A famous spa chain in Japan made headlines recently when news of the company's snail facials began to spread. The process, which entails live snails crawling across one's face, distributing mucus as they go, claims to offer that renewed glow so many spa-goers are desperate for.
Surely, the world thought, this is as weird as it gets. Then came news of the bird poop facial.
According to the Huffington Post, facial is slowly being popularized by individuals such as Victoria Beckham and Tom Cruise. However, as Japanese facialist Shizuka Bernstein will tell you, the practice has been around for centuries where she comes from.
"I try to bring Japanese beauty secrets to the United States," Bernstein, who said she learned the treatment from her mother, told the Associated Press.
Her personal version, called the Geisha Facial, lasts 60 minutes and includes a facial massage and green tea mask. The bird poop, she explains on her site, is sanitized through ultraviolet exposure before being milled to a fine powder, which is mixed with rice bran in order "to enhance its inherent exfoliating and facial lightening properties."
While Dr. Michele Green, a Manhattan cosmetic dermatologist, doesn't argue against the fact that the scrub has a "rejuvenating" effect, she doubts it's any different than a scrub found at drug stores, according to the AP.
One fact Bernstein is quick to point to is where her droppings come from. Only nightingale excrements, she explains, since they live only on seeds and thus produce the natural enzyme that serves as the active ingredient.
"We don't do Central Park facials," the New Yorker explains, "because those birds eat garbage."
All told, Medical Daily reports that around 100 men and women receive Bernstein's $180 session every month.
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