The New Beauty Secret? Covering Your Face in Bird Poop

Well, working stiffs, I have a parting gift for you this Friday afternoon: an image (and video) of droves of upper crust Manhattanites shelling out $180 a pop to have some smirking aesthetician slather bird poop across their faces.


You're so very welcome.

Otherwise known as the bird poop facial, the Geisha Facial has been offered by Tokyo native Shizuka Bernstein at her Fifth Avenue skin care salon Shizuka New York for the past five years.

Bizarre? Undoubtedly. But does it work?

Shizuka claims that the specific bird poop used — only that of nightingales — contains an enzyme which renews the skin. This Japanese beauty secret used by Geishas and actors since the 1600s is apparently the reason "Japanese grandmothers have beautiful complexions," according to Duke Klauck, owner of a Santa Fe spa also selling bird-poop-facials.

Dr. Michele Greene, a Manhattan dermatologist, isn't entirely convinced. He says that the treatment is probably "not any different from an apricot scrub" you can purchase at CVS for under $10.

Of course, it's not the strangest one in the book; you may (or may not) have heard of the placenta facials accompanied by LED treatments, which are done at luxury skin spas using (disinfected) afterbirth from Russian maternity wards. And despite the astronomical cost — those will run you a between $350 and $500 a pop — there are women who swear by them.

There are skeptics of course: Dr. Robin Ashinoff, a clinical associate professor of dermatology at New York University's Langone Medical Center, says "It's probably the LED that's doing it." LED treatments stimulate the skin to produce collagen. Similarly, along with the bird poop treatment, a collagen mask is applied.

With all of the anti-aging, anti-wrinkle, fountain-of-youth-claiming products out there, you would think that people (women) would (if they're going to buy in at all) learn a little skepticism …

Apparently, nightingale poop is even better than kool-aid.

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Nicole Polizzi

Nicole is an adjunct lecturer in Sociology, Philosophy and Composition at ASA in Manhattan. Professionally she is dually obsessed with the expansion/protection of human rights and social justice, and holistic, arts-inclusive education reform. Running, writing and belting Adele in the shower are her catharses.

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