8 Weird Ingredients That Are In Your Beauty Products

4 Dec 2017 by Lynette Goh

There are great lengths we’d go to get the perfect complexion, whether it’s committing to 12-step Korean beauty routines or slapping on a mask every other day. And with the sheer number of ingredients that are used in today’s skincare and cosmetics, it seems inevitable that there’d be some… bizarre ones thrown in the mix. 


We can’t resist a wedge of this fruit on a swelteringly hot day, but who knew this high water content fruit (93% of its flesh is made up of water!) could be used to hydrate and soothe skin as well? Additionally, watermelon is also rich in anti-oxidants, lycopene, Vitamin C and A, which helps slow down the process of ageing. Many beauty brands are starting to infuse their products with this wonder fruit, but Korean beauty brand Glow Recipe’s Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask is a cult favourite that’ll rejuvenate your skin overnight and add radiance and clarity to your skin in the day. 


Yes, you read that correctly – and no, we aren’t talking about the germs that’ll make you break out or make you sick. Using topical skincare products that contain probiotics (which are basically the good type of bacteria) can help to calm inflamed complexions, rebuild the skin’s “eco system” and strengthen skin’s barrier. For those with blemish-prone skin, check out IDS Skincare’s DermProbiotic, a probiotic powder (used together with IDS’ Probiotic Mask) to prevent acne-causing bacteria from causing flareups. 


kim k

Say whaaaaaat? Famous stars and idols including Kim Kardashian, Bar Refaeli and Fern McCann all swear by this beauty procedure that uses nothing but the patient’s own blood. It is a regenerative therapy called Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy that makes use of the platelets in the blood to repair damaged blood vessels and cells. They are like little powerhouses that releases proteins for growth when in contact with the body’s tissue. PRP is known to improve the appearance of wrinkles, scars and stretch marks, rejuvenate the under-eye area, tighten stubborn open pores and plump up areas that would usually need fillers. It’s pretty expensive, but these stars swear by it. 


More common in beauty products than you’d think, crushed fish scales create a natural and nontoxic material called Guanine – it emits a pearlescent effect that is used in many lipsticks, nail polishes, shampoos, fragrances and more, for a gorgeous sheen. Butter London Nail Lacquer is an example of a nail polish line that uses fish scales in its products. 


A mainstay in many popular skincare formulas – think SK-II’s Facial Treatment Essence, Kiehl’s Precision Lifting & Pore-Tightening Concentrate and more –yeast is filled with amino acids, proteins, minerals, antioxidants and tons of other skin-loving ingredients. When infused into a topical treatment, this ingredient can help to maintain and improve quality of skin, boost moisture retention and stimulate collagen and elastin production. 



The name ‘Tiger Grass’ comes from knowing that tigers roll themselves in the herb plant to heal their trauma wounds and infections. The power lies in the leaf’s water that is known to have an immediate soothing effect and can even encourage new skin cell growth, making it one of the best products to be lathered on your face overnight, and Dr Jart+’s Cicapair Serum does exactly that to give you the skin of your dreams overnight. However, that is not all this plant has to offer – it is a great ingredient in colour correcting formulas, evident from Dr Jart+’s Cicapair Tiger Grass Colour Correcting Treatment that is a cult favourite amongst many, hailing it as the ultimate miracle worker for uneven skin tone and pesky redness. 


Called uguisu no fun (and its literal translation as “nightingale feces”), this part of geishas’ skincare routine can surely attribute its effectiveness with their smooth and bright complexions. Wait, this is not just any ordinary bird’s droppings but that of the Japanese nightingales. This facial mask claims to have anti-aging properties and is highly effective in treating acne scars. Famous stars who have used it include Victoria Beckham, Tom Cruise and Harry Styles. If you are worried about the sanitary levels of the product, you’ll be glad to know it isn’t necessary – the birds’ droppings are treated with ultraviolet light to ensure it’s safe enough to use, and then mixed with some rice bran that will exfoliate your skin. 


As ludicrous as it sounds, bee venom is known in the beauty world as the “nature’s answer to Botox’ because it can help boost collagen levels in skin. Research has proven that Purified Bee Venom is a potent combination of enzymes, peptides and amino acids that work on all levels of the skin to encourage naturally occurring cell regeneration, boost collagen formation, accelerate the recovery of damaged skin cells and help treat acne too. Because the venom has been purified and treated, the contaminants are removed and you get a safe treatment for your skin. This formula from Rodial enhances your skin’s elasticity and reduces signs of anti-aging too. 

