The Mexican Ingredient Salma Hayek Swears by for Flawless Skin

The Mexican Ingredient Salma Hayek Swears by for Flawless Skin

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There's no denying that Salma Hayek has the face of an angel. She's ageless.В Approaching 50, the Mexican actressВ has the skin we dream of having at any age. And whenever people lookВ as youthful and fresh-faced as they did 20 years prior, we are desperate to know their antiaging secret. So we were highly intrigued when Hayek revealed to Elle earlier this month that she doesn't use Botox, pills, or fillers-and thatВ herВ secret weaponВ is instead aВ Mexican botanical calledВ tepezcohuite. "It's used in Mexico for burn victims because it completely regenerates the skin, and there's no one in the States who is using this ingredient," she said.В If life were a cartoon, that would have been the moment ourВ wheels revvedВ in place until we spedВ off in search of all of theВ tepezcohuite ever to slather overВ our faces 10 times a day until the end of time.В Naturally, we had to know more about this little-known, exotic ingredient Hayek says is responsible for her flawless skin,В so we didВ some research into the topic.

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Also known as "mimosa tenuiflora,"В tepezcohuite is a bark tree found in Southern Mexico that resembles a fern.В The tree does well at regenerating itself in the aftermath of forest fires, and natives of MexicoВ refer to it as the "skin tree."В It was administeredВ by theВ Mayan cultureВ thousands of years ago to treat skin lesions such as burns,В byВ grinding the barkВ up into aВ powder.В In 1984, after a horrific gas explosion in Mexico City killed 500 and left more than 5000 with severe burns, the Red Cross treated the burn patients withВ tepezcohuite. It was so effective at healing their wounds and regenerating the skinВ that a year later, when an earthquake causedВ a series of explosions and fires,В tepezcohuite was again used to treat victims.В

Tepezcohuite has plenty of benefits, all of which make it a skincare miracle. It's particularly effective in reducing scars, which is how it's made its name. It stimulates stem cells in the skin, which mean the scars heal more quickly from the inside out. Because it has tannins and flavinoids, it reduces collagen and elastin deterioration. Tepezcohuite also inhibits hyaluronidase, in turn helping preserving any hyaluronic acid that's present at the skin level. The plant in high concentrations can even act as a solution to acne.

Unfortunately, because it hasn't been widely adopted by the west, scientific studies to figure out exactly all the ways tepezcohuite works are sorely lacking. However, if you look through enough beauty blogs, there should be a satisfying amount of anecdotal evidence as to the efficacy of this not-yet-hyped ingredient.

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