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Quiz: Surprising Ingredients in Your Skin Care Products

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Which part of the bird is used in spa facial treatments?

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Which part of the bird is used in spa facial treatments?

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At least one spa in New York City uses bird droppings as part of a facial. But we’re not talking your run of the mill pigeon poo.

 

The spa uses imported droppings from Japanese nightingales who've been farm-raised and fed organic birdseed. The droppings are crushed into powder and added to rice bran. What’s more, they’re run under a UV light to sanitize them.

 

While pro-poo aestheticians claim that the treatment has enzymes that soothe and refresh skin, many dermatologists think it’s just a fad.

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Algae may make skin appear:

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Algae may make skin appear:

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You may be smearing algae extract on your face and not even know it. There are more than 100 algae-derived ingredients used in cosmetics worldwide. They can be found in everything from facial scrubs to body creams.

 

Since algae holds water well, some skin care professionals believe it helps smooth skin and create a dewy look. Plus, algae has nutrients like iron, zinc, magnesium, copper, and silicon. They may help nurture healthy skin cells.

Which farm animal’s skin makes oil that is used in some creams and lotions?

Which farm animal’s skin makes oil that is used in some creams and lotions?

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The same thing that keeps sheep’s wool so lush and fluffy can keep your skin soft and moisturized. Lanolin is oil created by sheep’s skin. People collect it after the wool has been sheared off.

 

Since it works so well to soften skin, you’ll find it in a lot of lotions, creams, and conditioners for dry skin and hair. But if you have a wool allergy, read the ingredients list and be wary, as lanolin could lead to itchy breakouts.

Stem cells, found in some creams and anti-aging serums, come from:

Stem cells, found in some creams and anti-aging serums, come from:

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You don’t need a green thumb to have great skin. But picking skin care products pumped with plant stem cells can’t hurt. Scientists have found that plant cells can boost skin renewal. That may result in fewer wrinkles, sun spots, and tiny blood vessels that you can see. Plant cells may even stimulate new collagen, which may tighten the skin.

An ingredient in this drink can depuff under-eye bags.

An ingredient in this drink can depuff under-eye bags.

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Your mood isn’t the only thing that caffeine can perk up. The ingredient is also being added to some skin care products to revive skin.

 

How’s it work? When infused into eye creams, caffeine tightens blood vessels in the delicate under-eye area, temporarily lessening eye puffiness.

 

In addition, many anti-cellulite products contain caffeine with the claims that it can also tighten and tone skin because it dehydrates the skin by removing extra water. Dermatologists agree that users may see beauty benefits from caffeine, but they are only temporary  -- kind of like a cup of coffee.

Which candy shares an ingredient with lip-plumping lipsticks?

Which candy shares an ingredient with lip-plumping lipsticks?

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The bee-stung look you get from lip-plumping lipsticks and glosses usually comes from a spicy extract of cinnamon. That’s the same ingredient used in Red Hots. Menthol or peppermint are also sometimes used for the same lip-plumping effect.

 

Using a lip-plumper and all you’re getting is dry, chapped lips? This may be why: Basically these products work by slightly irritating your skin. The ingredients give a short boost of blood to the lips, making them swell temporarily. If you’re feeling chapped, give your pucker a little rest from lip-plumping products in favor of moisturizing ones.

Royal jelly, used to improve skin tone, comes from:

Royal jelly, used to improve skin tone, comes from:

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Royal jelly is something honey bees make to feed the queen bee and baby bees. We know -- that probably doesn’t sound like something you’d want to put on your face.

 

The reason some beauty brands are pumping their products with this ingredient is because it’s made up of mostly water, protein, and sugars, and also includes healthy fats, salts, and amino acids.

 

Royal jelly has been known to improve the texture and tone of the skin, often tightening fine lines and making wrinkles less noticeable.

Some spas use these to get rid of dead skin cells.

Some spas use these to get rid of dead skin cells.

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How does having four or five live snails crawling around on your face sound? Snail facials are gathering a following in the Far East, especially in spas and beauty centers in Japan.

 

True believers say the enzymes in the snails’ slime help to gently slough away surface dead cells and keep moisture in. But some dermatologists are skeptical. It’s often given along with facial massage and other skin stimulation, so it’s unknown if it’s the slime alone or the massage that’s creating the glow.

Some makeup has bat poop in it.

Some makeup has bat poop in it.

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Yes, some makeup does have guanine in it. But that's not to be confused with guano -- the word for animal feces, like bird and bat poop. So you’re safe. You don’t need to worry about bat poop in your makeup.

 

However, guanine -- which is used in makeups to make it look white -- still may carry a little bit of an ick-factor for you. It’s made of fish scales.

Urea is a common ingredient in topical skin products. It can also be found in:

Urea is a common ingredient in topical skin products. It can also be found in:

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Urea is found naturally in the body and comes out in the urine of people and some other mammals. Don’t worry; the urea used in face lotions and creams isn’t collected from urinals. Although it is chemically the same, it is created in a lab.

 

Thanks to urea’s top-notch hydrating capabilities, it works as a moisturizer and softener. It minimizes water loss and may help improve how well your skin can soak up other ingredients.

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Who would have thought that stuff is in skin care products? You! You rocked that quiz. Congratulations! You’re a skin care ingredients guru.

Not too shabby. Now you know all kinds of wild stuff that can be found in lotions, facials, and more. Wanna challenge yourself with more quizzes? Checkout the More Reading links below.

Looks like you learned a lot about the wild and wacky stuff that can be in some skin care products. Want to score higher? Try taking the quiz again.

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