Corey inquires… I read at Cosmeticsdesign.com that cosmetics from China are made with human collagen taken from dead prisoners. This sounds like an urban legend to me. What sayest the Beauty Brains?
The Mid Brain responds:
Actually Corey, this looks like a legitimate story but it’s not new news. According the UK Guardian, this story started back 2005 with an investigative report into Chinese ingredient suppliers. Apparently one such supplier told an uncover agent that they were “developing collagen for lip and wrinkle treatments from skin taken from prisoners after they have been shot.” They went on to add that using the skin from condemned criminals is “traditional and nothing to make such a big fuss about.”
The report says that some of the collagen from suppliers was sold in the UK for use in wrinkle fillers and cosmetic creams. (Want to learn more? Read what collagen does in a skin cream). Beyond the obvious gross out factor there are ethical issues using human ingredients in cosmetics. (Does everyone remember our post on foreskins in cosmetics?) But perhaps most concerning is the danger of infection. The British Department of Health says there could be a “risk of transmission of blood-borne viruses and even vCJD from collagen containing human tissue.” In response to these concerns the Department of Health is planning on more carefully regulating collagen injections.
The Beauty Brains bottom line
I suppose the Left Brain would use this story as an another example of how natural ingredients are no better than synthetics!
Bonus fact: did you know there are 12 different kinds of collagen?