Would you apply spider enzymes onto your face every night as part of your beauty regimen? Because apparently, they can remove impurities and exfoliate and soften your skin. But don't go catching your own spiders. There's a specific protease called Arazyme that purportedly does the trick, and it's being used in many skincare products. Extracted from Nephila clavata, a member of the golden silk orb-weaver group of spiders, Arazyme was developed in South Korea by researchers from the Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology and its spin-off firm Insect Biotech.
The idea to include Arazyme in skincare products has basis in the fact that spider enzymes are able to liquefy prey - meaning they are able to break down protein effectively. According to Insect Biotech's website, Arazyme also has high antibiotic and antibacterial properties, which is why it is touted to help treat acne and other skin problems. If you dare to try it, a seller on Qoo10 claims to be importing products containing Arazyme into Singapore for the first time.
The user has listed three products from the Aragemme series by South Korean company GTG Korea: Daily Calming Cream ($35), Cellulose Peeling Cream ($45) and Powder Scrub Wash ($55.90). We managed to get our hands on the Daily Calming Cream, which, despite what it contains, smells like a fragrant baby lotion.
It also looks like a typical beauty cream, to our relief. South Koreans are one of the world's savviest skincare fanatics, who are probably used to seeing peculiar products like this. After all, they have skincare featuring everything from salmon eggs and snail slime to donkey milk and cheese.
A version of this article was originally published on Asiaone.