The scaly surface of a crocodile is probably not the first place you’d look when pondering solutions to dry and irritated skin. But according to one South African company Repcillin, this is exactly where you should be looking.
To be more precise, lying underneath the knobbly surface of a crocodile’s skin is a layer of fat that contains the key to all our skin ailments. The oil in crocodile fat is packed with ingredients that can help to cure a myriad of skin conditions. It has in particular, tons of skin repairing essentials such as anti-oxidants, vitamins A and E, linoleic and oleic acids, sapogens and terpines.
If some of these compounds don’t mean much to you, let me explain; anti-oxidants are great for skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, inflammation and irritations. As are the linoleic acids because of their soothing qualities. Sapogens help to soften skin, whilst oleic acid boosts skin cell renewal.
Crocodile oil also contains omegas 3, 6 and 9 essential fatty acids, which are essential for their moisturising and anti-inflammatory properties. Whilst these occur naturally in crocodile oil, it seems that we humans cannot produce them ourselves.
As well as all these amazing properties, crocodile oil also has pretty much the same composition as human skin oil and as such, it is highly unlikely that anyone will be allergic to crocodile oil.
Repcillin, who make a range of products using this valuable natural resource, are a family business who have been using crocodile oil for around ten years. All their products are approved by the Organic Standard Soil Association, Fairtrade, are Not Tested on Animals and use Nile crocodiles specifically.
“Crocodile fat is an animal by-product and until very recently has been discarded. The fat from the crocodile is collected when the meat is trimmed and prepared. There is only 600g of fat available from a single crocodile,” says the company’s press officer Helen Lebedeva.
She adds, “Crocodile oil is derived from the fat of a crocodile. 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.”
Nothing is wasted from the body of the crocodile:
“The skin of crocodiles is used locally to produce leather accessories and for export to major fashion houses in Europe. 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].”
As crocodile oil can help to alleviate a number of skin ailments, there are several products in the Repcillin range. These include soaps for sensitive or damaged skins, extra mild shampoos for itchy and dry scalps, facial moisturisers with anti-inflammatory properties for controlling acne and crocodile balm for severely damaged skin.
There is the question however of how the crocodiles are farmed in order to obtain the crocodile oil to make the products. Internationally renowned animal rights group PETA advise that the fact that the company are adhering to CITES’ regulations are meaningless:
“The CITES regulations aim only to prevent animals from becoming extinct – they do not regulate the atrocious ways in which animals are confined and violently killed. So supporting this industry is rather like promoting products made in grimy sweatshops, just so long as the supply of workers isn’t threatened.
“The only thing we can do to be sure that our beauty regimes don’t contribute to cruel industries is to refrain from buying and using any animal-derived items, including by-products such as crocodile oil,” states Sascha CamilliPR Liaison, PETA Foundation.
Products start from £15/$18 for the soaps to £35/$39 for the enriched balms and are available from Repcillinpure.co.uk