Peat, the bog material known for preserving 9,000 bodies, is now being used as an ingredient in new skincare products claiming to promote youthful looking skin and cure skin damage.
The Tullamore-based Ógra is making use of local peat, the material formed when plant remains partially decompose, to create a range of luxury skincare products, reports the Daily Mail.
The founder of the skincare line, Bill Kenny, lives a few miles away from the 14-acre bog near Croghan Hill in which the famous Iron Age ‘Old Croghan Man’ bog body was found in 2003.
‘I remember the police superintendent phoning me up to tell me they’d found a body in the peat,’ Kenny remembers.
‘I thought maybe it was a murder victim, but when I spoke to the superintendent that evening he told me the man was there for thousands of years.
‘He was so well-preserved, they could tell you what he ate the day he died, and by the pollen in his nostrils, what time of year he died.’
Inspired by peat’s protective powers, Kenny, a former construction worker started Ógra, which means ‘youth’ in Irish.
Glasgow University, which determined that Kenny’s bog dates back more than 9,000 years, examined a batch of peat sent from the skincare company and found it contained 98 to 99 percent organic material, including high levels of antioxidants and antiseptics. The primary antioxidant is trolox, the water soluble equivalent of vitamin E. Magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, copper, iron and zinc were also found.
Kenny says he is amazed by the ‘magical properties’ of peat.
‘When I was seven, my hand was badly burnt by a pot of water,’ he told MailOnline.
‘I got up and all the skin on my hand fell, it was red raw, just like a piece of liver.
‘My mother put me on a bicycle and took me to a peat bog that we own just a mile away. She mixed up the peat and she put my hand straight down into it.
‘The only thing I can remember about that, is that once I entered my hand into the peat there was no more pain… I thought, there must be something fabulous in peat.’
Ógra’s Peat Face and Body Mask retails for £40 ($66).
The top 300 Irish family names explained