Makeup

Waiter, There's a Cockroach in My Makeup

We all know that there are sketchy chemicals in many of the cosmetics we wear, but this latest revelation is a real doozy

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Confession: I have an irrational fear of cockroaches. I'm sure some shrink-type could get to the root of it but, for now, let's just say that they terrify me so much that I've never even been able to force myself to eat their (supposedly scrumptious) doppelgangers -- lobsters.

So, imagine, if you will, my abject horror at the latest revelation by the Los Angeles Times that cosmetic companies use roaches as cheap protein fillers as well as for the "cellulose-like substance on their wings." Re-read that sentence.

Gack.

READ: 13 Gross Ingredients Included in Your Beauty Products

Listen, I didn't just fall off the turnip truck and am well aware that most of what we put on our faces is heaving with chemicals whose names have way too many consonants but roaches? Isn't there another viable "cheap" source of protein that could be used instead? How about beans? Yes, I nominate beans.

According to the Times article, an exposé, really, on a 43 year-old Chinese business man named Wang Fuming, and his collection of six cockroach "farms," "The favored breed for this purpose is the Periplaneta americana, or American cockroach, a reddish-brown insect that grows to about 1.6 inches long and, when mature, can fly, as opposed to the smaller, darker, wingless German cockroach." Oh, and there's money to be had in farming those little buggers. "Since Wang got into the business in 2010, the price of dried cockroaches has increased tenfold, from about $2 a pound to as much as $20, as manufacturers of traditional medicine stockpile pulverized cockroach powder."

READ: The Grossest Ingredients Hiding in Your Skin Cream

Naturally, companies who use Mr. Wang's special ingredient do so on the DL. "We try to keep a low profile," an insider told the newspaper. "The government is tacitly allowing us to do what we do, but if there is too much attention, or if cockroach farms are going into residential areas, there could be trouble."

Yeah, and guess who'd be first in the picket line?

Do you think practices like this are despicable and should be made transparent so consumers know what they're putting on -- and into -- their bodies? Our is it cool to just have a blanket understanding that "natural flavorings" and other such mean-nothing terms are really just code for "trust us: you don't want to know?"
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