The Perfect Lady and Bird Poop

May 15, 2009 at 9:58 am 3 comments

NightingaleWe women will do some crazy things in the name of beauty, as I’ve stated here. Is it no surprise to find that this extends to spreading birdy doo doo on our faces?

After all, we’ve done some “crazy things” in the past. Our foremothers experimented with many products, some of them quite dangerous, to make themselves lovely to behold. 

For example, our Greek foremothers used chalk and white lead to make their faces pale like the moon. Egyptian ladies used fenugreek as a skin softener. They also had a theory that it could make their breasts bigger. Who knows? (By the way, we do not know who Solomon speaks to in Song of Songs. It could be a shepherdess in Israel. It probably might not have been an Egyptian maiden.)

From this article:

Wrinkle remedies abounded – a typical example demanded frankincense gum, moringa oil and cyperus grass, ground and blended with fermented plant juice; another boasted gall of ox and powdered ostrich egg.

Our Victorian ancestors used belladonna (deadly nightshade) to make their eyes sparkle. 

Not much has changed.

One year ago, Shizuka Bernstein shared the Geisha Facial with spa goers at her New York Spa, Shizuka New York.

It caught on. Soon, this new development in beauty was all over the news.

The $180-$216, 5o minute long Geisha Facial is made from dried nightingale droppings imported from Japan and mixed with rice bran. Don’t worry, the poo is blasted with UV light to kill all the germs.

As it turns out, this custom is an old, old one.

NY Magazine reports,

For centuries in Japan, both Kabuki actors and geishas used uguisu no fun, or nightingale droppings, to clean off their thick white makeup and soothe their faces; apparently, guanine, found in the droppings, helped their complexions.

geisha2This article states that the geishas found that the guanine in the poo helped their complexions. These geishas’ makeup contained lead, which was quite harmful. As reported by Fox News, Shizuka Bernstein states that these women tried everything to take off the makeup, but the remedies did not work. Then they tried nightingale poop, and it worked! Not only that, it left their skin smooth. CNN also reports that the droppings were used to remove stains from delicate silk garments in Japan. 

Bernstein remembered this remedy from her mother. NY Post interviewed her.

“The Japanese are obsessed to have white skin. Always. Porcelain-white skin,” she says.

“All Japanese mothers tell their daughters to become white. I would have vitamin C tablet every day, and she told me not to go out in the sun. She told me about nightingale droppings too, but I didn’t use it. Then, many, many years later, I thought about what my mom said.”

It may seem strange to us in our world of orange Lindsey Lohan tans. However, Livemint says that guanine is an amino acid loaded with ammonia, which means it has skin lightening and cleansing properties. If it’s good for your skin, it’s good for your skin. Customers are sining the praises of this innovative facial.

img_futarinomaiko-1Erin Zantello-Clary was skeptical when Bernstein first told her about this. 

“She emailed me some information, I definitely needed to know more before I committed to the procedure. But then I thought about it and the Japanese have been doing it for such a long time and the Geishas have such beautiful skin even though they put such harsh chemicals on it.” (Fox News)

After getting her facial, she proclaimed that her skin felt softer and her pores looked smaller. She described the whole process as simple and calming.

Marilyn Philips, a 58 year old Upper West Sider, agrees. 

“I figure if poop was good for the soil, it’s good for your face. And it doesn’t smell at all. I’d say hair coloring smells way worse.” (NY Post)

I see what she means, though I wouldn’t equate my face with the thing flowers come out of.

nightengale dropping face creamHow does this product work? No one really knows.. yet. Bird experts at both the National Aviary in Pittsburgh and Cornell University were rather at a loss to explain. Brian Keller of Bio Zone Laboratories has a speculation.

“The reason this product may work is the high concentration of urea and the fecal-urine combination in bird feces. Urine has a lot of urea in it and it has long been used as a skin-softening agent,” he says. “It’s obviously shrouded in a lot of mystery.” (CNN)

A blogger at the Kiss and Makeup Blog speculates that since bird doo doo is quite acidic, it could work as a gentle peel. 

All that aside, we are brought to this question: What does the perfect lady do with all this birdy doo doo?

Spread it on her face, of course.

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. alantru  |  May 18, 2009 at 4:59 pm

    I don’t know. The idea of wiping my face with something that came out of a bird’s backside… It’s just not doing it for me.

    😉

    Reply
  • 2. Megan  |  May 20, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    No matter how great and awesome that product was, I think I’d still have a hard time using it! I just have a mental block about this things 🙂

    Reply
  • 3. Megan  |  May 20, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    *those things. 🙂 And great post — really interesting, even if a little scary, haha!

    Reply

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