27 Disgusting Skincare Ingredients You're Putting on Your Face

Voting Rules
Vote up the strangest and most surprising ingredients in skincare products that will have you reading the labels a little more closely.

The quest for eternal youth has led to some weird skincare ingredients. Egg yolk and cream cheese probably aren't things you want to rub all over your face, but they're not even close to being the most disgusting ingredients found in face creams, serums, ampoules, and numerous other everyday cosmetics products. With all the Leaping Bunny symbols and heart-shaped ears declaring PETA-approved, cruelty-free products, it’s surprising to find so many companies that don’t seem to give a hoot about having products filled with animal bits in them. Think you can stomach the grossest things in skincare products that go on your face? Read on.

Photo: kerdkanno / Pixabay / CC0 1.0

  • 1
    144 VOTES

    Human Infant Foreskin Can Give You Baby Soft Skin

    Parents might not think about what happens to the foreskins that have been snipped off their babies' private parts, but the beauty industry sure does. Each foreskin can grow precious new cells for years, and Oprah has declared products with this ingredient a miracle fountain of youth.

    Infant human genital skin, also known as foreskin fibroblast, is one of the key ingredients in SkinMedica's TNS line for younger looking skin. If you find this product on a friend's bathroom counter and the idea makes you squeamish, you might want to think twice before giving them a little peck on the cheek.

    144 votes
  • 2
    124 VOTES

    Sewage Extract Can Act as a Natural Exfoliant

    One would think if the word “sewage” appeared on a face cream's ingredients list, most everyone would be tossing that thing right into the trash. The skincare-obsessed Asian beauty industry disagree.s Products from Korea in particular, regarded as the present-day skincare mecca, promote sewage extract as a gentle, effective method to strengthen skin and slough away dead skin cells. Sewage may be one of the grossest things in skincare products, but it could reveal the glory of newly rejuvenated skin that’s been hiding beneath the surface all along.

    124 votes
  • 3
    116 VOTES

    A Splash of Human Urine Can Give You Goddess-Like Skin

    Adding a squirt of pee to your daily moisturizer could transform your skin into a gorgeous, radiant surface of youth.

    If you don't feel like going with your own organically made urine, look for products with an ingredient called urea. Apparently urine has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and enzyme-rich properties that help with acne, eczema, and fungal infections. Is that enough to get you to drizzle some into your face cream?

    116 votes
  • 4
    75 VOTES

    Rooster Comb Can Give You a Fresh, Glowing Complexion

    Didn't grow up on a farm? Rooster comb isn't a comb for keeping roosters looking their best. It's the red, wiggly mohawk thing that splays across a rooster's head, and it's a fantastic source of hyaluronic acid. This intensely moisturizing substance leaves skin hydrated for hours. For those who want a non-rooster option in their moisturizer, many products that once used rooster comb now opt for synthetic alternatives.

    75 votes
  • 5
    92 VOTES

    Bird Poop Is the Main Ingredient in Geisha Facials

    Birds are often symbolic of beauty, and the exotic geisha facial reminds us that beauty comes from the inside. Geishas throughout history have maintained their flawless, porcelain complexions with an intense beauty regime, including smearing their faces with nightingale feces.

    Known as Uguisu no fun (translation: nightingale feces), it reportedly whitens skin and keeps wrinkles away. Exported out of Japan, famed spas in New York now offer the Geisha Facial for $180 - but why not just post up under a nightingale's nest and wait for nature to call?

    92 votes
  • 6
    100 VOTES

    Bull Semen Can Give You a Glorious Mane

    Technically bull semen is used in high-end shampoo and hair products, but it's pretty likely that some of those suds will make their way to a person's face when they're rinsing off.

    Bull sperm and the semen they swim in are packed with protein, and protein can strengthen hair. Whether it works or not, it definitely puts a new spin on the term bull-headed. Imprivo, one of many brands using the powerhouse ingredient, lists it subtly as bovine seminal plasma (BSP) on their ingredient lists.

    100 votes