Let’s Just Get to the Point:
Tepezcohuite (te-pez-coh-wee-teh) is a restorative skin-care ingredient so powerful, it was literally used to treat burn victims in Mexico after a major gas explosion in the eighties left up to 7,000 people with severe injuries. It worked so well that medical personnel returned with tepezcohuite treatments the following year after an earthquake in Mexico City caused the onset of several fires. It’s also thought to have been a Mayan fan-favorite for treating skin lesions circa 500 AD—it’s 2019 now for reference—and was referred to by Mexican natives as the “skin tree” for its overall benefits to skin, anti-aging and soothing included.
Tepezcohuite comes from the Mimosa tenuiflora tree, a plant native to mostly middle and southern America. It’s not just beloved by hospital staff, it’s also the reason Salma Hayek gave for her flawless, youthful skin at 48 (in a 2015 interview with ELLE Magazine, she claimed that tepezcohuite was the reason she had never gotten injections like Botox or filler, or even had a chemical peel).
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If You Want to Know More:
Some people just never learn (and by people, I mean myself). Every summer I emerge from my cold-weather hibernation and am met with the same scalding sun. Every summer I also, unwittingly, put my health in someone else’s hands when I politely ask them to apply sunscreen to the hard-to-reach spots of my middle back. Spoiler: I am no stranger to a bad burn because I am never fully shielded with sun protection, thanks to the half-done sunscreen application from those who love me most.
Though what remains most important is my SPF coverage, I now have a secret weapon for all of those weird burn patches that seem to creep up when my people—literally—don’t have my back: ASDM Beverly Hills Tepezcohuite Cream ($25). I’ll spare you the gory details, but I felt the burn (bad) this weekend after lounging too long in the park and decided to try out the moisturizer I had been hearing all about. Few companies in the country actually utilize tepezcohuite (most likely due to a lack of research on the ingredient), but among the brands that do boast this skin beautifier is ASDM Beverly Hills.
Image courtesy of brand
The formula for ASDM’s Tepezcohuite Cream is a little oily at first, but absorbs fairly quickly, so don’t fret if you’re in a grab-and-go situation or hate the film that other creams can leave behind on skin. Despite this initial greasiness, the moisturizer still feels really light and though I didn’t try on my face, I would guess it’s noncomedogenic. There’s a sort of earthy fragrance and feel to it, and one glance at the ingredient list suggests that the smell is natural and not an add-on to terrorize sensitive skin.
Noticing that the cream also has organic aloe, I was all too eager to slather on the sun-exposed skin located on the inside of my elbow and in the dead center of my shoulder blade. Though my burns weren’t completely eradicated that first night, a few hours after application, I noticed that the skin sections in question were still super moisturized and no longer felt crispy nor dehydrated. It might’ve just been me, but they also seemed to hurt a lot less.
I applied again both the following morning and that night before bed, and I swear to you, my sunburn no longer pains me and has begun to heal nicely — it’s still in the between stages of recovery, but I literally planned to wear long sleeves all week long in extreme NYC heat—yes, you read that right—to mask my elbow, so this is a marked improvement. This caliber of burn for me always warrants major scaly skin afterwards (especially awkward if it’s in that spot on your back that you can’t reach), but though my arm still appears a little rosy, I skipped right past the peeling and am starting to see my skin pick up the pace with the post-sun soothing.
The moral of the story is: If Salma Hayek swears by an ingredient, you don’t take it lightly.