Know Your Ingredients: Placenta Extract

What it is
Placenta Extract is an extract derived from human or animal placenta. In the European Union, only animal placenta can be used (human-derived ingredients are forbidden because of concerns about the transmission of viral diseases such as HIV).

What it does
Placenta Extract is a skin and hair conditioning agent. It makes hair and skin soft and smooth.
In addition, manufacturers of this extract claim it can, thanks to the many vitamins and proteins it contains, fight wrinkles, but I couldn’t find any proof in support of it.

Side effects
There is some concern that placenta extract may have estrogenic properties. A study conducted by the University of Texas examined four African-American girls aged 14 months to 93 months who had developed breast or pubic hair 2 to 24 months after starting the use of estrogen or placenta-containing hair products and found that these negative effects regressed upon discounting the use of these products.
In addition, manufacturers should take care to eliminate all pathogenic viruses or infectious agents from this extract before including it in cosmetics.

(Source: pubmed and clinical pediatrics)
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  1. Janessa says

    Eeks! What a weird ingredient. I’ll watch out for this one. So I had chocolate raspberry cake in November (seems so long ago!) and a friend told me they use castoreum o__o. I avoided the raspberry layer (there was only one of three, luckily).

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