Are Eggs The Next Big Thing In Skin Care?

My name is Karina Hoshikawa, and I hate eggs.

I know, it's super-weird — and I really can’t explain it. I’m an avid baker (not to brag or anything, but I make a mean pumpkin pie), but show me a quiche, or (gasp) an omelette, and I’ll immediately make for the opposite direction. (How I made it through a college semester abroad in Paris is beyond me.)

That being said, I’m also a beauty writer and fully aware of the fact that eggs are having their day in the sun on the skin-care market. So when I got a pitch from Too Cool for School (a new brand founded in NYC, but making major waves in South Korea), I wondered whether I, as someone who normally wouldn't touch anything egg-related, could actually get behind a skin-care line with it as the hero ingredient.

When TCfS’ comprehensive line of egg-based skin-care products — which includes an “egg mousse” cleanser, facial mask, and body oil, plus an “egg cream” sheet mask (with a face moisturizer and body butter currently in the works) — arrived, I was pumped to dive in face-first, despite my fear. The to-die-for packaging (there’s a hand mixer involved) may have had something to do with it.

My first foray was with the Egg Mousse Soap Facial Cleanser. While some foaming face washes tend to leave my skin feeling parched, this one feels like what I imagine washing my face with a cloud must feel like. The underlying scent was milky and sweet, but definitely not “eggy” in an overt way. And seriously, the creamy lather felt beyond luxurious.

Après-shower, I unboxed the Egg Mousse Body Oil, which magically transforms from a foam to a decadent oil after you rub it in. (Don’t forget to shake first, guys!) Past experiences with greasy body oils (ew) have been enough to deter me. But to my delight, this cocktail of egg, milk extract, honey, and five botanical oils (count 'em: olive, almond, avocado, jojoba, and marula) absorbed like a dream and left my skin feeling silky-smooth.

The next night, I gave the Egg Mousse Pack Facial Mask a go after cleansing my visage with my Clarisonic. Just like with the foam cleanser, one pump generated a dense amount of rich lather, and after I left it on for five minutes, my skin felt not only perfectly hydrated but soft and radiant. The magic here lies in the winning combo of egg whites (which work to control oil) and egg yolks, which are known for their tried-and-true nourishing properties. It had a subtle custard-y scent similar to the cleanser, but as I rinsed it off, I swear it ever-so-slightly evoked the gelatinous feeling of raw egg on fingers, which if you’ve tried — unsuccessfully — to crack an egg with one hand, you know all too well. But even then, I wasn’t the least bit grossed out.

To make more sense of the science behind my egg-celent revelation (hey, I’m allowed one “egg” pun, right?), I reached out to Shereene Idriss, MD, of Wexler Dermatology, who answered the dozens of questions I had. (I’m done, promise.)

“It isn't referred to as the 'incredible edible egg' for nothing,” she says. "For centuries, eggs have been revered for their healing benefits, whether by consumption, applying eggs as face masks, or even rolling boiled eggs to help heal bruises. True fact.”

You don’t need us to tell you that egg whites are protein-rich, but you might be surprised to know that they are a natural source of both collagen and albumin, both of which help keep inflammation at bay, temporarily minimize the appearance of fine lines, and maintain elasticity. Eggs also contain vitamins A and E, both of which fend off free radicals, the main driving force in the aging process. (Plus, vitamin A in retinol form is also a widely prescribed treatment for acne.)

“Egg yolks are made up of protein, essential fatty acids, and vitamins,” explains Dr. Idriss. “The fatty acids, such as lecithin and linoleic acid, are essential to hydrate, replenish, and plump the skin. Lecithin has the ability to penetrate the epidermis down to the cellular level to protect each individual cell membrane, whereas linoleic acid works by maintaining the skin’s natural oil barrier; together, both lock in moisture, boost hydration, and keep the skin looking fresh.”

At this point I’m wondering if my lifelong aversion to eggs, coupled with the whole “you are what you eat” thing, has stood in the way of better-looking skin. Well, according to the derm, eating well in general can have lots of positive effects on your health and skin, but if you want instant results, better get topical. “In order to gain that direct effect of tighter, brighter skin with smaller pores, applying the eggs topically works better because the proteins and lipids directly penetrate the top layer of skin and reach their target tissue,” she says.

What’s more, a recent brunch experience during which I sampled my date’s (surprisingly delicious) plate of Eggs Benedict made me question everything I thought I knew about my feelings toward eggs. Is this occurrence — plus a newfound love for eggy skin care — enough to make me a changed woman? I’ll keep you posted.
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