Do you know animal-derived ingredients added to beauty products?

Popularity of animal-derived cosmetic ingredients is dropping yet there are still plenty of skin, hair and nail care products containing them. Check the animal-derived substances you can find in beauty products.

Animal-derived cosmetic ingredients

The most common substances used in beauty products:

  • collagen
  • lanolin
  • royal jelly
  • honey
  • milk
  • fish oil


Collagen is found in humans and animals. It creates a kind of a net that keeps the skin from stretching. Unfortunately, the level of collagen drops when we grow older, which results in wrinkles, sagging skin, proneness to damage. Collagen is used for fillers in the esthetic medicine, making the skin surface smoother.


Lanolin is secreted by the sebaceous glands of some animals. Interestingly, the composition of lanolin is similar to the composition of human sebum. Sheep lanolin is added to products to create a protective coat on the skin, preventing dryness and loss of water. Lanolin is also infused into hair and nail care products, soaps and makeup products.


It’s also known as propolis. Bees use it to seal their hives. Royal jelly contains, among others, waxes, resin, polyphenols, tannin, vitamins and minerals. As far as cosmetics go, it has antibacterial and antifungal properties, therefore, it’s added to acne and oily skin care products.


It’s made up of sugars, enzymes, organic acids, proteins, amino acids, minerals and vitamins. In cosmetics, honey is added to masks, creams, shampoos and shower gels. It has a hydrating, softening and cleansing effect. Honey also prevents development of bacteria, soothes inflammation and aids in treating some skin conditions.


Milk is a very common ingredient in skin, hair and nail care products. It beautifies, smoothes out, hydrates and softens. It’s rich in proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals. Cow’s and goat’s milk is used in cosmetics. You can find milk in makeup removers and hand lotions, for example.


It’s obtained from the liver of codfish, shark, herring, tuna and some marine mammals. It’s used both in cosmetics and dietetics. Fish oil is high in vitamins A and D and iodine. It’s used for treating burns, frostbite and ulcers that take long to heal. Sadly, the unpleasant odor of fish oil doesn’t fade.

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