Placenta and animals

6 minute read
Placenta in haircare! Does it involve animal cruelty? Placenta in haircare! Is the beauty industry harming animals? Should animal lovers avoid placenta extract? Animal abuse in cosmetics is banned in the European Union. However, many beauty products include animal placenta. But is it really the right thing to do? Does it harm animals in any way? The beauty industry is using more and more organic and body-friendly ingredients, making sure they have a scientifically proven positive effect on the body and hair. Placenta is one of such ingredients. It has been used for decades due to its anti-aging and healing properties.
Only a temporary necessity for animals

The placenta is a temporary organ that connects the foetus to mother’s organism. Its primary purpose is to ensure the healthy development of the new life growing inside the womb. The placenta produces many nutrients and other vital resources, such as growth hormones, progesterone, oestrogen and proteins.

Nature has made it so that the baby animal doesn’t use all of the placenta’s resources; it has more substances than necessary, just in case. After giving birth, neither the female animal nor her baby need the placenta anymore, so it is simply left over. This is where the beauty industry steps in to put the remaining nutrients to use for people.


How does an animal placenta help people?

Placenta extract is known for its potent healing properties. It includes plenty of proteins, hormones, growth factors, vitamins and other components. These are all good for hair in particular, making them stronger and increasing their growth.

It has been proven that placenta extract has the following effects:

– Supports capillary microcirculation. Poor blood circulation could be the reason behind poor hair growth or hair falling out. Placenta extract improves scalp blood supply, which, in turn, helps hair follicles function properly, that is, to grow new, healthy strands of hair. The healthier base also ensures that the hair won’t fall out easily.

– Improves scalp. The beauty of hair is largely dependent on the scalp’s condition. Placenta extract creates a super thin film-like layer on the scalp, preventing moisture loss without excess sebum. This provides the outermost layer of skin (stratum corneum) enough moisture, giving the scalp a healthy look. Placenta extract also supports collagen production, which is indisputably the foundation of youthful looks.

– Strengthens and nourishes hair. Protein – one of the ingredients of placenta extract and the main building material of hair – plays an important role in increasing hair strength. This softens the cuticle, making hair strands less prone to breakage and split ends. A nourished and strong strand of hair is lustrous and shiny.

Placenta treatment is especially good for bleached or otherwise chemically treated hair, as it are often tired and visibly struggles with dryness. After the treatment, the hair is moisturised and easier to control.

How is placenta extract made?

When it comes to using the placenta in beauty industry, strict rules apply for processing the placenta, starting with the requirement that allows only placentas from healthy purebred animals to be used.

Once the placenta is collected after the baby animal has been born, the first priority is to freeze it to preserve the freshness of its nutrients. When it reaches the factory, it is thawed and filtered several times using a special machine to remove all kinds of sediments and residues. Further processing in an alkaline environment eliminates all viruses and diseases the animal may have suffered from.

After that the purified placenta is separated into parts (chorion, amnion and umbilical cord). The beauty industry mainly uses the amnion. It includes large amounts of collagen, which is then finely ground and frozen. The next step is to add the collagen into a care product. The final result is pure and extremely nutritious.

Collecting placentas does not cause animals any harm

The cosmetics industry mainly uses placenta of animal origin, collected from sheep, cows or pigs. Their placentas are biologically very similar to the human placenta, but since many people do not eat pork because of religious reasons, the main placenta sources for the beauty industry are sheep and cows.

The placenta used in hair and skin products is collected from animals who have just given birth. The placenta is naturally expelled from the animal’s body during labour. No animals are harmed or killed to collect it. There are strict rules in place in the EU concerning the use of animals in the beauty industry. All animal testing is prohibited, but using products of animal origin (milk, placenta) is allowed, provided that it does not compromise the wellbeing of animals.

Perfectly safe for humans

Animal diseases (e.g. SARS, AIDS, swine flu or mad cow disease) are seen as a risk of using the placenta. Luckily the manufacturers have become very demanding in terms of this. Strict rules and control mechanisms prevent the use of placenta from sick animals.

When placenta extract was first used in the beauty industry, it contained all the hormones originally found in it. Since the placenta includes plenty of oestrogen, progesterone and other growth hormones, it was observed that it may cause an imbalance in the human endocrine system.

Studies showed that abundant use resulted in hair growing where it was not supposed to grow. The industry learned from that! Nowadays, the placenta extract used in products includes as few hormones as possible. This means they have no negative side effects whatsoever on the human organism.