From sheep placenta to snail mucus, the cosmetic industry has long experimented with the gross side of nature’s larder in its search for the ultimate dewy complexion.
For now, it seems animal secretions have lost their appeal, because the next big “trend” consists of smearing the liquidised foreskins of South Korean babies all over your face. If only we were joking.
The procedure is called the Hollywood EGF facial, which stands for Epidermal Growth Factor. Better still, the facialist applies the serum by stabbing your face with tiny needles to make sure it soaks right in.
The hour-long treatment, which costs around £500, also includes a cleanse, chemical peel and an “electrifying mask”, whatever that is.
Apparently, baby foreskin stem cells – neonatal foreskin fibroblasts, to get technical – are packed with human growth factor proteins, which stimulate cell regeneration and collagen production, making skin appear younger and brighter.
The treatment, dubbed the ‘penis facial’, already has A-list endorsement. Kate Beckinsale is the latest celeb to rave about it, joining Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett.
In a since-deleted Instagram post, she wrote: “After a long flight I do like to lie down and be covered in a mask of liquified cloned foreskins – frankly who doesn’t? Thank you @georgialouisesk for an amazing facial. I especially liked you reassuring me it would be “light on penis” as it was my first time x”
You might wonder how facialists get their hands on infant genital flesh. Turns out, circumcision is a pretty routine procedure in South Korea, and the country is home to a large number of stem cell banks.
According to Vice, a single baby foreskin contains enough genetic material to grow more than 23,000 square metres of skin, “hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of fibroblasts”.
Fans claim the foreskin facial poses no ethical issues, because the cells are cloned in a laboratory. To that we say: whatever helps you sleep at night.