Some of these strange ingredients - like snail slime - now find themselves in registered beauty products.
Londi Mlambo, beauty therapist and owner of The Beauty Room in Fourways, Joburg, chats to us about unique and unusual ingredients found in some of the most effective beauty products on the market and what their uses are.
"Having been in the beauty industry for such a long time, I have always noticed how my clients are always looking for something new and more effective to use to curb various skin problems," Mlambo says.
"In fact, in March I will be launching innovative organic products, taking some tried and trusted ingredients that go into popular skin care products."
Mlambo says she is a big fan of ingredients that kill bacteria in the skin, and has outlined her top five ingredients that she says are very effective in the treatment of various skin problems.
"Snail mucin contains enzymes, high active protein glycolic acids and copper peptides, proven to be beneficial for the skin. It has been registered and recognised as an official ingredient.
"This trusted slime is derived from the same stuff snails produce to heal themselves of cuts after manoeuvring rough surfaces. Snail slime firms, repairs and restores skin by replenishing moisture and reporting cell generation which will help fade away acne scars, uneven skin tones and reduce pigmentation," says Mlambo.
According to Mlambo, potatoes in our vegetable racks are not just for us to enjoy french fries or delectable mash with.
Potatoes can also help the skin get rid of dark marks and patches.
"Many people do not know that potatoes are beneficial for the skin. They contain vitamins and potassium, which can brighten your dark marks, sun damage and blemishes.
"What you need to do is grate the potato, and extract some of the juice to use as a mask. Allow the potato juice to dry on your skin, and leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes. Wash it off with lukewarm water, and the result will be that it plumps and moisturises the skin, giving you a bright complexion, as well as repairing and healing any discoloration," she says.
CHICKEN STEW - WITH A COMB
It is quite strange to have chicken stew as part of a beauty regime, but that is exactly what Mlambo says we need to do.
According to the beauty therapist, making a broth of a rooster or hen's comb can be beneficial for your skin as the comb is rich in a product that can prevent wrinkles - hyaluronic acid.
"Hyaluronic acid is a popular ingredient found in many beauty products that are anti-ageing or promising to fight wrinkles.
"The creams are made from extracts of the rooster's comb, and are renowned for rejuvenating the skin and keeping it soft, supple and plump.
"If your skin lacks moisture, you want this in your regimen. Bypass the middle man and have the chicken broth two to three times a week, and you will see the results," she says.
This trick might just come in handy for those who have goats running around their yard.
Mlambo says goat's milk has so many nutrients, and that making it into a soap was inevitable.
"Goat's milk contains zinc, alpha hydroxy acid and amino acid, as well as a range of vitamins, including vitamins A, B, C and E. The soap is really effective on skin, leaving it very well moisturised and supple.
"If you would like to cut out the middleman, meaning the extra ingredients that go into the bar of goat milk soap, like alcohol and detergents, you can opt to use pure goat's milk, which is just as effective on the skin," Mlambo says.
You know how they say an apple a day keeps the doctor away? Mlambo says an apple a day can rejuvenate tired and fatigued skin.
"Apples have been used forever as an ingredient in many beauty products, and you can also reap the benefits of apples in the convenience of your home.
"Apples contain potassium, as well as vitamins A and C, which are a great rejuvenator for the skin.
"What you can do at home is peel some apples, and bring them to boiling point in a saucepan. Once cooled, use the water as a toner.
"It works wonders."