Is Crocodile Oil The New Coconut Oil?

Photo: Yongyut Khasawaong / Alamy Stock Photo.
When you think of crocodiles, what typically comes to mind? Steve Irwin, swamps, Florida, and scaly skin, right? They're not really the animals we think of to help us with our beauty needs. But, it turns out, the reptiles could be the answer to your very own scaly-skin woes this winter. Cue the cries of: "Wait, what?!"

According to The Telegraph, the fat found in our reptilian friends contains a number of healing and repairing ingredients — like vitamins E and A; linoleic acid; cell-regenerating oleic acid; skin-softening sapogens; antiseptic terpenes; and omega-3, -6, and -9 essential fatty acids — that can help treat psoriasis, eczema, inflammation, and redness. Per the article, there's one particular company at the helm of the croc beauty business: South African brand Repcillin. It manufactures Nile crocodile oil in everything from shampoo and conditioners to face moisturizers and lip balms.

Fear not, animal-lovers: All of its products have been approved by various environmental organizations and standards, including the organic-standard Soil Association, and have been tested by SABS, the South African Bureau of Standards, which is responsible for regulating the quality of the country's goods and services.

"Crocodile fat is an animal byproduct, and until very recently has been discarded," Repcillin's press officer Helen Lebedeva told The Telegraph. The source of the byproduct is, of course, crocodile meat.

"The crocodile-breeding farm we use to get the fat from breeds thousands of crocodiles every year for the purpose of supplying crocodile meat to restaurants and meat suppliers in Africa and Europe," says Lebedeva. "The term 'crocodile farm' is used to describe any facility that breeds and/or grows crocodiles for commercial purposes and in accordance with the strict regulations of CITES [Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora]."

While croc oil may seem like a new ingredient for the beauty world, according to Repcillin's site it's been used for centuries in places including Mexico, Madagascar, and South Africa to treat numerous skin conditions. So like most blossoming ingredient trends, we may very well see it making its way around in a couple of years — after a while, crocodile. But we'll hold off on calling some in for the time being. We've reached out to a dermatologist for more on the oil's potential benefits, and will update this post when we hear back.

Will you be adding crocodile oil to your skin-care routine? Let us know in the comments.


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