are extracted, the starches, proteins and oils in the corn are sustained for continued use along the food chain. To learn more, go to

    • That's because I didn't post the pictures of human placenta. Not something I want to search on ever again.

      And look on for more bull semen collection videos.

      I think you'll be bothered a little more. 😉

      • Well, see, I have seen human placenta, as I was present at the birth of my sister's first child. I also worked with animals and well… bull semen collection is probably one of the least disturbing procedures I have ever witnessed or been a part of.

      • Why would an adult be bothered by a placenta? I can see a 12-year-old being squeamish, but most adults have either given birth or been there during a birth and we're not squealing 12 year olds.

      • Placenta…disgusting, something to forget about? You know that a lot of women EAT their own placenta, right? Google THAT.
        I find them incredibly fascinating and not disgusting in the least!

  15. omg. wow, i dont use make up much, but i know alot of gilrs that cake it on their faces.. whoa, lol

    i know what i WONT be using for a while now