|What do Harry Styles, Kim Kardashian, Simon Cowell and David Beckham all have in common? Here’s a hint: it has to do with how they keep their skin looking so good.
Turns out that Styles is the latest in a line of celebrities who have turned to sheep placenta facials, which use the ovine stem cells in their ingredients.
The treatment takes a placenta “mush” or stem cell fluid, which is then smeared all over the face. Then the skin is pricked with a needle so the cells can get below the surface of the face.
According to one New York City salon owner, the process helps to improve the skin inside as well as outside.
“When we put moisturizer on the skin, everything is on the surface. It’s hard to put nutrients into your own cells,” said Ildi Pekar, so the treatment does a better job in providing nutrients and making the skin firm and plump.
The process is meant to stimulate collagen production, as well, as this substance breaks down over time and reduces the elasticity in the skin.
The total cost of the treatment can range from around $450 to about $800, which is what the One Direction singer reportedly pays for his treatments in Beverly Hills.
If that’s not weird enough, though, there’s another option for a stem cell facial — this one using the foreskin of a newborn baby.
That’s right — apparently this bit of flesh provides the basis for the HydraFacial. Because the skin is donated, just one is enough to provide treatments millions of times over thanks to their stem cells.
Like the sheep placenta treatments, HydraFacials involve multiple steps, including micro sandblasters for exfoliation and LED light therapy.
From acne treatments and photofacials to injections and fillers, non-surgical cosmetic procedures are nothing new in the United States. Botox is the most popular of these, with around 6.1 million such procedures performed in 2012 alone.
So will sheep placenta and baby’s foreskin facials become the next Botox? Dermatologists are skeptical.
Dr. Julia Tzu, a dermatologist in Manhattan, told the New York Daily News that it was unlikely that the sheep placenta stem cell was really as effective as advertised.
“I am not aware of any credible scientific study that has demonstrated the efficacy of topical sheep placenta stem cell extracts in the human anti-aging process,” Tzu said.
Most likely, she explained, improvements in the skin are brought about by the exfoliation process rather than the topical treatment.
“I don’t believe it is the stem cells that is achieving the positive outcome,” Tzu said. “More likely, it is the light-based treatments and microdermabrasion that is creating the beneficial effect.”