I basically called my mom for help. Except when I say mom, I mean an esthetician.
A few months ago, I was hanging out with my friend Colleen while she was eating some Müller FrütUp yogurt, because we are party animals. As she was finishing up, an emboldened line at the end of the ingredients caught her eye.
CONTAINS: MILK, WHEAT, TILAPIA.
Had she not already swallowed the last spoonful, I would've witnessed the world's first yogurt spit take.
"There's fish in this yogurt?!" Colleen exclaimed.
I took to Google immediately, of course, to find out why tilapia--aka the only fish my father finds palatable--was in my dear friend's fermented dairy treat.
Müller itself answers that very question on their FAQ page: "We use kosher gelatin from tilapia to maintain the light and airy texture of the fruit mousse."
I've had plenty of moments similar to that while reading the ingredients in beauty products. The first time I saw things like placenta, cholesterol and urea, I definitely did a double take (the spit take's less messy cousin).
It hadn't happened in a while, until a new Rodial product landed on my desk.
If you have a decent internet connection that allowed for the above photo to load, you can see that it's called Dragon's Blood Hyaluronic Night Cream.
Needless to say, I was all like, "Hyaluronic acid? WTF is that?" JK, y'all, I've been a beauty editor for years. But I somehow managed to have never heard of dragon's blood.
Being semi-logical, I didn't think the cream contained actual blood from an actual dragon, mostly because an "actual dragon" is not a thing. I figured the name of the ingredient was something along the lines of horsetail, which isn't even remotely the tail of a horse but, instead, a plant.
Turns out dragon's blood is a bright red resin from a South American tree. A lot of medieval folks believed it was real blood from dragons who had died in combat. Some slightly more intelligent but still incorrect medieval folks thought it came from the actually-existent elephants who had a similar fate. But it's totally from a tree.
In the context of skincare, it has a soothing, protective, anti-inflammatory effect on skin, which is great to have a formula like this because it contains retinol, which can be irritating.
Used every night, Dragon's Blood Hyaluronic Night Cream helps smooth, moisturize and brighten your complexion. Yeah, it does it with scientifically supported ingredients, but it seems a little magical with a name like that.
So, today's Quick Question: What's the weirdest ingredient you've ever noticed in a beauty product? What made you do a fish-yogurt spit take?