From vampire facials to bird poo-infused creams, Hollywood’s elite will go to great lengths for flawless skin, but one skincare trend — made from an ingredient that sounds so dystopic and disgusting that you might find yourself wishing you’d never set eyes upon it in the first place — has raised eyebrows like no other: introducing the infamous ‘penis facial’.
The penis is an undeniably fascinating thing and, given how much time men around the world will spend obsessing over their appendages, that fact alone will come as news to few; from the recently revealed “perfect penis size” to Jonah Falcon — the man with the world’s largest penis — revealing the unexpected drawbacks of packing heat, one phallocentric headline you may not have expected is this one: Korean baby foreskins are being harvested for the beauty regimes of the rich and famous.
Yes, you read that right. In an age where health treatments across the board, not just those aimed at youthful skin, are becoming increasingly more extreme, with people trying everything from Wim Hof-style ice baths to full-blown blood transplants from their nearest and dearest, a culture of perpetual biohacking has finally arrived at its strange, cringe-inducing, and arguably pretty dystopian conclusion…
WATCH: Looking for a somewhat more conventional skincare option? Try an ice bath.
The penis facial was first revealed to the wider world by Cate Blanchett. In a 2018 interview with Vogue Australia, the star opened up about the strange health and beauty secrets of the Hollywood elite, spilling the beans about this off-the-wall treatment which had been introduced to her by friend and fellow actor Sandra Bullock. Speaking with the magazine, Blanchett seemed almost as bemused as we are by the treatment:
“Sandy [Bullock] and I saw this facialist in New York, Georgia Louise, and she gives what we call the ‘penis facial.’ I don’t know what it is, or whether it’s just because it smells a bit like sperm—there’s some enzyme in it, so Sandy refers to it as the ‘penis facial.'”Cate Blanchett
Needless to say, her comments caused curiosity and disgust amongst the general public, in broadly equal measure. Though the idea of a face cream that has the inimitable whiff of sperm was enough to put this writer off his morning coffee, it turns out that the reality behind the treatment is far, far weirder. Georgia Louise, the health and beauty practitioner spearheading the use of the treatment in the US, has since stepped out to explain the science behind the treatment and justify its ethically questionable use.
According to her, the facial’s technical name is an Epidermal Growth Factor facial (EGF). Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, she clarified, thankfully, that no babies are harmed in the production of the cream used in the treatment. Rather, the foreskins are collected from standard-issue circumcision procedures — such collection is, perhaps surprisingly, legal in countries like Korea, with patient consent — before the stem cells therein are extracted using a centrifuge.
Then — in a smart move on behalf of beauticians across the US, looking to distance themselves somewhat from the notion that baby foreskins are being applied directly to their client’s faces — the extracted stem cells are cloned in a US-based, FDA-approved lab before being shipped out to users like Louise. Apparently, the treatment can stimulate collagen and elastin production, help scar tissues heal faster and more comprehensively, as well as repair pigmentation and sun damage.
In great news for any of our readers whose interest may have been piqued by this treatment — few and far between as we imagine they may be — the treatment is no longer just the preserve of the Santa Monica superrich. Available for a paltry $415 USD, EGF kits are available for you to try at home.
Be warned, however, that the treatment’s more colloquial name isn’t featured on these websites. If you scuttle off and begin plugging “penis facial” into your search engine of choice, we won’t be held responsible for what might pop up…