The popularity of horse oil-based beauty products has definitely seen a recent uptick. While horse oil creams were already available at YesStyle and other beauty retailers a few years ago, more and more brands are now catering to the growing demand for this seemingly magical ingredient. I decided to find out for myself and chose to try Japanese brand Cosme Station’s Kumano Horse Oil W Cleansing Foam with Tsubaki Oil.
Horse Oil as a By-Product
One of the things I immediately looked into is how horse oil is sourced. This article in Elle UK and a very comprehensive blog post on the subject by beauty blogger Vanity Rex tell me that horse oil comes from the horse meat industry. Many countries in North America, Europe and Asia consume horse meat to this day, and the oil is a by-product of the process.
Vanity Rex also points out that to begin with, horses have very little fat for making oil, and thus it’s financially unrewarding to farm the animals exclusively for the oil. Knowing that no horses were killed so that I could have my horse oil cleansing foam made me feel less guilty. But if you’re vegan or prefer your beauty products to be cruelty-free, you may want to skip using this and similar products.
Horse Oil Benefits
I can’t thank Vanity Rex enough for writing her horse oil post, all backed up by references to studies in almost every paragraph. In a nutshell, here are a few facts about horse oil that I learned from her post:
♦ Horse fat (the source of the oil) is very similar to human fat. Both contain very low amounts of palmitic acid and stearic acid, two of the most common saturated fatty acids.
♦ Horse fat also contains linolenic acid, which is more commonly found in nuts and plants. Linolenic acid may be good for skin barrier repair and has anti-inflammatory benefits.
♦ Horse oil “exerts an anti-bacterial effect on P.acnes and S. aureus and increases expression of type I collagen in human skin fibroblasts,” according to a study conducted at Daegu Haany University in Korea. P. acnes is the bacteria that causes acne, while S. aureus is a common bacteria found on the skin of the human body, as well as in the nose and respiratory tract.
It’s a seriously informative read. Thank you, Vanity Rex!
Horse Oil and Tsubaki (Camellia) Oil
The Kumano Horse Oil Cleansing Foam also contains tsubaki seed oil, a popular Japanese ingredient made from the camellia plant that has moisturizing properties. With the help of Google Translate, I found that the product also contains peach leaf extract, hyaluronic acid, soluble collagen, olive oil and squalene, which are all great for hydration.
All the original information is in Japanese, including ingredients.
Water, Glycerin, Myristic Acid, PEG-8, Stearic Acid, Potassium Hydroxide, Lauric Acid, Cocamide DEA, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Lauramide DEA, Sodium Laureth-4 Carboxylic Acid, Sodiuim Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Palmitic Acid, Lauryl Hydroxysultaine, Glycol Distearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Horse Oil, Camellia Seed Oil, Peach Leaf Extract, BG, Sodium Hyaluronate, Cetyl PG Hydroxyethyl Palmitamide, Arginine, Water-Soluble Collagen, Olive Oil, Squalane, Polyoctanium-7, Ethylene Diamine Tetraacetic Acid (EDTA), Phenoxyethanol, Ethylparaben, Fragrance
Thanks to Angel, Sakiko and Shelley for the ingredient translation!
The cleansing foam is thick and creamy, with a surprising floral scent. Am I expecting it to smell like horses? Yes actually, or at least like something vaguely earthy. The fragrance seems heavy at first when I add water to it but once it’s foaming and applied to my skin, the smell disappears rapidly. Because of the creamy texture, you need very little — probably smaller than the standard pea-size amount usually recommended — to create a rich lather.
Whether used on its own or as a second cleanser, the horse oil cleansing foam really does an excellent job at removing makeup and impurities on skin. Some of my hormonal acne seem to have benefited from the anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties of horse oil because the redness was greatly reduced in just a few days’ time. It also seems to minimize the drying effect of the Differin gel I’m currently using to treat my acne, which means I don’t have to slather on too many layers of moisturizing cream.
Am I ready to dive deep into horse oil-based products? I’m probably not ready for a head-to-toe experience just yet. But thanks to the promising results of using the Kumano Horse Oil W Cleansing Foam with Tsubaki Oil, I’m no longer afraid to try!
The Cosme Station’s Kumano Horse Oil W Cleansing Foam with Tsubaki (Camellia) Oil currently retails at YesStyle for an extremely affordable price of US$ 8.46 for the 130g tube.