All hail the internet, which has once again delivered something strange and wonderful to my virtual doorstep:

Ant Egg Oil Cream.

It is, as best I can tell, a traditional hair removal remedy from the middle east–Iran and Turkey, specifically.

You get all the common pitches in the marketing playbook:

“Tala Ant Egg Oil effect was proven in laboratory experiments with doctors. “

Of course, what exactly the doctors were actually experimenting with or about, who knows.  My experiment on human subjects with this product produced a nearly 100% response rate of “WTF.”  And I just showed them a picture.

We also can be sure it’s safe, because it’s:

“100% natural”

Of course, it’s actually “100% natural ANT EGG OIL, but hey, it’s natural so it must be safe!  Like…Hemlock! Or tetrodotoxin!

You are also warned to beware of substitutes:

“There are lots of fake ant egg oil products so you should buy original Tala Ant Egg Oil.”

Also, this is probably my most favoritest FAQ on the internet:

Q: Is this ant egg oil smell like ant ?
A: No. It doesn’t smell like ant.

Here is the thing that is marketing genius.  The way this stuff works? You remove all your hair FIRST.  Then you put the ant egg oil on and massage it in for about 10 minutes.  So, basically:

1. Shave or wax all your hair off
2. Apply Ant Egg Oil
3. Excelsior! Enjoy not having hair!

Part of the marketing pitch is that it is safe for babies.  In fact, putting it on babies specifically to prevent growth of hair is part of how this product is promoted.  Which, I suppose, is quite effective for about 14 years.

Lest you think that I am just making fun of an internet site put up by someone whose first language is clearly not English, I want to point out this much more upscale version, that pretty much repeats all the same marketing lines, with the same lack of evidence. Although they use numbers and percentages to make it look even more sciencey!

The breakthrough GUTTO Ant Egg Oil Cream reduces the amount of hair in the applied area by 65%, delays the re-growth by 75% and weakens by 46%. It is a completely natural product found as a result of scientific and dermatological tests.

It’s fascinating that on the same page where this company claims scientific testing found the product, they also use an Appeal to Antiquity/Argumentum ad Populum by telling us this stuff is derived from “widespread traditional usage of ant egg oil of Ottoman women.”

What I really want to know, but can’t find anywhere, is information on the manufacturing. What kind of ant eggs? And how do they get the eggs???

If, indeed, their claim that a protein in the ant eggs destroys the root of the hair is true, you are going to need a LOT of ant eggs in order to have enough to sell in creams.  Also, in general, my experience is that ants can get quite cranky about you taking their eggs.

Inquiring minds want to know.  If anyone happens to find more info, please send it along.

Posted by Gwen Pearson

Writer. Nerd. Insect Evangelist. Have you heard the good news? BUGS!


  1. What really mystifies me about these things is, how on earth do they come up with them? What is the connection even supposed to be between ant eggs (I suppose they actually mean ant pupae, but what the heck) and preventing hair growth? Aside from maybe gnawing off your hair at the roots, I don’t see any vague (let alone plausible) link between ants and hair.

    Why wouldn’t oil from any other arthropod (silkworm pupae, maybe? Or if they really want to stick with Hymenoptera, how about honeybee grub extract?) work just as well?

    I suppose the real answer is, silkworm oil probably would work just as well (that is, not at all). So why not make a competing product that uses silkworm oil?

  2. “There are lots of fake ant egg oil products”.

    Well, now I know to look out for counterfeits. I mean, I’d hate to accidentally the get ant egg oil hair removal cream that doesn’t work.

    Also, are hairy babies really that much of a problem?

  3. Paul Mannering April 22, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    Also be sure to only buy ant egg oil products sourced from free-range ant eggs.

    Don’t support the cruel practice of battery farmed ants!

  4. Lovely find, I could use some.

    BTW, anything called “ant eggs” are generally ant pupae, or at least cocoons. The eggs are usually much too small to bother with.

  5. Roberta–yes, that’s what guessed eventually. It seemed unlikely that it could be eggs, although the concept of a battery farm of queen ants is rather amusing. (in the abstract, of course!)

  6. In some parts of the world termites are called “white ants” so perhaps this is actually termite egg oil. I suspect it wouldn’t be too hard to harvest eggs from those huge above-ground nests that some species of termites construct.

  7. WRONG! You cannot just shave the hair off. You have to remove it from the root. I just want to clear this misinformation up before anyone buys it, thinks shaving is OK, only to have your money and time replaced with disappointment! SHAVING IS NOT OK! Wax, pluck etc. Anything that removed your hair from its root! Good luck ladies:)

  8. Ok, so you pluck your hair out. And then you put this expensive product on. And then you enjoy not having any hair.

    Not really seeing the difference here :)

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