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Cockroach Cosmetics: So Cockroaches in Beauty Products is a Thing

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cockroach facial: see the roach legs in the mix?

cockroach facial: see the roach legs in the mix?

Omigod, omigod, omigod, omigod. I'm so sorry -- I don't like talking about icky beauty-related products so much, especially ones with a sensationalist spin like this one. It's worse because I haven't had time to do any research. I'm just reacting. Reacting to the idea that somewhere in the world you can book a cockroach facial (above -- yes, those are roach legs in the face mask). And reacting to the idea of cockroaches in beauty products.

According to a recent LA Times story, cockroach farming is big business in Asia. I can't help thinking that's bloody genius -- why not make good money from farming a nearly indestructible crop? Cockroaches literally eat anything, so they're cheap to feed, and harvesting really only requires a vat and boiling water followed by a sun-dry session.

Industry stems from the belief that dried cockroaches have medicinal properties. And apparently pharmaceutical and cosmetics companies buy them "as a cheap source of protein and for the cellulose-like substance on their wings." So cockroaches are beauty ingredients.

Honestly I don't want to be ridiculous and suggest there are cockroaches in beauty products we all know and love. But... how would we know? *shudder* It's not like we'll see "cockroach" on the ingredients label. It won't even be listed as "blattam," which is Latin for cockroach.

Here's the LA Times cockroach farming report, and a link to a 2007 cockroach-facial-mask YouTube video that tells you nothing but shows the making of a roach facial mask set to music. I'd hoped The Beauty Brains had covered the topic of cockroaches in beauty products, but they haven't -- yet.

If we're freaked out by this notion that cockroaches are beauty ingredients, are we freaking out for good reason? Should this freak us out at all? Or can we get past this the way we have to get past the notion of dust mites in our linens?

Opening image sourced via google.