Featured image: Anthony Tran on Unsplash

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The most essential step of your skincare routine, a good facial cleanser ensures that all traces of makeup, oil and dirt buildup is removed without stripping skin of moisture. As part of our Teenage Beauty Awards 2017, here’s a list of 16 effective yet gentle cleansers for you to choose from. 

Garnier Pure Active Matcha De-Tox Foam, $5.90

garnier proNeed a thorough cleansing for even brighter and clearer skin? Garnier’s Pure Active Matcha De-Tox Foam will do just that. Containing matcha extract, which is a powerful antioxidant, this cleanser dissolves oil, brightens dullness and cleanses pores from deep within. Great for oily and breakout-prone skin, it’s also formulated with salicylic acid, which reduces excess oil by up to 96% and helps to prevent acne. 

SENKA Perfect Whip, $7.90

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The SENKA Perfect Whip is a facial cleanser that leaves your skin feeling moist and smooth due its highly-moisturising, naturally-derived silk essence and double hyaluronic acid compound. The silk essence is newly-formulated with hydrolysed silk, and works to protect the skin from various external irritants and it continues to restore this barrier so that it will guard the skin well in the long term. Perfect for those with dry skin, this cleanser ensures squeaky clean skin without stripping away the moisture on your face. 

Hada Labo AHA+BHA Exfoliating Face Wash, $13.90hada labo proA mild daily exfoliating face wash that will give you baby soft skin without being too harsh on your complexion, this Hada Labo gem has a Triple Anti-Pollution Formula (comprising Moringa seed extract, Phytic acid and Biosaccharide gum-4) which removes external pollutants, reduces damage and protects skin. Simply lather up and cleanse away! 

Skinfood Honey Flour Cleansing Foam, $16.90skinfood proThe Skinfood Honey Flour skincare line has four different types of cleansing foams – Moist, Sensitive, Fresh and Brightening. The Moist version helps to keep moisture in the skin intact, Sensitive has anti-inflammatory properties and it is so gentle children can use it too, Fresh is packed with wheat flour that absorbs sebum and impurities, and lastly Brightening is a scrub and foam cleanser packed in one product that helps you exfoliate your skin by scrubbing off the dead skin cells. 

shu uemura Ultime8 Sublime Beauty Cleansing Oil, $65

shu uemura proIf you’ve always followed the double cleanse method, and find it a hassle on nights when you are just too tired to bother, then this Shu Uemura cleansing oil does just the job well. The formula really removes all sort of makeup; long-wearing, waterproof, you name it. The aftermath? Your skin is soft, supple, and it feels like it’s being moisturised and cared for till the next morning. 

ORBIS Powder Wash +, $25orbis proSpecially-formulated with two different enzymes – protease and lipase – the ORBIS Powder Wash tackles the old keratin and sebum components of keratin plugs, effectively targeting and breaking them down in order to rid them off our pores. It comes in powder form but turns to a really dense foam when in contact with water. Do not be fooled, because this formula helps exfoliate your skin gently and removes blackheads over time too. 

ETUDE HOUSE Soon Jung pH 6.5 Whipped Cleanser, $17.90

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The pH 6.5 Whipped Cleanser contains 98% plant-derived ingredients, the highest in the entire Soon Jung line, that ensures enhanced skin protection. This gentle skincare line is specially designed for those with sensitive skin and experience daily skin problems due to stress or dust. The pH level of 6.5 helps balance out your skin and works to prevent less breakouts with red, painful pimples.  

The Body Shop Vitamin E Gentle Facial Wash, $20.90

thebodyshop proA mild cleanser enriched with Vitamin E to help condition and protect the skin, this product will leave your skin feeling like it has been thoroughly cleansed, whilst retaining its natural oils. It removes light makeup along with excess oil and unwanted impurities. Suitable for sensitive to dry skin types, it’s a joy to know that The Body Shop doesn’t test their products on animals. 

Biore Marshmallow Whip Facial Wash, $13.90

biore proThe one thing that makes Biore’s facial wash stands out is its new unique pump technology that forms finer and denser micro bubbles which makes the foam more stable. This allows the foam to preserve its fluffiness for a longer period of time so it can penetrate deep into the pores to remove all dirt, oil and impurities without drying out the skin. It saves the hassle of you lathering your own foam, which may not be fine enough for a thorough cleanse.

Skin Inc Pure Prodew Cleansing Foam, $72 

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Quite extraordinary, this smart triple-action cleanser brightens, hydrates and cleanses in one quick, easy step. Containing eight kinds of amino acids and soybean extract, the ingredients reduce dullness by deep cleansing skin, enhancing skin cells’ metabolism and plumping skin with moisture. It is suitable for oily and acne-prone skin as well.

