WTH is Horse Fat and why is it in our skincare?

Here at Project Vanity, we’ve seen an incredible variety of beauty ingredients. We've tackled some super scientific ones that made us wish we paid better attention to Chemistry class, but we were recently faced with one that was unanimously voted as the weirdest-sounding. Today’s featured ingredient comes fresh from a famous Korean trend: Horse Fat. It's the latest must-have addition in K-beauty!

Image via everythingaboutbella.blogspot.com

Image via everythingaboutbella.blogspot.com

To be quite honest, I was kinda grossed out when I first heard of using this in skincare. Beeswax? No problem. Snail slime? Not an issue for me. Heck, even lanolin (derived from sheep’s wool) is a staple in my beauty routine. But horse fat? My mind was instantly flooded with images of a huge, angry horse threatening to stomp on me for taking his fat. With further research though, I’m sure you’d all be glad to know that getting horse fat is not equal to performing a liposuction on the horse. They are not harmed or injured, if you’re just getting the fat. Unless it came as a byproduct of the existing horse meat industry, which it does, apparently.

Horse fat is refined into Horse Oil (still sounds wrong), and has its roots in ancient China and Japan. It is known for its efficacy in treating skin diseases like eczema as well as cuts and burns. It became popular worldwide because of the Korean trend of animal-based skincare. Apparently, it is effective and easily absorbed for moisture because the "fatty composition is very similar to human sebum". People swear by it for its moisturizing properties when applied at night and in the morning under makeup. The major concern against repurchase for most though is the animal-factor (horses = companions = dogs). 

One popular product is the Guerisson 9 Complex Cream with Horse Oil imported from Germany. It is a thick cream that is easily absorbed by the skin, and has glowing online reviews. If you've been to Korea, Hong-Kong, Japan, and Singapore lately, you won't be able to miss the brand's signature orange box in front of the beauty stores.

Overall, Horse Fat/Horse Oil is recommended for dry to normal skin. Those with oily skin have to be extra careful as there are reports of this ingredient causing break outs. Locally, you can get your Horse Fat fix from Skin Food’s Beauty in a Food Mask.

So... are you willing to put Horse Fat on your face?