Skincare

The weird anti-ageing ingredients celebrities use in the name of beauty

But do they really work?!

By Kelsey Ferencak
Victoria Beckham, Angelina Jolie

From sail slime to bird poo, celebs are going gaga for creature-inspired beauty. Here's the lowdown on the anti-ageing ingredients you need to know about.

Bee venom

What is it?
Venom is collected by gently shocking the bees until they produce a sting, without harming them, and then infused into skincare. It’s loved by celebs from Duchess Kate to Gwyneth Paltrow – who’s even had “bee-sting therapy” where she was deliberately stung by bees.

How does it work?
Dubbed “nature's answer to Botox”, bee venom's packed with a combo of powerful anti-ageing goodies such as enzymes, peptides and amino acids that work to encourage cell regeneration and amp up collagen production.

Try:
Manuka Doctor ApiNourish Age-Defying Eye Cream, $32.99

Pig collagen

What is it?
A Korean beauty staple usually found in gels and masks. Collagen is extracted from pig skin - and although it may sound a bit stomach-turning it’s not as weird as it seems. After all, most anti-ageing products aim to stimulate collagen production.

How does it work?
Science has shown that pig collagen is pretty similar to the one we harvest ourselves, so it helps repair and boost the amount we produce so our skin stays soft, plump and wrinkle-free for longer.

Try: Tonymoly Pure Farm Pig Collagen Mask, $11.50 - pop this sheet mask on for 20 minutes before gently pressing any leftover product into your skin.

Salmon enzyme

What is it?
Patti Pao, founder of skincare line Restorsea, was touring a salmon hatchery when she noticed the workers' hands looked much younger than their faces. She found out baby salmon release an enzyme that “dissolves the dead skin cells but allows the living cells to thrive.”

How does it work?
It gently removes dead skin cells but stops once it comes in contact with living cells, so skin tone and texture are improved. Say goodbye to sun damage and age spots, and hello to an improved complexion. Angelina Jolie is a fan, so it must be good.

Try: Restorsea Reviving Cleanser, $85 removes build up and dirt without stripping oils.
Perricone MD Blue Plasma Cleansing Treatment, $66 cleanses, exfoliates and hydrates.

Bird poo

What is it?
Originally used by Geishas in Japan, this treatment has been hailed as a wonder product by Victoria Beckham. Known as "The Geisha Facial" it uses nightingale droppings to leave skin shiny and smooth.

How does it work?
The droppings are sanitised before being milled into a fine powder and mixed with Japanese rice bran and water. It’s applied as a mask and acts as an exfoliant to break down dead skin cells.

Try: The treatment isn’t available in Australia, so DIY with Uguisu Poo Uguisu No Fun Calming Mask, $33.14

Snail slime

What is it?
A favourite of Katie Holmes and Jessica Alba, snail slime - otherwise known as snail secretion or mucin - is used in moisturisers and serums. It’s a pretty powerful ingredient packed with anti-ageing proteins, glycolic acids and elastin.

How does it work?
Snails roam over glass panels and their slime is filtered and concentrated into skincare. It helps replenish moisture and firms the skin. It's also been known to fade scars and smooth out uneven skin tone.

Try: Missha Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Cream, $45.90 uses 70 per cent of the extract to target irritation, dark spots and dryness. While Dr. Organic Snail Gel, $24.95 softens wrinkles and smooths skin, all while protecting your complexion from environmental aggressors.

Goat's milk

What is it?
Cleopatra soaked in a bath of milk and here's why: it’s full of alpha-hydroxy and lactic acids that gently exfoliate to soothe inflammation, itchy skin and even psoriasis.

How does it work?
Exfoliating and hydrating will leave your skin feeling soothed and looking supple. In fact, goat’s milk contains loads of skin-loving nutrients like vitamin A, which repairs skin tissue.

Try: Goat Milk Moisturising Cream, $94 from A-list beauty guru Kate Somerville who treats Eva Mendes, and switch soap for Highlands Goat Milk Body Wash, $9.99.

Starfish extract

What is it?
A Korean favourite thanks to the sea creature's ability to regenerate its limbs. The magic ingredient is harmlessly extracted and used in skin and eye creams.

How does it work?
The extract is packed with hardcore ingredients from collagen to calcium that aim to restore skin’s natural glow, even out your complexion and diminish fine lines.

Try: Mizon Returning Starfish Cream, $42 contains memory polymers that firm skin and increase elasticity. Apply after cleansing and press into skin to help absorption.

Luxury ingredients

If creepy crawlies and sea creatures aren’t your thing, try these fancy treatments.

Caviar: This has been around in skincare for decades but we bet you didn’t know you could use it on your hair too. Catherine Zeta Jones is a fan, going for treatments that cost over $165 an hour. The omega-3 fatty acids are super nourishing for your locks and add loads of shine.

Try: Alterna Caviar Omega+ Nourishing Oil, $59.50

Gold: This precious metal is a hit during awards season, with stars such as Kate Hudson and Irina Shayk slathering their faces with the stuff - and we can see why. Gold instantly illuminates skin for a 24 carat glow.

Try: Peter Thomas Roth 24K Gold Pure Hydra Eye Patch, $165 for 30, Skin Republic Gold Hydrogel Mask, $12.99.

Wine: Red wine is full of antioxidants, and the most powerful is resveratrol – it's said to help slow down ageing. Teri Hatcher is rumoured to bathe in the stuff, but we'll pass on the mess and stick applying it on our skin.

Try: Caudalie Resveratrol Eye Lifting Balm, $75

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