LANEIGE Mini Pore Double Clearing Cleansing Foam, $24

laneige proUsing LANEIGE’s Pore Refining Technology, this cleansing foam is formulated with Mint Water that moisturises and provides relief, and pore-refining ingredients like Cypress Extract and Pine Needles. These ingredients work together to provide a soothing effect while controlling sebum production to make your skin feel clean and fresh. 

ASTALIFT Lunamer AC Fibre Foam, $31

astalift proThe ASTALIFT Lunamer AC Fibre Foam is a gentle foam facial wash that contains extremely fine fibres that penetrate deep into pores to remove sebum, dirt and acne- causing bacteria. It produces a rich lather for a gentle, through cleanse and a clean, smooth finish. Tip: use the given foaming net for better results!

Curél Foaming Wash, $19.80

curel proSimilar to the Biore Marshmallow Whip, Curél’s Foaming Wash comes in a pump bottle and it saves you trouble from trying to lather your own. Known for its advanced ceramide care technology that helps retain and restore the protective layer of your skin, the formula removes just the right amount of sebum, leaving your skin to feel comfortably dewy. It is best suited for dry skin users. 

Peter Lamas Detoxifying Citrus C Facial Cleanser, $43

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Need a boost? The Detoxifying Citrus C Facial Cleanser invigorates your skin with a potent fusion of natural ingredients; Wheat Protein smoothes and strengthens skin and Vitamin C and Beta Carotene work to detoxify, protect and energize, giving you softer, younger-looking skin. FYI, it’s vegan too! 

THEFACESHOP Dr. Belmeur Daily Repair Cleansing Foam, $17 

dr belmeur pro2Part of THEFACESHOP’s first cosmeceutical (cosmetics + pharmaceutical) line, the products in this series aim to help consumers combat dry, sensitive, eczema, oily and acne-proned skin. Hence, you can expect a cleansing foam that is lightweight and gentle, minimising any skin irritation. Moreover, it is especially moisturising and soothing too, perfect for troubled-skin days. 

Estelle & Third BioCleanse 3-in-1 Cleansing Foam, $38

estelle n third proThe BioCleanse skincare line of Swedish brand Estelle & Third, this cleansing foam washes away makeup and impurities with the gentlest touch. Black Elderflower extract that is infused inside helps detox and decognest the skin revealing a refreshed and radiant glow. Overall, this cleanser helps to balance out your skin for a silky, smooth complexion. 

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Get ready to take notes. K-pop mega groups SHINee and Red Velvet were in town last Friday for the Shilla Beauty Concert, and at an earlier media conference held at Changi Airport Terminal 4, they shared some super handy beauty tips on how to look fabulous. So, let’s dive in! 

Being a K-pop idol involves demanding work schedules, dealing with the media, and being there for their loyal fans. Yet amidst all the craziness, every single one of them emerges on and off screen in that perfectly polished and flawless appearance that inspires serious obsession (and envy) among fans. Really, no one knows how to look better than a K-pop star. So, if you’re wondering how they pull it off, we caught up with SHINee and Red Velvet at the media conference for Shilla Beauty Concert. Here’s what they shared about their everyday skincare routine and the must-have items in their makeup bags.


On the beauty product they never travel without

SHINee’s Jonghyun: “I believe that cosmetics are really important, especially the skincare products.”

SHINee’s Key: “And health supplements, like vitamins and omega-3, too.”


On the gift they would pick for a female family member

SHINee’s Jonghyun: “I’ll buy the most expensive product in the store.”

SHINee’s Taemin: “I’ll get the cheapest one. It depends on the person who I’m buying the gift for. Probably cosmetics or wallets.”

SHINee’s Minho: “I’ll ask what the person wants, and I’ll get that for her.”

On what they would love to receive as a Christmas gift

SHINee’s Jonghyun: “I want the most expensive item. Anything that’s pricey.”

Red Velvet’s Wendy: “I think anything is perfect because it’s Christmas. Christmas gifts are always perfect, no matter what.”


On maintaining beautiful skin

Red Velvet’s Joy: “I wear a mask every morning. It should be chilled to help with the swelling of my face in the morning.”

Red Velvet’s Seulgi: “We wear heavy makeup on stage, so I think the most important part of the skincare routine is cleansing. I take a lot of care in choosing my cleanser.”

Red Velvet’s Yeri: “You need to eat a lot of good food. I love meat.”


