Yeah, lipstick contains fish scales. I came around this interesting fact and then researched about it a bit more and guess what i found? Some of them, anyway. The ingredient known as Pearl Essence. (Some sources give this as “pearlescence.”) It’s the silvery stuff found in fish scales that’s used in some lipsticks, nail polishes, ceramic glazes, etc., to make them shimmery. Pearl essence is obtained primarily from herring (valuable flesh of fatty fish from shallow waters of northern Atlantic or Pacific). What was alarming to me to discover that consumer products contain animal body parts. Most of us are strict Non Vegetarians and we eat dead, frozen, raw animals everyday !!!! So how can you think the fishermen or the industry will let ‘pearl essence’ to go to waste?
From the WEB : How pearl essence is harvested: “The purse seine draws the herring up from the bottom and into an ever-decreasing circle, where the pumper [boat] pumps the fish out, and into the hold of the buyer’s boat. In the meantime, due to thrashing in the seine and going through the pumper, nearly all of the herring scales are removed and diverted into bags on the pumper’s deck.” This is perhaps not the world’s kindest process. Pearl essence is just one of a long list of unsuspected animal ingredients in cosmetics. If you think fish scales in lipstick is gross, get a load of cerebrosides, used in skin-care products to create a smoother skin surface, increase moisture retention, heighten “luminosity,” etc. According to the Food and Drug Administration, “the raw material for cerebrosides in cosmetics comes from cattle, oxen, or swine brain cells or other nervous-system tissues.” Eww. If you’re bothered by this sort of thing you might prefer to get your cosmetics from environmentally aware companies such as Aveda. In addition to minimizing the use of synthetics and volatiles, Minneapolis-based Aveda relies on plant- rather than animal-based ingredients. “Some colors, for example, are very difficult to create without using carmine, but the company decided that crushing insects to derive the ingredient is unethical,” we read. One smiles, but in the era of the rape of the rain forest it’s charming to hear about a company so good-hearted that it wouldn’t hurt–well, if not a fly, at least a Dactylopius coccus