From "vampire" facials to skin treatments that involve actual fire, there's seemingly no end to the weird things people will do in their quest for eternal youth and beauty. But the latest in beauty treatments sounds like something straight out of a horror movie. People are now getting "foreskin facials"—and the procedure might actually be even creepier than it sounds.
Just to be clear, this facial requires special serums, but they're made from ... circumcised foreskin.
Dermal fibroblasts—skin cells responsible for generating connective tissue—are taken from the circumcised foreskin of infant penises and then used as a culture for growing new stem cells. The cells are then used to make a serum that is applied to the face as part of a specialized facial.
The procedure, officially called the Hollywood EGF facial, costs $650 and is offered at the Georgia Louise Atelier in New York City. It has apparently become a go-treatment among celebrities, including Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett.
In a recently deleted Instagram post, actress Kate Beckinsale reportedly admitted that she got one of the facials.
“After a long flight I do like to lie down and be covered in a mask of liquified cloned foreskins—frankly who doesn’t?” she wrote, according to People magazine. “Thank you @georgialouisesk for an amazing facial. I especially liked you reassuring me it would be ‘light on penis’ as it was my first time x.”
Beckinsale's post was likely deleted due to resulting backlash from people horrified at the idea of using foreskins as an expensive facial treatment.
In the comments on the London Evening Standard Facebook page, people expressed outrage at circumcision itself and that the resulting amputated foreskin would be used for something so frivolous.
Georgia Louise, the facialist who came up with the treatment, also posted about Beckinsale's procedure on Instagram and was flooded with hate.
Per the London Evening Standard, the cells and peptides used in the facials are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). And circumcision is still a legal procedure in many places in the world, including the United States.
Still, many view circumcision as unethical in all circumstances, especially in a beauty treatment, because infants cannot consent.
In the U.S., the American Academy of Pediatrics notes that while the potential benefits of circumcision outweigh the risks, the benefits are not great enough to recommend the procedure for all infants. Given the strong feelings so many people have about the procedure, it makes sense that the unusual beauty treatment has generated a passionate response.
This post was originally published on Mom.me sister site CafeMom.