Be forewarned: There may be dragon’s blood in your skincare.
No, this is not a “Game of Thrones” Season 5 premiere week marketing ploy. Dragon’s blood is an actual skincare ingredient.
We love our anti-aging skincare. Nearly every beauty brand these days includes an anti-aging product or two. Seems we are willing to slather on almost anything in the name of youthful skin from plant oils, to acids, to blood of the dragon.
Ok, it may look like blood and does come from a living thing, though not a mythical beast. Dragon’s blood is the resin from the rattan palm tree, or Daemonorops draco, which grows in Southeast Asia. When the bark is sliced, the sap drips out and looks very much like blood.
The ingredient may be new to us but has a long history of use in the East as a topical treatment, digestive aid, fever reducer, incense, and dye. It is also said to be used in modern witchcraft as an ink in spell writing. Creepy nickname, Harry Potter-esque tree species, and black magic rituals aside, the use of dragon’s blood in cosmetics may be legitimately beneficial.
Dragon’s blood contains natural anti-inflammatory and antibacterial qualities, making it suitable for use in skincare. The ingredient also has a pleasant earthy smell which works well in soaps and lotions. While you aren’t coming across this ingredient every day, it is becoming more popular among creators of anti-aging skincare for its antioxidant and skin protective effects.
If you want to hop on the latest trend since snake serum and try a little blood o’ ye dragon for yourself, you should know it is not that easy to come by. Not that it is so rare, just that most brands touting the whole dragon’s blood hype are using it in name only. Some do contain actual dragon’s blood but also contain synthetic ingredients. I’ve yet to find a completely nontoxic anti-aging product that contains dragon’s blood. You can try it in Soap for Goodness Sake Dragon’s Blood Bar Soap or Zum Rub moisturizer in, um, dragon’s blood scent.
To find the ingredient on a product label, look for: Daemomorops Draco, Jatropha Dioica, Croton Lechleri, or Dragon’s Blood. For all of you DIYers out there, dragon’s blood resin is available for purchase at Mountain Rose Herbs if you feel the urge to concoct your own home brew. And please, if you do, let us know how it goes.
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Image of Dragon’s Blood sap by J. Davis Rorer at Flickr.com, cc