Would You Pay $180 For A Bird Poop Facial?

by Gio
does the geisha facial make you younger

Would you be willing to pay $180 to have bird poop slathered all over your face?

You’re all rolling your eyes and shaking your heads in disgust now, aren’t you? “Eww! No, of course not, Gio,” I hear you claim, outraged. “Who the hell would want THAT?!” I hear ya. I wouldn’t either.

But what if I asked you, instead: “Would you like to try a Geisha facial? It has nightingale poop in it, but it makes your skin so clear and bright, like a chemical peel, but without the irritation. And Victoria Beckham is a huge fan. That’s how she keeps her skin looking so young!”

When you put it like that, I guess some of you would be willing to give it a try, right. Just out of curiosity, of course. You never know what may work, right?

But what if I told you, you don’t need to splurge this much on real poo to get the skincare benefits of poo (now, that’s a sentence I never thought I’d have written!):

What’s A Geisha Facial?

Apparently, you can’t take the poo from just any nightingale. It has to be a Japanese bush warbler.


Legend has it, geishas noticed nightingale’s poo was the best at clearing up their complexions (don’t ask me how!). These were the days when they used heavy white, lead-based foundations that completely destroyed their skin (not to mention their health).

I guess if you’re willing to use that stuff, it’s not much of a stretch to massage poo all over your face to see if it works. It did (not sure how happy they were with that – I mean, if it were me, I’d want it NOT to work, you know what I mean?).

Turns out there’s a scientific reason behind this madness. Japanese blush warblers are small birds with small digestive tracts. This allows their poo to keep all those substances that are good for the skin.

Of course, these nightingales must eat well or their poo won’t do much. People who sell this stuff to beauty salons, brands and anyone else crazy enough to buy it feed them an organic seed diet.

Then, they spend their days scraping their poo from their cages (and you were complaining about your job!), sterilize it with an ultraviolet light and ground it into a fine powder so that no one would even realise it’s shit when they add it to a cream. Smart.

Need help creating an anti-aging routine that really works? Sign up to the newsletter below to receive the “Anti-Aging Skincare Routine Cheatsheet” (it includes product recommendations, too!).

How Does Nightingale Poop Benefit Skin?

I know, it’s crazy to think there may be some good stuff in poo. I mean, wasn’t it supposed to be all waste? Mmm, it mostly is, but there are a couple of things in there your skin will love. What are they?

Urea and guanine. Let’s take a closer look at them:

Urea Hydrates Skin And Makes It Supple

You’re all familiar with urea. It’s the same stuff found in pee (this doesn’t get any better, does it?) and in lots of skincare products (but for that, it’s made in a lab – pheww!).

Urea is a wonderful humectant. That means it can bind water to the skin, helping to keep it hydrated, soft and supple. But, it needs to stay on the skin to work. If you take it off after a few minutes (what happens during a Geisha facial), you’re just slathering poo all over your face for nothing. Ewww!

Just get yourself a moisturizer with synthetically made urea, will you?

Related: The Complete Guide To Urea: What It Is, What It Does, And How To Use It

Guanine Brightens Skin

If the name evokes hazy memories of high school, it’s because you’ve probably heard it in science class. Guanine is one of the four bases found in DNA (but don’t worry, this stuff can’t affect your DNA when you put it on the skin – that could actually give you cancer).

The cool stuff about guanine is its colour. Guanine is iridescent, so it can brighten your skin really well. But you know what else does that?

Glitters and shimmers. Or exfoliants. And those don’t come from poo, so in my book, they win hands down. Sorry, nightingales!

The Bottom Line

Don’t waste your money on Geisha facials. They’re gross and don’t do anything that a good moisturizer, highlighter or exfoliant can’t do=.



Bianca Gallegly Horkan June 17, 2014 - 12:14 pm

I’m half Japanese and the very idea of that type of facial is horrifying. Of course, that may be the American side of me that’s horrified so much that it drowns out the Japanese side. LOL

Thanks for the science refresher though! :o)

Gio June 17, 2014 - 2:11 pm

Bianca, it’s horrifying indeed. I get why there were doing it then, but there’s no need to keep the practice alive now, thankfully.

Pastelita December 29, 2014 - 4:45 pm

I read long ago that poo has been used for ages as a prime ingredient in toothpaste, face cream etc.
But what about snail slime or honey (bees’ saliva secretions, after all) in beauty products? I guess thats a cultural thing.

Gio December 29, 2014 - 9:46 pm

Pastelita, I so hope the poo thing isn’t true. Snail slime is used in very few creams, but doesn’t really do much. Honey is more common, but somehow, that doesn’t sound disgusting. Maybe cos it’s so delicious?

julina March 15, 2017 - 8:02 pm

thanks, im so grateful that in this day and age we can get synthetic or lab re created substance that will do the trick, so we dont have to be so extreme and put excrement on the face.

Gio March 20, 2017 - 7:43 am

Julia, couldn’t agree more!

JD May 24, 2017 - 5:20 pm

Hi. I just found your blog, while I was searching for info on serums and boosters. I love your blog and am working my way through the posts. As for poo, I have Japanese friends who will not put this on their faces. But they will pay big money for anything with bird’s nest (spit of the swiftlets) in it. I know that bird’s nest is in Chinese cuisine and is big in East Asian skins care. Have you encountered this, and what are your thoughts on it?

Gio May 27, 2017 - 5:52 pm

Jd, hi. Yes, I’ve found products with bird’s nest and my opinion is the same. Good moisturizer but don’t expect anything more. Besides, most products only contain the tiniest amount so it won’t do much anyway.

Comments are closed.