Six Beauty Treatments That Use Less-Than-Beautiful Bodily Fluids
People will go a long way in the name of looking better — the amount of money spent on cosmetics every year is staggering. But there are also plenty of solutions people have come up with that involve slathering your face in something that came out of your — or someone else’s — body.
It’s all a balancing act, of course: Would you rub dog crap on your face for 15 minutes a day to look amazing for the other 23 hours 45 minutes? It probably depends on how amazing, and on your relationship with the dog. But when it comes to bodily fluids, you name it, someone’s slapping it on their face.
There is a traditional Japanese skincare technique that involves nightingale shit. Not just any nightingale shit, mind — the shit of the Japanese bush warbler (Horornis diphone). It’s called “uguisu no fun,” and dates back several centuries. The guano was originally used in Korea to bleach fabrics, way back in the ninth century, and was adopted by the Japanese to clean kimonos and then, around the 17th century or so, to lighten skin. The thick white makeup used by kabuki actors and geisha was difficult to remove, and often lead-based, and it turned out bush warbler guano did a fine job of both removing the nasty makeup and lightening skin in a less damaging way. These days it can be bought in powdered form or offered at upmarket salons across the world, often known as the “geisha facial” (Victoria Beckham is said to be a fan). Of course, you could get the nightingale to shit directly onto your face, but that really puts the “no fun” into “uguisu no fun.”
What could be more glamorous than afterbirth? Placenta facials, beloved by stars including Megan Fox and Denise Richards, purport to be great for skin that has dried out from excessive exfoliation. Placenta is rich in protein, which aids collagen production, and ovine (sheep) placenta has become a key ingredient in several expensive cosmetics lines. The science behind it all is pretty sketchy to be honest, and there are many other sources of collagen-boosting protein available that (a) don’t also bring potential issues like estrogen-based complications with them; and (b) didn’t come out of a sheep’s junk.
The idea of semen being good for the face has been pushed by horny dudes for, presumably, centuries, and in recent years it’s been a surefire way of going viral. It turns out the internet likes nothing more than attractive women with semen on their face — who knew? However, there is no real argument for it — everything present in semen that could be beneficial to your skin is either of more use taken intravenously or present in such small quantities per, uh, serving that it isn’t worth bothering with.
Most blood-based cosmetic treatments involve being covered in your own blood rather than someone else’s, or a sheep’s. The idea is that you can encourage platelets — which form when repairing damaged skin — to form in an extra concentrated way in certain areas. The “vampire facial” made a lot of headlines a few years ago, with pictures of people like Kim Kardashian covered in micro-cuts and looking like they’d just run into a wall. There’s also a vaginal version, known as the “o-shot,” which claims to help women who struggle to orgasm. Dr. Barbara Sturm’s Blood Cream, a favorite of Emma Roberts and Jenna Dewan Tatum, involves having a vial of blood taken from your arm and turned into a personalized cure-all lotion, at well over a grand a jar. While the science behind all of this does seem to work, there are very serious practical issues when it comes to working with blood — e.g., vampire facials have led directly to HIV transmission.
Ambergris is a truly bizarre substance made in the digestive tract of sperm whales. It’s not poop, and it’s not barf, but it’s also not not poop or barf. It forms in chunks inside the whales’ intestines, and is passed like a dump, often bobbing about in the ocean for years before being found. Despite this, and its tendency to sport a strong shitlike smell, it was for years one of the most expensive, in-demand substances on earth — it can be used as a fixative in perfumes, causing their scents to linger far longer than they otherwise would. Millions of whales were killed in the 18th century in the search for ambergris — only about one in a hundred whales produces any, making the whole thing all the more barbaric. While there are synthetic alternatives these days, some high-end perfumes and colognes still use it. Case in point: L’Homme Parfum Intense by Yves Saint Laurent contains Le Poop Du Barf by A Dead Whale.
If you’ve ever looked in the mirror and been disappointed with the results, “Maybe I should piss all over my fuckin’ head” probably wasn’t your first thought. However, there are people who absolutely swear by it. Enthusiasts of “urotherapy” claim that washing in the first piss of the day can help with acne, eczema, rashes, psoriasis and other skin conditions as well as increasing skin elasticity. However, detractors have pointed out that the active ingredient, urea (also a key part of the nightingale shit above), is found in such small quantities within your pee that you are better off using a synthetic, stronger version and not walking around covered in tinkle.