Culture

The "Penis Facial" Is the Latest Celebrity Beauty Trend

And It's Even Weirder Than You Think It Is

By Cait Munro ·
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It's not exactly breaking news that people—especially wealthy, famous people—will do some bizarre stuff in the name of looking good. From serums made of snail slime to facial treatments involving leeches, the gross-out factor seems to be pretty much nonexistent when it comes to preserving one's youth and beauty. That being said, this latest trend would likely be startling even to the most seasoned skincare consumer. According to Metro, celebrities like Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett have partaken in what's called a "penis facial." And no, it's not a facial for your junk, nor does it involve semen. What it does involve, however, is arguably grosser: the foreskins of circumcised Korean boys. 

The technical name for it is the "epidermal growth factor" facial, which, if you ask me, really downplays the reality of what's going on. It's being pioneered by New York-based aesthetician Georgia Louise, who obtains stem cells harvested from the foreskins of the aforementioned circumcised Korean boys, which, when infused into the face with micro-needles encourage the skin to regenerate more rapidly than usual, leading to facial skin that's brighter, tighter and repaired from damage. 

It's unclear exactly how Louise obtains said stem cells from said foreskins (though the whole thing is FDA sanctioned), or why the boys they belong to necessarily have to be Korean, but these seem like some trade secrets we'd likely not be privy to. It's worth noting that South Korea does happen to be home to an abundance of stem cell banks, but, like, how are so many foreskins ending up there? Would you donate your son's foreskin if you knew it might end up in some form or another on the face of an Academy Award-winning actress? This is just the tip (pun intended) of the iceberg, when it comes to how many questions I have about this situation.  

"EGF is derived from the progenitor cells of the human fibroblast taken from Korean newborn baby foreskin—which helps to generate collagen and elastin," reads a description on Louise's website. "FDA approved stem cells and peptides are penetrated deep into the skin using a special electric micro-needling wand. This process allows the active ingredients to be transported deep in the skin by creating temporary micro-channel [sic]."

According to Blanchett, who spoke about her experience to Vogue Australia, the treatment "smells a bit like sperm." Considering no actual semen is involved in any way, I'm not sure why that would be, but maybe it's some kind of smell association thing? Again, just another question. The Daily Mail reports that Louise has also treated famous faces like Emma Stone, Katy Perry and Alexander Wang, though there's no word on whether they, too, partook in the penis facial. 

"Poor Cate, I don't know how she's going to cope with all the reaction. I've heard some people say 'oh, she's got c** on her face!' That's obviously not the case but yes... ridiculous," Louise told the Mail

I'm not sure why we're all acting like a semen facial—which, by the way, is also a thing—is somehow weirder than specifically harvesting stem cells from the foreskins of little Korean boys, but hey, if it works, it works, I guess. I mean, Cate Blanchett and Sandra Bullock both look amazing, so... bring on the foreskins?

Cait Munro is a freelance writer, editor, and digital content creator who obsesses about art, fashion, entertainment, and culture both pop and otherwise. Her work has appeared on Vice, New York Magazine, Artnet News, xoJane, BULLETT, and elsewhere.

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