1, 2, 3's a trend right? I've been seeing reviews for this Guerisson 9 Complex Horse Oil Cream (which has been enjoying popularity overseas) start popping up in the West lately. I find that I can resist most trends when it comes to beauty and fashion, but I hop onto skincare trends with no reservations, and no regrets. Majestic companion creatures be damned. Just kidding, we'll talk about how horse oil is sourced shortly, hopefully that will absolve you of any guilt you may have when you start longing to try this cream.
Spotlight: Horse Oil for the Skin
The benefits of horse oil have been recorded and studied by the Chinese since the 7th century, but these benefits were mainly obtained through ingestion of horse oil.
In 1988, horse oil was approved as an official skincare ingredient in Japan, and the first topical horse oil product, Bahyu Horse Oil was created and sold in Japan. And in 2000, the ingredient gained international recognition and acceptance into the ICID, or the International Cosmetics Ingredient Dictionary.
In 2004, a Japanese research article, published in the Nishi Nihon Journal of Dermatology, Vol. 66; No. 6; pp 621-624 was published, documenting the benefits of topically applying horse oil to the skin.
"The moisturizing effect on the skin of horse oil that resembles the fatty acid composition of human sebum and contains a large amount of linoleic acid was investigated. Horse oil applied to seven healthy females was shown to increase water and oil content in the horny layer. Examination of the fatty acid composition of the oil remaining on the surface of the skin two hours after application revealed a clear decrease in linoleic acid content. The increase in water and oil content in the skin due to local application of horse oil was an important contribution to the structure of the skin to maintain its function as a barrier, mainly as a result of absorption of linoleic acid by the skin."So what does this all mean?
Well, since the composition of horse oil very much resembles the composition of the thin acidic lipid layer that coats the topmost layers of our skin, horse oil is able to absorb quickly and penetrate the skin, adding sustained moisture.
It also contains a large amount of linoleic acid, which has been rated a "cell-communicating" ingredient, helping cells to regulate and perform their normal functions. Linoleic acid also has been shown to help repair the skin-barrier and has some antioxidant (reduces oxidative stress to the skin, fights free radicals) and anti-inflammatory (calms skin) benefits to the skin.
And as the research quoted in the article above shows, the horse oil was able to show a statistically significant increase to the water and oil content of the skin.
How It's Sourced
If you want to try this cream out, but have reservations due to the fact that we tend to treat horses more as companion animals here in the West, I guess it would be nice to know that horse oil is obtained as a byproduct of the already existing and thriving horse meat industry. Horses are not slaughtered in vain (wop wop) aka the pursuit of healthy skin and staving off aging. It is simply a byproduct that has been resourcefully repurposed.
Ok, so let's get to the fun stuff..
What was my experience with horse oil cream like?
I purchased the Guerisson 9 Complex Horse Oil Cream because it is the most popular Korean horse oil product. The fact that it was featured on popular Korean beauty show "Get It Beauty" helped solidify my decision.
Ingredients: Purified water, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, horse oil/fat, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), niacinamide, Cetearyl Olivate, Dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, beeswax, Sorbitan Olivate, Cetyl Alcohol,Sodium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate, Snail Secretion Filtrate, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Leaf Extract, Mentha Rotundifolia (apple mint) Leaf Extract, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Extract, Rosa Centifolia Flower Extract, Melissa Officinalis (lemon balm) Leaf Extract, Chamomile Leaf extract, Monarda Didyma (bergamot) Leaf Extract, Cyclohexasiloxane, Bixa Orellana Seed Oil, betaine, carbomer, polysorbate 20, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, phenoxyethanol, Stearyl Alcohol, titanium dioxide, Glyceryl Caprylate, Aluminum Hydroxide, Hydrated Silica, Disodium Stearyl Sulfosuccinamate, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, fragrance, tocopheryl acetate, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Centella asiatica extract, Camellia Sinensis (green tea) Leaf Extract, Ligularia Fishceria Leaf Extract, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Human Oligopeptide-1/rh-Oligopeptide-1, Lecithin, Astaxanthin, Myristyl Alcohol, xanthan gum, adenosine, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Hyaluronate, octyldodecanol, Hydrogenated Lecithin, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Ceramide 3
I won't go too much into the other ingredients that much today, since we have talked at length about the star ingredient. The sexy, beneficial ingredients have been highlighted in blue. Niacinamide (vitamin B3) is quite high on the list. Niacinamide is a stellar ingredient for lightening hyperpigmentation, and evening out skin texture. It also has anti-aging properties. Caprylic/Capric Triclyceride, highlighted in red, is an acne trigger. If you have ever tried coconut oil and broken out as a result, you may want to avoid this cream, as it contains the same ingredient.
The cream comes packaged in an orange cylinder as shown above, and it is sealed. Sorry, I don't have a photo of the seal, but if you purchase this cream, make sure it comes fully sealed, and filled to the brim with product. There are many fakes in the market. It also comes with a clear, plastic spatula so you can use the product without sticking your fingers into it. Lastly, there is a product insert with a picture of Korean actress Lee Hanui on it.
It looks like whipped butter, and smells like citrus and herbs. Not horses.
How to Use It
I apply this at nighttime, as the oil content makes it tough to jive well with my sunscreen during the day. I apply this after double cleansing, my active ingredient products (retinoids and acids), after essences, emulsions, and serums, as a medium-weight moisturizing cream.
A little product goes a long way and just a thin coat is enough to leave your skin feeling hydrated.
Absorption, After Effects
The cream looks like butter, but feels more like a rich satin-y cream. It's got a medium-weight to it, and is able to absorb within 15 seconds. I found that my skin looked a bit glossy after using this, but it did not feel sticky or slick AT ALL.
Where this cream really shines is in helping to calm irritation. On days where my actives are stinging just a tiny bit, I scoop a bit more of this cream to help calm down my skin.
For someone with dry skin (like me), I recommend following this product up with an oil or sleeping pack as a last step. Alternatively, you could apply two light rounds of this cream as a final step.
For someone with normal or oily skin, this cream may be enough to keep your skin hydrated overnight and throughout the next day.
It's a lovely cream, and I really enjoy using it... but I guess I am too used to the image of horses as a companion creatures. I don't regret trying this product out, as it is lovely, but I will not be repurchasing.
No offense to sea horses, but I'd much rather use a sea horse cream than a cream based around horses, even if it is a byproduct. : [ Poor sea creatures, they can't catch a break..
Shop the Post
Please take heed of my warning that there are many fakes out in the marketplace. I got mine from Memebox.com,
Use code Friend20 to save 20% on your first order.
Thanks for reading! What are your feelings toward ingredients like horse oil in skincare? Will you be trying this product, or any other horse oil products out?
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