The quirky ingredients you need in your skin care routine

They might sound odd, but they’re packed full of benefits

Beauty Crew Beauty Writer / August 25 2017

For the most part, we like to think we’re relatively in-the-know when it comes to the latest and greatest skin care ingredients promising to deliver serious results. Hyaluronic acid is key for hydration, vitamin C is a great go-to for skin brightening and charcoal should be a skin care staple for unclogging pores.

And while all of these are tried and tested beauty cupboard must-haves, there are a slew of lesser-known skin care ingredients gaining popularity due to their powerful and impressive results. But they’ll have you raising your eyebrows because to put it simply, they’re completely and utterly bizarre.

If you’re looking to update your skin care routine with the latest breakthrough ingredient, read on to discover some of the quirky ones on the market.

#1 / Leafy greens

While we all know about the benefits of ensuring our diets are packed full of leafy vegetables, less focus has been placed on incorporating them into our skin care routines. But as it turns out, including greens into our skin care products is something we should have been doing for years.

According to founders of skin care brand Youth To The People, Joe Cloyes and Greg Gonzales, both kale and spinach are packed full of antacids and vitamins that work to slow down the production of sebum, which in turn can help combat acne, defend the skin from free radical damage, and protect and repair skin cells. Additionally, leafy greens are rich in lutein, a powerful antioxidant that boosts hydration levels and improves elasticity in the skin.

Try: Youth To The People Age Prevention Firm and Brighten Serum

#2 / Donkey Milk

Regular cow’s milk might be a standard food in our diets, and goat’s milk has seen a surge in popularity lately thanks to its skin-soothing benefits, but there’s a good chance donkey milk is yet to make it onto your beauty radar.

Surprisingly, donkey milk has actually been called ‘milk from the heavens’ for centuries, with Cleopatra even bathing in it to keep her skin young.

In a nutshell, donkey milk is an ingredient that has an “excellent moisturising and nourishing effect that works to form a moisture barrier on the skin to help balance oil and moisture, while boosting the immune system,” says Korean makeup artist and founder of 16 BRAND, Chosungah.

While donkey milk has been used in spa treatments for thousands of years, the ingredient is currently enjoying a resurgence in Korea, particularly thanks to its ability to “provide an excellent skin whitening effect to maintain moist, clear and milky white skin, while boosting skin immunity and elasticity, helping women maintain firm skin texture,” adds Chosungah.

Try: 16 BRAND Donkey Milk Cleanser

#3 / Copper

While the copper you’re most familiar with probably exists in solid metal form, copper can also exist in ionic form. And it is in this ionic state that copper acts as a humectant to bring moisture from the atmosphere into the skin, shares Kiehl’s Regional Educator, Lindsay Carney.

“We use copper PCA [a copper peptide] for the purpose of anti-ageing and skin conditioning. Derived from a type of acid, this form of copper peptide also helps to firm the skin, prevent collagen loss, is wound healing and helps with tissue repair. Copper PCA also has antioxidant and astringent benefits that fight inflammation,” Carney explains.

Try: Kiehl’s Powerful Wrinkle Reducing Cream

Youth To The People Age Prevention Firm and Brighten Serum

16 BRAND Donkey Milk Cleanser

Kiehl’s Powerful Wrinkle Reducing Cream

#4 / Thermal water

Although thermal waters have featured in a range of skin care products for years, a new water sourced from a small town in Geumjin, Gangwon Province in Korea is said to trump all other thermal waters due to its powerful skin healing properties. Cremorlab’s T.E.N.™ thermal water is “composed of tiny mineral particles smaller than your pores and is blended with essential natural ingredients to help deliver the most effective components directly to your skin, in a form optimised for absorption,” says Sean Son, SM Life Science Co. General Manager

Additionally, T.E.N.™ is said to be jam-packed full of calcium and magnesium: “about 200 to 300 times higher than those of other thermal waters in Korea and about 30 to 40 times higher than those of renowned thermal waters abroad,” explains Son.

Try: Cremorlab T.E.N.™ Cremor Aqua Essence Water Fluid

Want to know more about what ingredients you should include in your skin care routine? Then check out these five best botanical ingredients for your skin.

Would you try any of these quirky skin care ingredients? Let us know in the comments below.

Image credit: Getty

Kate started working for BEAUTYcrew in early 2016, first as a contributor, and was then named Beauty Writer in 2017. She loves picking the brains of the industry's top experts to get to the bottom of beauty's toughest questions. Bronze eyeshadow palettes are her weakness and she's forever on the hunt for the perfect nude nail polish to suit her fair skin. Her words can also be found in Men's Health magazine, and she now works in PR.