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YOUR ‘WET’ MARKET: How people across the world are consuming ‘weird’ animal ingredients and loving it

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How many know that some lipsticks and blushers have a dye which is collected from crushed cochineal beetles? Or that animal fat like tallow is common in eye makeup or makeup base.

VAISHALI DAR: The idea of consuming creepy creatures might be upsetting to some, but there are many beauty rituals that use bizarre animal ingredients. Think snails crawling on your face, fish pedicure, bird poop facial, snake or snail massage, and leech and urine therapy. Then there are the cosmetics we use.

Women love to pose for selfies with a close up of their puckered lips, but how many know that some lipsticks and blushers have cochineal dye, which is collected from crushed cochineal beetles? The insects feed on cactus plants in Central and South America and the females eat the red cactus berries. When they’re crushed, an intense red dye is produced. Mascaras and nail polishes also contain guanine, a crystalline shimmering substance found in crushed fish scales.

Animal fat like tallow is common in eye makeup or makeup base. The carcasses of slaughtered animals are boiled to churn out a fatty substance, which is added to the base that you could be applying on your face almost every day. Squalene, an oil obtained from shark livers, finds widespread use in sunscreens, lipsticks, foundations, lotions and many other cosmetics. Even gelatin, used in cream-based cosmetics and even ice cream, is processed by boiling skin, tendons, ligaments and bones of animals.

Makeup removers, too, aren’t devoid of weird ingredients, as they contain lanolin, excretion from wool-bearing mammals. Ambergris, derived from the waxy oil that lines a whale’s stomach, is used for the scent in perfumes. The icky factor doesn’t end here. Snail mucin is big in K-beauty for its hydrating potential and regeneration of skin, as it contains glycolic acid and glycoprotein enzymes.

Snail slime, an unpleasant, slippery and thick semi-solid substance, is processed and packaged as creams, gels, serums, toners, moisturisers and gel face masks – experts say snail beauty therapy has been big in south Asian countries like Japan, China and the West for some time now. In fact, snail farming, known as heliciculture, involves raising land snails for human use: flesh is used as edible escargot, eggs as gourmet caviar and slime for cosmetics and pharmaceuticals…

Some foods may be sweet in taste, but a slight mention of the ingredient will leave you sick. Take, for instance, a colourful candy coated with shellac, a sticky substance derived from the secretions of the female Kerria lacca, an insect native to Thailand… Chewing gum is made with lanolin-a secretion from the skin glands of sheep-which makes it chewy… Even beers are filtered through isinglass, a gelatin made out of fish bladder. SOURCE…

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