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  Life   Fashion  21 Mar 2018  Cringeworthy trend

Cringeworthy trend

THE ASIAN AGE. | NEHA JHA
Published : Mar 21, 2018, 12:13 am IST
Updated : Mar 21, 2018, 12:13 am IST

Hollywood’s newest beauty ritual is ‘penis facial’.

Penis facial is not the only bizarre treatment to have existed. Dr Shuba takes us through few such bizarre treatments.
 Penis facial is not the only bizarre treatment to have existed. Dr Shuba takes us through few such bizarre treatments.

Bizarre facials are nothing new. Treatments like the vampire facial, placenta facial and caviar facial have all been an instant hit in the past, proving that most people will try just about anything in the name of beauty. The new bizarre facial that has been making news in Hollywood is ‘penis facial’, which is a street name given to Hollywood EGF facial and costs $650. Actors such as Cate Blanchett and Sandra Bullock have reportedly used the treatment, by celebrity facialist Georgia Louise, to look younger. In fact, after the news about the treatment broke, Georgia said in a statement, “I have text threads, which would blow your mind, from celebs asking for the ‘penis treatment’ all the time now.”

Sandra BullockSandra Bullock

What is penis facial?
Dr Shuba Dharmana, dermatologist, explains, “It’s a very bizarre name that has been given to this facial presumably because it smells so during the process, or otherwise the name could also be possibly because the epidermal growth factor serum has been taken out from the foreskins of Korean babies. Epidermal growth factor has been shown to increase cell regeneration, and a lot of anti-ageing creams and facials use the EGF serum.”

Describing the process, Shuba further adds, “The facialist that has devised this uses a number of techniques — she first deep cleanses the face and then uses a TCA peel. This is then followed by microneedling, after which she applies the epidermal growth factor serum. Essentially there are a lot of variables in this — it could be that the TCA peel has worked for them and then combined with of course, microneedling, which is known to induce collagen.”

However, Dr Shuba wouldn’t recommend the treatment without further studies. “There need to be more studies to prove the efficacy and safety of this component as there are studies that have shown that EGF can cause tumours, psoriasis and skin irritation. I would be comfortable if I had more studies to be recommending it,” says Dr Shuba.

Cate BlanchettCate Blanchett

Marketing gimmick?  
“The name is the most attractive factor in the west. This facial is something bizzare, out of the ordinary, and is a marketing gimmick. In India, even if the facial does come, I don’t think it is ever going to be known as the penis facial. I am not sure if people would flock to that,” she adds.  

A word of caution
“These treatments really need to be looked at for the medical science that they carry. It is important to look at the clinical studies behind them and also wait to completely understand the risks and benefits,” says Dr Shuba, adding a word of caution.

Other bizarre treatments

Penis facial is not the only bizarre treatment to have existed. Dr Shuba takes us through few such bizarre treatments.

  • Sheep placenta facial.
  • The venom facial. “We have this in our clinic, but we use a synthetic venom as opposed to real snake venom. It’s a combination of peptides that mimic the viper’s venom.”
  • Bird poop facial, which is again a favourite among the Hollywood stars and uses the enzymes that are found in bird droppings. Those enzymes are used to exfoliate and rejuvenate the skin during the facials.
  • PRP or vampire facelift is another bizarre facial but this has a lot of medical science to it. The blood is drawn, which is centrifuged, and then the plasma, which is rich in platelets, is collected and used along with microneedling, either on the face or scalp (for rejuvenation or hair growth). PRP has a lot of benefits and many practitioners from all fields of medical science have been using it in regenerative medicine etc. to get some amazing results.
  • Other treatments in India from the traditional Ayurveda use urine masks and dung presumably because there are some active ingredients that help to rejuvenate.
  • Bee venom facial; snail serums are also quite popular in the far east.

“It’s a very bizarre name that has been given to this facial presumably because it smells so during the process. Otherwise the name could also be possibly because the epidermal growth factor serum has been taken out from the foreskins of Korean babies. Epidermal growth factor has been shown to increase cell regeneration, and a lot of anti-ageing creams and facials use the EGF serum.”
— Dr Shuba Dharmana, Dermatologist

Tags: facial, penis facial, vampire facial, placenta facial