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5 Beauty Ingredients of Tomorrow

The ever increasing demand for natural ingredients has led to the incorporation of more unusual or exotic ingredients in beauty products. In addition, with so many skin care products to choose from, manufacturers have to choose ingredients that make them stand out from the crowd. Behind the trend for going back to nature is a growing concern about the many chemicals that go into cosmetics and toiletries. According to some estimates, people are exposed to over 170 chemicals in the course of an average grooming regime. Natural or organic brands contribute to value growth; they are typically priced at a 30-50% premium over standard products. At this point, you may be interested in adding more exotic ingredients to your product line. Here are 5 unique ingredients that you may not have expected to be in the latest beauty products.

1. Bullfrog Skin
Scientists in South Korea are working with a peptide extract made from bullfrog skin as an anti-wrinkle treatment. The peptide seems to have antioxidant effects which can prevent the effect of free radicals on the skin - a main cause of wrinkles. Bullfrogs are considered to be a pest, so they have the potential to be a cheap and easy way to produce an alternative to Vitamin E, which is more expensive and has been associated with allergic reactions. The bullfrog extract is claimed to be 10% more effective than alpha-tocopherol at eliminating free radicals as well. Its water soluble, so it can be easily incorporated into an array of products, even beauty drinks!

2. Donkey's Milk
Used since ancient Egypt as a beauty treatment, Donkey milk has been attracting more interest recently because of its anti-oxidant and anti-aging properties. Donkey milk has high levels of protein, phospholipids, and ceramides, which soothe and restructure skin. It has 60 times the vitamin C content as cow's milk, contains vitamins A,D, and E, and is a rich source of calcium and phosphorous. Because donkey milk is so rich, it makes an excellent moisturizer but Donkey's milk production is very low this can be an expensive ingredient. One of the oldest women in the world, Maria Esther de Capovilla swore by donkey's milk, and she lived to be 116. The Swiss beauty company Calinesse started a line of skin care products using this ingredient in 2008. U.S. based Cleopatra has a number of donkey milk skincare products.

3. Snake Venom
Britain's Planet Skincare has a daily moisturizer which contains a synthetic version of snake venom. It works like Botox by blocking the neuromuscular contractions which cause facial muscle tension. Skin is left in a stunned state, mimicking what would happen if attacked by a reptile. Planet Skincare claims that their cream visibly reduces lines and wrinkles in 28 days with a 52% reduction in wrinkles and 82% increase in skin smoothness. The advantage that snake venom has over Botox is that it allows face movement and emotion.

4. Mussels/Clams Extract
Romanian researchers claim that an extract from Mediterranean mussels and clams could have regenerative effects on the skin. They tested on the serum on rats and found that it healed burns in 13 days. Without the serum burns healed in 22 days. The results suggest that the mussels and clams could be a useful ingredient in skin care formulations.

5. Shark Oil
Squalene is a naturally occurring oil obtained from shark livers. It's been a popular ingredient in skin moisturizers because it penetrates the skin quickly, making it feel smooth and softer without a greasy feeling. There has been pressure from animal rights and environmental groups to find other sources of squalane, so it's also produced from plant sources like rice bran, wheat germ, and olives.

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