If Cleopatra had lived to see 2018, her beauty regimen of rose water and honey would have long found a replacement in snail slime and pig collagen. While there is no dearth of strange skincare solutions, the one which has caught our eye and raised our brows most recently is horse oil.A quick Google search tells us that horse oil in beauty products is neither as rare nor as radical as we assumed it to be. Its origins apparently lie in ancient China, from where it travelled to Japan and became known for its effectiveness in protecting skin against dryness and irritants. Horse oil contains certain fatty acids which can be easily absorbed by human skin and helps lock in the moisture while shielding it from all sorts of unwanted stuff. The ancient Chinese used it as a remedy for burns and cuts, and now 21st century beauty bloggers are using it to achieve even-toned glowing skin.
The question which arises next: are these friendly farm animals being hunted down just to be turned into moisturiser? No. Like most animal fats, horse oil is a by-product of meat processing – and horse meat is consumed in more countries than you would guess. Plus, all the graceful galloping means that horses do not produce enough fat to be farmed just for the oil. Anything you find here is imported and a secondary result of a centuries-old horse meat industry. So if your conscience permits it, go ahead and try it.
You can find a bunch of South Korean horse oil products online, ranging from sheet masks to anti-aging creams. A jar of the Guerrison 9 Complex Cream, which finds quite a few takers on the internet, can be bought off Amazon for about INR 2,277. Alternatively, walk into a Miniso outlet and get your hands on a bottle of their horse oil body lotion. Priced at INR 250, it is surprisingly lightweight, stays on long enough and smells of nothing stranger than generic cold cream. It can be pretty nifty in the bone-dry North Indian winter, especially if you do not want to go around looking like a greasy teenager.
We cannot predict if horse oil will make it big in markets here or convince neighsayers into giving up their trusted brands. But if niche beauty trends are your thing, this can be something to look out for.
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