File this one under potential bizarre cosmetic ingredients…
A recent NY Times article exposed the tragic practices of Chinese bear farmers who raise bears in order to extract their bile. Bear bile contains ursodeoxycholic acid which is used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat fevers, shrink gallstones and help hangovers.
Then we wondered: Does ursodeoxycholic acid have any value in skincare? According to this study , it turns out that this ingredient is good for skin conditions like psoriasis (at least when taken orally.) In this day and age of animal-rights it would be crazy to think that any company would use bear bile as an ingredient, but one never knows.
In fact perhaps we should launch an investigation into the ingredients used in the Bare Escentuals line!