Nearly five years ago, supermodel Elle Macpherson - the five-time cover model for Sports Illustrated's iconic swimsuit issues – was under fire for admitting to the use of rhinoceros horns as a beauty product. If you're like us, your initial reaction is, "What the heck!?" Confused and shocked by the thought? We'll break it down for you.
An ancient Chinese medicine practice involving the grinding of rhino horns to create healing agents remains popular in many parts of the world today. The problem with this practice is that it is totally illegal. If you didn't know, rhinos are on the brink of extinction. Last year, over 1,000 rhinos were killed in South Africa alone in hopes to use their body parts to sell.
What's the big fuss over rhino horns anyway? Apparently these horns are different in that they consist mainly of pure keratin. When ground down to powder and used in skin cream, it can really do wonders for your complexion. It'll have you looking #flawless. This would actually sound tempting, minus the whole "it's illegal and promotes the mishandling of animals" thing.
But all is not lost, a startup company is creating faux rhino horns through biotechnology (tech #FTW). Their product is completely identical to actual rhino horns but doesn't involve the poaching of endangered animals. Beauty companies are already beginning to advertise their animal cruelty-free rhino horn skin treatments. The big question is, will consumers actually buy?
We want to know. What are your thoughts on fake rhino horns? Will you be buying?