This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
Celebrities love bizarre and freaky beauty treatments. Kendall Jenner likes tiny fish chomping at her callused feet. Gwyneth Paltrow enjoys being stung by bees. Selena Gomez bakes inside a human burrito (a.k.a. an infrared heat wrap). But all those things pale in comparison to Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett ‘s go-to: the “penis facial.”
Now, let’s be very clear here: This is not the kind of penis facial you’re imagining — it doesn’t involve any semen. Instead, it centers around foreskin, an ingredient that’s a lot more potent and controversial in the beauty world.
Blanchett recently revealed to Vogue Australia that she and Bullock frequently received this treatment while filming what we assume was Ocean’s 8 in New York City last year. “[We] saw this facialist in New York, Georgia Louise, and she gives what we call the penis facial,” Blanchett said. “It’s something – I don’t know what it is, or whether it’s just cause it smells a bit like sperm – there’s some enzyme in it so Sandy refers to it as the penis facial.”
Louise, the mastermind behind this A-list service, normally delivers it to her famous clientele inside her New York atelier, but she refers to it in more polite terms as the EGF (epidermal growth factor) facial. The growth factor used in this case is foreskin — harvested and extracted from the stem cells of a Korean newborn’s circumcised foreskin. It’s potent stuff that encourages skin cells to turn over rapidly, so it’s used for its brightening, tightening, and wound-healing properties, but not everyone is sold. Anti-circumcision activists, for one, are not fans, and most experts, though they acknowledge the immediate skin benefits, say there is just not enough research yet on the long-term safety of prolonged use of growth factors.
Sadly, if you want to live like a star and try the treatment, it’ll set you back at least $650, but there’s always SkinMedica’s TNS Essential Serum (which utilizes neonatal foreskin) and BioEffect’s EGF Serum (a barley-derived formula). Or you could just go big and invest in some the sheep placenta moisturizer instead.
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