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Why Korean Women Are Putting Horse Fat on Their Faces

There’s a new beauty trend in South Korea that has women rubbing horse fat into their skin.

That’s right, horse fat. The yellowish buttery fat is unique because it has a high ratio of essential fatty acids and unsaturated fatty acids, making it a highly-prized ingredient for its anti-inflammatory, healing and moisturizing properties in products like face masks, shampoos,  and hand creams.

Horse oil has been a traditional folk medicine used throughout Asia in countries like Mongolia, Korea, China, and Japan. However, the benefits of horse oil were largely unknown until recent studies shed light on its benefits for the beauty industry.

Image via Wikimedia Commons / Rasbak (CC BY-SA 3.0)

According to a study conducted by the Keimyung University School of Medicine, horse oil is loaded with antibacterial properties that help fight against the bacteria that causes acne as well as staph infections.

The study also showed that horse oil has anti-inflammatory properties and increases type 1 collagen production in the skin. It’s incredible that this buttery secret ingredient has been around for thousands of years but is just being discovered now.

Horse oil also contains alpha-linolenic acid, an anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acid typically found in chia seeds, flaxseeds, and walnuts, as well as linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid that strengthens and revives the moisture barrier needed to protect your skin, according to the Nishinihon Journal of Dermatology (via MrsJamesRecommends).

It’s true that horses don’t have much fat. Typically, horse fat comes from the kidneys, neck, leaf, back, and heart, but most horse oil comes from a horse’s hooves.

Image via Wikimedia Commons / Rasbak (CC BY-SA 3.0)

It’s also important to note that the fat does come from horses that are raised for food, which is very common in Europe and Asia. After rendering, the horse oil is then injected into beauty products.

Are you brave enough to try rubbing horse fat on your skin?


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