On the beauty items they have at home

Red Velvet’s Joy: “I’ve a lot of moisturising creams. If I apply a thick layer of moisturising cream at night, my skin becomes better in the morning.”

On a must-have beauty item for men

SHINee’s Key: “Nowadays it’s not uncommon to see men wearing not just skincare products, but also BB and CC creams.”


On how to stay fresh during a long flight

SHINee’s Key: “I always carry a comfortable set of pyjamas with me. Of course, I can’t give up on looking good at the airport, so I’ll change into my pyjamas after getting on the plane.”

SHINee’s Taemin: “If I sleep throughout the flight, I think I can better handle jet-lag.”

Featured image: The Shilla Duty Free Singapore | Text and additional images: Priscilla Wu 

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Your hunt for a trusty eyeliner stops here. As part of our Teenage Beauty Awards 2017, we’ve sieved out 11 long-wearing drugstore and high-end eyeliners that’ll bring your look from day to night. 

ETUDE HOUSE Super Slim Proof Pencil Liner, $14.90

etude house PROWhile most might prefer a liquid eyeliner, the ETUDE HOUSE Super Slim Proof Pencil Liner has a soft formula that slides on easily without tugging on the skin. At only 1.5mm thin, this pencil eyeliner will allow you the precision to achieve intricate eyeliner looks – it is waterproof and holds up well when in contact with oil too. This affordable eyeliner comes in a range of colours and they are perfect for days where want an extra oomph.

essence Super Precise Eyeliner, $4.90


We were pleasantly surprised when this ultra budget-friendly eyeliner snagged the top spot against the other heavyweights on this list. A drugstore eyeliner that ticks off all the boxes, this essence Super Precise eyeliner lives up to its name; ideal for drawing both thick and thin lines to close precision with its fine brush tip. And its formula absolutely doesn’t budge nor flake throughout the day, making it our go-to eyeliner for when we need our eye makeup to really hold up.

Kate Super Sharp Liner, $17

kate PROCost-effective and high performance, the Kate Super Sharp Liner comes in three shades, BK-1, BK, and BR-1 where BK-1 is jet black. The eyeliner is pretty solid – it is well-pigmented and waterproof. However, it is not smudge- and oil-proof and may flake when worn for long hours. Patting on eye primer before applying your liner can help it stay on better throughout the day. 

Catrice Eye’Matic Dip Liner Deep Black, $5.50

 catrice PRO

The Catrice Eye’Matic Dip Liner is a little different from your usual eyeliner. While its glossy formula definitely does the job, its felt brush applicator is the highlight worth shouting about. Sturdy and curved slightly to give you a good grip and full control, beginners will find it easier to create their desired eyeliner looks with this product.  

Marc Jacobs Highliner Matte Gel Eyeliner, $38

MBMJ PROWant an pop of colour to spice up your look? The Marc Jacobs Highliner Matte Gel Eyeliner will do the trick. Whether its lining your waterline for an unexpected edge or lining it on your lids, its highly pigmented gel formula glides on effortlessly and delivers extreme hues in a single stroke. Available in a wide range of colours, this eyeliner dries quickly in 20 seconds and results in a resilient flick that won’t wear off midday. 

shu uemura Lasting Soft Gel Pencil, $37

shu uemura PROshu uemura has proved to be a solid brand that whizzes out quality products, including this Lasting Soft Gel Pencil. Like the other eyeliners we’ve recommended, this pencil eyeliner is easy to manoeuvre and delivers precise application. However, while its buttery soft texture is great for creating a soft, smoky effect, those with oiler lids might experience more smudging at the end of a long day. 

Browhaus Precision Waterproof Eyeliner, $19.90

browhaus PRO

Dubbed as an extremely easy-to-use eyeliner, the specially designed felt tip of this liner gives you full control in order to create precise and thin lines. Long-lasting and smudge-proof, it does not take mad skills to learn the art of perfecting the eyeliner with Browhaus’s Waterproof eyeliner. It can do anything from natural to dramatic, depending on how you work it. 

NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil, $12

nyx PROThe NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil is said to last even when you’ve got oily eyelids. Coming in a wide variety of shades, this multi-tasker can be used as a flattering eyeliner, double up as an eyeshadow or even used as an eyeshadow base – simply layer over your eyeshadow and watch the colours pop! 

Make Up Store Glitter Eyeliner, $35

makeup store PROWant a sheen of glitter on your lids? Reach for the Make Up Store Glitter Eyeliner. While its formula isn’t as opaque as we’d like it to be, you can build up the layers from subtle to head-turner in a few strokes – which makes it good for beginners. And it dries pretty quickly, so you won’t have to be afraid of smudging it up with glitter residue.

