2009 product alert: look out for products containing bullfrog skin. It comes with the compelling combination of a bit of science and the promise of being cheaper than one of the most commonly used anti-aging ingredients, vitamin E.
A Korean research team, published in Bioresource Technology, claims to have isolated a peptide found in both the skin and the muscle of bullfrogs. Because of the peptide's strong antioxidant qualities, the scientists say that it is effective in eradicating the effects of free radicals on the skin.
The lead scientist on the team, Professor Kim has gone on record saying that since bullfrogs are an environmental pest, their widespread slaughter would do the world a favor while at the same time providing a cheap and easy way to produce an alternative to synthetically produced vitamin E (dl-alpha tocopherol).
Professor Kim also points out that there are advantages for formulators because it is water-soluble and can be incorporated into a wide range of products - even beauty drinks.
Now it is worth noting that Professor Kim's team isolated the peptide, but they haven't tested it on skin to see if it works. A Brazilian team has. And, unfortunately, the results weren't encouraging. In fact, when the Brazilians put bullfrog oil on mice cells they found that it actually induced tissue damage.