Crazy, Sexy, Skincare
A new battery of “extreme” ingredients claim to heal skin and prevent aging.
From caviar facials to blue algea body wraps, outlandish ingredients keep the beauty industry constantly buzzing. But a handful of novel, unfamiliar substances — such as an ancient Mayan burn treatment and a blood-inspired serum — are vying for a place in your anti-aging toolkit. Are they miracle skin soothers or merely gimmicky?
Paradoxically, Kristen Riddle, Pharm.D and creator of the Rx Skin Therapy line, sees the new “extreme” ingredients as part of a larger trend toward biologics, or medicines that boost the body’s own natural processes rather than rely on chemical synthetics. “It’s taking what’s naturally healing for our bodies and putting that into skincare that’s healing for the skin,” she says. While she cautions that only time will tell whether the products below are truly revolutionary, the science behind them is sound.
Found in: Circ-Cell ABO +/- Blood Serum
Far less ghoulish than it sounds, this serum takes inspiration from scientists' attempts to create blood substitutes for the body — but does not use real blood. BTX, its main ingredient, purportedly does for the skin what a rush of blood can do for body: deliver high doses of oxygen, help cells breathe, increase hydration and flush out toxins.
Found in: Kate Somerville D-Scar Scar Diminishing Serum
Peptides send signals to the skin to create more collagen — essentially working with the body to encourage regeneration. What sets Somerville’s new scar treatment apart is its high concentration of a a microencapsulated peptide, which increases the protein’s penetration, making it a powerful weapon against tough scar tissue.
Found In: Nuance Salma Hayek AM/PM Anti-Aging Super Cream
Take it from age-defying actress Salma Hayek, doctors treating burn victims in Mexico, or the ancient Mayans: The bark of a mimosa tree indigenous to southern Mexico and northern Brazil has skin regenerating powers. New to the U.S., this ancient beauty secret also has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, fights free radicals and keeps moisturizing hyaluronic acid sealed in the skin.
Salmon Egg Enzyme
Found In: Perricone MD Blue Plasma
Alpha hydroxy and glycolic acids keep skin looking young, but often leave redness and "raw" skin in their wake. This cutting edge formula offers an enzyme found in salmon roe (collected from a fresh-water hatchery without harming the animals) as a natural, gentler alternative to irritating peels, since it detaches dead skin cells but leaves healthy ones intact.
Found in: MyBody Probiotic Lotion
It’s no secret that the benevolent bacteria found in yogurt and other fermented foods can bring the digestive system into balance, feeding healthy bacteria and helping the body fight invasive enzymes. But skincare experts say probiotics also boost your skin’s natural protective barrier — increasing its ability to fight off “bad” bacteria and chemical agents that cause aging.
Found In: Rx Skin Therapy Hydrating Facial Masque
Butter made from the Brazilian Cupuacu tree is decidedly low-tech, but its hydrating properties are unparalleled. Ideal for winter-ravaged, wind-whipped skin, the fatty acid-rich substance is 200 times more moisturizing than lanolin, but without the latter’s pore-clogging properties. Bonus: Its silky feel makes creams extra soothing.
Photography by Ondrea Barbe / Trunk Archive