Recently, we brought you the story of a new skin treatment being offered at spas that was sure to turn some readers' stomachs. The article covered the trend of "snail facials" - procedures in which patients would voluntarily allow slimy snails to crawl over their faces in hopes of reducing some of the signs of aging. A relatively new treatment at one Manhattan spa, however, may make the snail facial seem downright enjoyable. According to the Daily Herald, Manhattan's Shizuka New York skin care salon uses bird droppings to exfoliate the skin. Dropping in for droppings Tokyo native Shizuka Bernstein, the owner of the spa, says she has been offering the bird poop facials for about five years, and she sees about 100 customers - both male and female - each month, looking for what she euphemistically calls the "Geisha Facial" treatment. She claims that an enzyme in the avian substance can exfoliate the skin.
The New York spa isn't the only clinic offering this kind of treatment. The news source reports that the Ten Thousand Waves health spa in Santa Fe, NM, also offers a Nightingale Facial for $129 a pop. The owner of that salon told the media outlet that bird poop facials are a common beauty treatment in Japan, which is "why Japanese grandmothers have beautiful complexions."
In New York, patients receiving the Geisha Facial will first have their pores opened up using steam, which also softens the skin. Next a cream is applied, followed by the cream-colored bird substance, which is dried, finely ground and mixed together with rice bran. It apparently smells like toasted rice and is washed off after setting for about five minutes. The final step in the procedure is a green tea mask.
Traditional options Fortunately, there are skin treatment options that don't involve poop, slime or any other substances that might be unsettling. For example, microdermabrasion is a noninvasive procedure that gently scrubs away the outer layers of the facial skin, removing fine lines and other blemishes. Botox treatments can reduce wrinkles around the eyes and mouth, while chemical peels can help individuals who have sun spots and other skin woes, according to the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.