Maybelline Hypersharp 0.01mm Liner, $19.90

Maybelline PROAt a highest laser-sharp precision ever of 0.01mm, this Maybelline liner allows ultra-fine lines on your lids. The colour is intense, and it defines your eyes beautifully. You’d be stoked to know that although the tip is super fine, it still offers a steady give, which allows you to draw really close to your lash line to achieve the feline flick of your dreams.

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner, $32


Raved about in the beauty community, Kar Von D’s Tattoo Liner lives up to its name. Even without an eyelid primer, this product adheres on well on the lids without budging, putting your worries of raccoon eyes to rest. The brush is well-designed, making it easy to control the lines. However, the colour is not as dark and intense as most eyeliners, so you might have to go over it a couple times. 

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The first product you should reach for if you’d like to achieve a dewy Korean-inspired complexion, check out our top Teenage Beauty Awards 2017 cushion foundation recommendations for an effortlessly radiant glow. 

IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream, $62

it proClinically proven to give wearers a whopping 179% of skin hydration while being able to camouflage any skin imperfections, this all-in-one product also contains SPF 50+ sunscreen to protect skin from UV rays.

ETUDE HOUSE Any Cushion All Day Perfect,$32 

etude house pro2

Need more coverage? The ETUDE HOUSE Any Cushion All Day Perfect features a new roll-spread technology that allows product to adhere better onto skin, allowing you to build on layers without caking up. It also provides a sweat-proof effect that lasts up to 24 hours to further reinforce the sustaining power of the cushion. Coming in six shades, the formula is created to look natural on your skin. 

THEFACESHOP Anti-Darkening Cushion V203, $33

thefaceshop proThe hero that’ll save us from humid weather, THEFACESHOP’s Anti-Darkening Cushion is formulated to withstand humid and high-temperature environments, whilst ensuring no oxidation takes place (turning the formula into a dull orange shade). It’s also lightweight, which allows breathability for your pores, and brightens your skintone for a radiant finish. 

First Aid Beauty Hello FAB 3 in 1 Superfruit Colour Correcting Cushion, $59

FAB proIncorporated with colour-correcting pigments – green to neutralise redness, pink to even out your skin tone and purple to reduce dullness and brighten your skin – the FAB 3 in 1 CC Cushion helps erase common complexion concerns. It is also great as a radiant base before your foundation. It blends into a pale pastel pink formula with a dewy finish that will add a radiant glow to your skin. 

M.A.C. Lightful C Quick Finish Cushion Compact, $63

mac proLightweight and fuss-free, the M.A.C. Lightful Cushion Compact releases liquid foundation in a superfine layer to achieve a natural satin finish and the coverage you desire. This way, you can wear it out for the entire day and still touch up without having to worry if the formula will cake up on your face. It has a matte finish, with medium to high coverage and still manages to brighten up your skin so you’ll look fresh for the day. 

Hada Labo Air BB, $19.90

hada labo pro

A lightweight, creamy formula that dries to a matte finish, the Hada Labo Air BB a great drugstore option. Able to be used as a standalone makeup base, or built up to full coverage, you won’t have to worry about it oxidising nor drying out your skin. With that being said, this product only comes in two shades, so those who require a more versatile colour range should give this a miss. 

Urban Decay Naked Skin Glow Cushion Compact, $59 

katvond pro2

Glowing skin is particularly trendy right now, and Urban Decay is one of the many cult-brands that is joining the hype. It’s latest Naked Skin Glow Cushion Compact leaves your skin with a beautiful glow that lasts all day. Moreover, it contains nourishing ingredients such as rose centifolia flower extract, which has toning and firming properties, gentian root extract that provides skin-soothing and antioxidant benefits and peppermint extract that conditions the skin.

su:m37 Water-full CC Cushion Perfect Finish, $67

sum37 proThis CC Cushion is extremely hydrating, but you’ll be surprised to know it works really well on oily skin types too. It contains ingredients to control sebum, as well as a multi-veil technology that keeps your makeup on for a long time, making it an ideal formula for the hot and humid weather. It contains a blooming powder that helps cover redness like charm too. 

The Body Shop Fresh Nude Cushion Foundation, $39.90

thebodyshop pro

Coming in five different shades, this 100% vegan liquid foundation comes in a nice cushion compact that aids the application process, giving it a smoother finish. It is suitable for sensitive skin users, and does not clog your pores like most foundations will. Infused with aloe vera extract, this helps to soothe your skin and any redness on your face. 

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