There’s no denying that Salma Hayek has the face of an angel. She’s ageless. Approaching 50, the Mexican actress has the skin we dream of having at any age. And whenever people look 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 that her secret weapon is instead a Mexican ingredient called 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. If life were a cartoon, that would have been the moment our wheels revved in place until we sped off in search of all of the tepezcohuite ever to slather over our faces 10 times a day until the end of time. Naturally, we had to know more about this little-known, exotic ingredient Hayek says is responsible for her flawless skin, so we did some research into the topic. Keep scrolling for the scoop on the must-know skin secret she swears by.
Also known as “mimosa tenuiflora,” tepezcohuite is a bark tree found in Southern Mexico that resembles a fern. The tree does well at regenerating itself in the aftermath of forest fires, and natives of Mexico refer to it as the “skin tree.” It was administered by the Mayan culture thousands of years ago to treat skin lesions such as burns, by grinding the bark up into a powder. 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 with tepezcohuite. It was so effective at healing their wounds and regenerating the skin that a year later, when an earthquake caused a series of explosions and fires, tepezcohuite was again used to treat victims.
Natural Green Brand Tepezcohuite Cream
The skin benefits of tepezcohuite are so immense that it really does seem like some kind of tree of life. It is naturally high in tannins, which protect the skin against infection and provide a smoothing, tightening astringent effect. Supposedly, when used on skin, it inherently diminishes capillary permeability—which means your capillaries are less susceptible to the entrée of the toxins that cause the effects of aging. It is a powerful cellular regenerator and stimulates the production of collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid to diminish the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging under-eye bags. It contains flavonoids, which fight free radicals for another antiaging boost. It boasts tremendous antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and healing properties—so the same qualities that make it reparative as a burn-healer make it a powerful acne-fighter. It is said to reduce swelling, redness, and inflammation on existing cystic acne and prevent future breakouts. And that’s barely mentioning its ability to soothe itchy skin, sores, ulcers, eczema, scrapes, scratches, and general topical abrasions.
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All in all, it stimulates the regeneration of fresh, new, healthy, youthful-looking skin, hence its ability to repair burns and heal scars. As Hayek stated, it is indeed still relatively unknown in the United States. While there have been no clinical trials conducted or FDA mention of it, it is sold in various forms on Amazon (the most popular of which is the cream pictured and shoppable above). Additionally Hayek included it in some of her Nuance skincare products sold at CVS. We don’t know about you, but we’re about to try out tepezcohuite with high hopes.
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