Nadia Stennett reports on the controversial new treatment sweeping salons.
In what sounds like something ripped straight from the pages of Frankenstein, a unique new anti-ageing treatment has clients in New York’s affluent Upper East side flocking to clinics to experience the regenerative powers of babies foreskin.
Known as The HydraFacial, the treatment involves a multistep regime aimed at turning back the hands of time on fine lines, wrinkles, sun damage and hyper pigmentation.
The baby foreskin extract is applied much like a serum and is said to look and feel incredibly similar to one
Skin is first prepped with a cleanser before a chemical peel is carried out to eradicate dead cells, then a hydrating mask is applied before the facial’s hero ingredient, baby foreskin extract is applied.
The baby foreskin extract, which is applied much like a serum and is said to look and feel incredibly similar to one, is sourced from donated foreskins from infant circumcisions. Stem cells are taken from the tissue to create the unique anti-ageing extract, which dermatologists discovered has a powerful smoothing effect on the skin.
the growth factor taken from the foreskin stem cells are so powerful, just a single piece of tissue can generate over a million treatments.
So, to answer the question undoubtedly at the forefront of everyone’s minds, why baby foreskin?
Simply put, newborn skin is perfect skin – unblemished and untouched by environmental free radicals. It also naturally secretes large amounts of human growth factor proteins that stimulate cell regeneration, collagen production and all of the factors that make a face look fresh and youthful.
The stem cells taken from the donated baby foreskins are subsequently at optimal level for promoting maximum cell turnover when applied during The HydraFacial treatment.
In fact, the growth factor taken from the foreskin stem cells are so plentiful and powerful, that just a single piece of tissue can generate over a million HydraFacial treatments.
Initially, there was a misunderstanding and people thought we were actually grinding up the foreskin.
But the foreskin stem cells aren’t limited to New York’s affluent skincare clients.
They’ve also started appearing in anti-ageing skincare lotions in Australia, listed as ‘neonatal fibroblasts’, however, rather than harvesting foreskins, many companies are simply using a single donated foreskin to grow cells for millions of batches of product.
One such company doing so, who attracted controversy recently after being espoused by Oprah Winfrey as producing ‘the fountain of youth’ in skincare creams, is U.S cosmecuetical brand, SkinMedica.
“Initially, there was a misunderstanding and people thought we were actually grinding up the foreskin. So, there was a lot of snickering and laughing about people putting this foreskin product on their face,” SkinMedica founder Dr Richard Fitzpatrick told The San Diego City Beat.
But misunderstanding or not, the controversial ingredient has many activists up in arms as to the ethics behind its use. Though it wouldn’t be the first time a skincare ingredient’s origins have caused public concern. In the last decade the cosmeceutical industry has pushed the boundaries with animal derivatives painfully extracted from live subjects and controversial additives associated with cancer and endocrine disruption.
So where is the line, when it comes to the pursuit for eternal youth? With government legislation around ingredients and labelling still vague at best, the jury is currently out on what constitutes effective and what should be considered unethical.
Either way, many of New York’s elite dermatologists are already convinced of this ingredient, hailing the stem cells a revolution in medical skincare, set to change the way beauty professionals consider anti-ageing.
Have your say: What do you think of the baby foreskin facial and its ethical implications? Do you, or would you use baby foreskin extract in your clinic?