There's no denying that Salma Hayek has the face of an angel. She's ageless. Approaching 50, the Mexican actress has the skin we dream of having at any age. And whenever people look as youthful and fresh-faced as they did 20 years prior, we are desperate to know their antiaging secret. So we were highly intrigued when Hayek revealed to Elle earlier this month that she doesn't use Botox, pills, or fillers—and that her secret weapon is instead a Mexican ingredient called tepezcohuite. "It's used in Mexico for burn victims because it completely regenerates the skin, and there's no one in the States who is using this ingredient," she said. If life were a cartoon, that would have been the moment our wheels revved in place until we sped off in search of all of the tepezcohuite ever to slather over our faces 10 times a day until the end of time. Naturally, we had to know more about this little-known, exotic ingredient Hayek says is responsible for her flawless skin, so we did some research into the topic. Keep scrolling for the scoop on the must-know skin secret she swears by.
Also known as "mimosa tenuiflora," tepezcohuite is a bark tree found in Southern Mexico that resembles a fern. The tree does well at regenerating itself in the aftermath of forest fires, and natives of Mexico refer to it as the "skin tree." It was administered by the Mayan culture thousands of years ago to treat skin lesions such as burns, by grinding the bark up into a powder. In 1984, after a horrific gas explosion in Mexico City killed 500 and left more than 5000 with severe burns, the Red Cross treated the burn patients with tepezcohuite. It was so effective at healing their wounds and regenerating the skin that a year later, when an earthquake caused a series of explosions and fires, tepezcohuite was again used to treat victims.