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.
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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=.