The Exotic Beauty Substance That Salma Hayek Swears By

salma-hayekYou probably never heard of tepezcohuite, but Salma Hayek says it’s what helps her stay stunning at age 50. This Mexican beauty ingredient is derived from the bark of a tree called by a variety of names, including Jurema, Black Jurema and Vinho de Jurema.

In Mexican folk healing, tepezcohuite is used to promote skin healing and regeneration. Its capabilities seem to come from its large amounts of tannins, substances that help get rid of dead skin cells to reveal new skin, similar to other kinds of exfoliants. Tepezcohuite also has flavonoids that could help fight free radicals that age the skin and an array of beneficial micronutrients that include zinc, copper, manganese and magnesium.

According to Hayek and others, tepezcohuite can also help reduce fine lines and wrinkles, as well as acne. There is also some evidence that the bark can help inhibit hyaluronidase and this in turn helps protect hyaluronic acid, a moisturizing element we all have in our skin and actually is included in many skincare products to help skin stay moisturized and supple.

Does It Really Work?
That’s less certain. There is some clinical evidence—a 2008 study published in the Brazilian Archives of Biology and Technology, for example—that suggests that a 10% cream of tepezcohuite can help with eczema, but there isn’t the amount of evidence that we have for other substances. As such, while there are a number of products with this substance out there, it’s best to proceed with caution and check with your dermatologist before using. After all, even beneficial substances for the skin can easily produce bad reactions.

Also, please keep in mind that Salma may have another reason for singing the praises of tepezcohuite: she uses it in her line of beauty products.