In case you didn’t get the memo, weird is cool now. Anything that goes against the grain and falls decidedly outside of the circle of “traditional” is having a major moment in the beauty world—skincare, in particular. We’re not saying you have to throw out your trusty glycolic cleanser or hyaluronic acid moisturizer just yet. Rather, consider this an introduction to all the new, exciting skincare ingredients that have the ability to transform your skin (trust us, we tried them).
In case you didn’t know, your favorite gray metal can do wonders for your skin. Colloidal silver—which is composed of tiny, electromagnetically charged silver particles suspended in water—has some amazing disinfectant properties and is said to clear up breakouts and soothe redness. And let’s be real—it’s just plain luxurious, and we want to slather our faces with it now.
We recently covered the ancient Chinese practice of face mapping. In that same vein, allow us to introduce you to a mushroom called reishi. A medicinal mushroom commonly used in Chinese medicine practices, it contains several chemical compounds—specifically, ganodermic acids—which help in the health and vitality of your skin. Red reishi mushrooms also contain a protein that has anti-inflammatory properties; it’s commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine to reduce inflammation, puffiness, and wrinkles.
Salmon sperm might not sound as pleasant as, say, silver, but according to this study, it might be the savior your skin is missing. In the study, researchers asked male subjects to rub “DNA-Na from salmon milt” (a.k.a. salmon sperm) onto their skin for 12 weeks. By week four, skin elasticity was “improved significantly,” water content had increased, and more the 90 percent of the subjects “felt improving roughness of the skin.” Plus, it promoted the production of hyaluronic acid; you can read more about it here.
Fermented foods—think kimchee, kombucha, sauerkraut, and plain yogurt—may not smell pleasant, but they’re full of enzymes that promote a variety of health benefits (healthy digestion, improved immunity, and more). Fermented skin products follow the same line of thinking, and are already a huge trend in Korea (a.k.a. they’re bound to make their way to the U.S. in the next year or so). Here’s the gist: Skincare products with fermented ingredients actually pack a more potent punch because the fermentation process makes the nutrients more concentrated, and thus more easily absorbed. The most common fermented ingredients? Fruits, plants, herbs, and yeast. For example, SK-II’s Facial Treatment Essence ($99) is made with pitera, an ingredient generated from fermented yeast.