Weird skincare ingredients that work hibiscus fibers bee balm

5 Weird But Effective Skincare Ingredients You May Be Overlooking

There are probably lots of skincare ingredients that you know you should be incorporating into your regimen - things like hyaluronic acid and vitamin C. And these really are some great skin-saving go-to’s!

But there’s also a slew of “weird,” lesser-known ingredients that can be just as beneficial to your skin health. They’re kind of like the kale or the hyaluronic acid of 10 years ago.

Here are 5 favorites for weird-but-effective skincare ingredients that you should keep on your radar.

1. Horsetail

Don’t let the name freak you out! Horsetail actually has nothing to do with horses or their tails. It’s a plant extract that has antioxidant, anti-aging, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties. And it’s been around for quite a while.

In fact, horsetail was used in ancient China, Rome, and Greece to treat rashes, burns, and wounds.

Today, it’s an excellent ingredient to apply topically, since it can help:

  • Soothe acne
  • Ease skin irritation
  • Fight free radical damage
  • Strengthen skin and smooth wrinkles
  • Promote skin healing
  • Act as an astringent to tighten pores

It also contains silica and silicic acid, which can help strengthen connective tissue and form collagen in the skin.

These great properties have made horsetail a go-to ingredient in many high-quality moisturizers and serums - particularly those with anti-aging or skin-smoothing formulations. Looking to add it to your medicine cabinet? Find it in restorative moisturizers like Daydreamer and Cloud Whip or in hydrating serums like Night Shift.

2. Apples

apple extract skincare Eight Saints No Plans Clay Face Mask

  

An apple a day can... keep the dermatologist away? It may not have quite the same ring to it, but that doesn’t make it untrue! Apple extract, also known as Pyrus malus fruit extract, is a powerful skincare ingredient that has:

  • Antioxidants: Apple extract is rich in antioxidants like vitamin C and vitamin E that can help protect your skin from free radicals and maintain skin elasticitywhile reducing the appearance of acne.
  • Mildly acidic pH: This helps exfoliate the skin.
  • Polyphenols and catechins: These compounds - also found in green tea - have naturally-occurring antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial properties.
  • Astringent properties: These can tighten skin and reduce the appearance of large pores.
  • Natural AHAs like malic acid: These gently exfoliate the face and slough away dead surface cells, making skin appear brighter and smoother.

All of this makes apple extract great for treating prematurely aging, dull, or uneven complexions - and it’s great for oily skin, too! Look for it in clarifying and exfoliating products like the No Plans face mask.

3. Bee Balm

Bee balm is a plant in the mint family that’s related to lemon balm and chemically similar to thyme. It grows naturally throughout North America, and it’s been used for centuries by Native American tribes for its many medicinal benefits. In particular, it’s widely used to treat:

  • Cold and flu
  • Indigestion, bloating, and nausea
  • Anxiety and stress

There are two main varieties - Monarda didyma and Monarda fistulosa. The latter variety, otherwise known as wild bergamot, is the type of bee balm that’s primarily used for these medicinal purposes.

So what makes this plant so great for the skin?

Well, its antimicrobial and antifungal properties make it particularly effective at treating scrapes, stings, and rashes.It can also calm inflammation, address acne concerns, and restore the skin’s natural barrier.

Find it in the No Plans face mask.

4. Snail Slime

OK, this is by far the grossest one on the list. But hear us out. Because this slick stuff can be a major skin-saver - that’s why it’s a go-to in many Korean beauty products.

For starters, snail mucin contains many popular and beneficial skincare ingredients you know and love, including glycoproteins, hyaluronic acid, and glycolic acid. On top of that, snail slime contains a substance called helix aspersa muller, which helps the snail regrow and restore its own skin and shell.

All of this makes snail mucin particularly effective at:

Bonus fact: No snails are actually harmed to harvest the slime. Yay!

5. Hibiscus Fibers

 

hibiscus fibers Eight Saints Zen Out Of Ten Gentle Bamboo Skin Exfoliator

 

Did you know that hibiscus is commonly known as “nature’s botox”? It’s true. This plant is particularly effective for mature and dry skin, as it works to:

  • Exfoliate
  • Prevent premature aging
  • Hydrate
  • Improve tone and texture
  • Treat dark spots and hyperpigmentation
  • Reduce inflammation

How exactly? Key ingredients include:

  • Natural AHAs like citric acid and malic acid - which help reduce pore size, slough off dead skin cells, and accelerate cell turnover.
  • Polysaccharides
  • Amino acids
  • Antioxidants -particularly anthocyanocides - that prevent aging by fighting free radical damage. They also have astringent properties that make pores appear smaller.

Hibiscus can also inhibit the activity of an enzyme called elastase, which is responsible for breaking down skin elastin. This further contributes to the firming, lifting benefits of the flower.

Want to take it up a notch? Look for products with hibiscus fibers - found in lotions, gels, and emulsions like Zen Out of Ten - that work as a mild exfoliant to remove dead skin cells.

Got any more “weird” ingredients that you want to hear about? Let us know!