A New York City spa is attempting to redefine luxury by introducing the “Geisha Facial.” For $180 spagoers will have nightingale droppings rubbed on their face as part of a facial treatment that will leave them looking radiant.
Shizuka New York Day Spa is offering the Geisha Facial as an attempt to import beauty secrets once only found in Japan to New York. Introduced by the spa’s owner, Shizuka Bernstein, the Geisha Facial includes powdered nightingale droppings, uguisu no fun, and the spa’s skincare system, which includes green tea, sake, rice bran and pearl protein. The bird poop facial will leave one’s face rejuvenated and will “soften, brighten and nourish the facial complexion.”
According to the spa, Geishas discovered the power of nightingale droppings as a way to counteract the effects of their makeup that contained lead or zinc. Geishas soon discovered nightingale dropping facials helped rejuvenate their faces while also serving as an effective way to remove their makeup.
The spa says the bird poop features enzymes and guanine, one of the four building blocks of DNA and RNA, that help rejuvenate the skin. Crystalized guanine, derived from fish scales, is commonly used in cosmetics to provide a shimmering effect. The bird poop is sanitized, completely safe to use and has no smell but for those looking for a DIY shortcut, the spa does not recommend collecting any old bird droppings lying around.
As the Associated Press reports, Bernstein says nightingales only eat seeds, which leads to the creation of the enzyme that has the restorative properties, and the spa does not use any other bird droppings as part of their Geisha Facial. Bernstein has been offering the bird poop facial at her spa for five years. While the spa certainly does plenty to leave one feeling pampered and refreshed, the effectiveness of bird poop to restore one’s skin is still up for debate.
Dr. Michele Green, a cosmetic dermatologist, spoke to AP about the benefits of a bird poop facial. Green says they may have some benefits but, overall, the effectiveness is exaggerated and may not be worth the $180. “I don't think it's any different than, say, an apricot scrub or a mask that you could buy in a local pharmacy,” says Green.
A video, courtesy of Shizuka New York Day Spa, discussing the Geisha Facial can be viewed below.
Charles Poladian joined IBTimes in October 2012 and, when not reporting on all things topical, can be found reading or photographing concerts.