- The KAHI Wrinkle Free Multi Balm is the latest K-beauty product featured in Doja Cat’s music video.
- Salmon testicle DNA is one of its eyebrow-raising ingredients.
- Discover the benefits and risks of incorporating salmon sperm DNA into your skincare routine.
Once upon a time, snail mucin, the Korean viral skincare ingredient. The last “it” produced? Salmon testis DNA.
More professionally known as “salmon pdrn”, salmon testicle DNA has been found in many luxury K-beauty products, including the KAHI Wrinkle Free Multi Balm, which has been popularized on TV shows. television like Netflix’s “Extraordinary Attorney Woo” and in Doja Cat’s “The Vegas Clip.” As the name suggests, you glide the balm over your face for a dewy, luminous look.
Slathering yourself in fish genital DNA may seem questionable, but beauty experts, as well as plenty of research, support its regenerative and anti-inflammatory effects; One study found that salmon sperm was associated with increased skin elasticity and stronger collagen levels, both crucial for anti-aging skin.
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“Having an open mind to these different types of ingredients can be really great. There are a lot of ingredients that we’re not used to in North America that are very popular in Korea, and there’s a reason why they are: there is a lot of evidence of its benefits,” says biochemist and researcher Kenna Whitnell.
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What is pdrn salmon and how does it work?
Salmon pdrn, which stands for “polydeoxyribonucleotides”, is the sperm DNA most often derived from salmon trout or chum salmon. Whitnell, who specializes in skincare consulting, says it works by targeting a specific protein which, when stimulated, promotes wound healing.
Some may ask: why the testicles? Whitnell says the genital area contains a large amount of DNA, which makes its extraction easier and more cost-effective.
As for why salmon specifically, “salmon DNA is very close to human DNA, so it has a high compatibility with our own cellular functioning,” says Whitnell. “The extraction and purification process removes active proteins and peptides that could potentially cause immune reactions. So it’s only DNA that’s very pure and contains (nothing) that could negatively interact with our skin.”
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What are the skin benefits of salmon testicle DNA?
Research has praised salmon testes DNA for its ability to restore skin elasticity, repair moisture barriers, and reduce inflammation, making it a viable option for people with skin ailments. damaged or dry.
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“This ingredient is great because if you have a cut, sore, or healing acne spot, pdrn salmon might help,” says medical esthetician Cassandra Bankson of the process called “cell migration.” “The white blood cells will attempt to repair that wound…and (salmon pdrn) has been shown in research to help with that cell migration, or bring healing cells to the affected area.”
Who should avoid?
For most people pdrn salmon is relatively safe with few known side effects. But those who are vegan or allergic to fish are urged to steer clear, and despite its anti-inflammatory effects, it’s not meant to treat active acne, but rather dehydrated or injured skin.
“For salmon pdrn to work, it has to break through the top layer of skin, which means the skin has to be broken,” says Singapore-based cosmetic physician Dr Rachel Ho. Most studies, she says, have only tested the ability of salmon DNA to repair damaged, rather than intact, skin.
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Due to the limited scope of research available, Ho suggests other evidence-based alternatives for repairing skin, such as vitamin A, vitamin C, or retinoids, which “can create collagen in the skin to treat first signs of aging or even hyperpigmentation”. But before incorporating salmon sperm into your skincare regimen, experts advise testing any new ingredient on a small area of your skin to see how it reacts.
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