Let your skin be reborn. Placenta facials were initially tested by Russian scientists and involve applying products that actually contain human placenta tissue to the face. Most commonly prescribed for sun or acne damaged skin, the facial uses placenta obtained from Russian maternity wards that has been biochemically treated to prevent contamination and possible transmission of diseases. You’ll be baby faced in no time…
Deemed nourishing and claimed to have rejuvenating powers, placenta is said to be effective due to its high protein, vitamin and mineral content that is in part a result of its normal function as a nutrient and waste product gateway for fetuses in the womb. As a human byproduct, it is also bio-identical to our physiology (rather than being a foreign chemical compound) and practitioners claim that this property helps it to be quickly and effectively absorbed.
It also contains high concentrations of the amino acid glycine, which is meant to help protect skin against nitric oxide radicals by reacting and turning them into harmless alpha hydroxyl acid (AHA). Stem cells and collagen found in the amniotic covering are also claimed to be utilized, helping to generate plump, lifted new skin cells and a healthier, youthful appearance.
During treatment, a normal facial cleansing and exfoliation regime takes place, before the placenta product is applied in the form of a mask, cream or gel and massaged in. Beauticians who offer the facial maintain that the process of cell renewal continues for around three months after your first treatment, meaning that the effects last longer than a typical facial. Celebrity fans of the treatment include Madonna, Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Lopez (who raved about placenta products in a 2005 documentary about her life), but as yet, there is no scientific evidence to support claims of its benefits.
If you’re squeamish, rest assured that this facial does not smell like it’s based on afterbirth, but if you’re afraid that you won’t be able to get the bizarre origin of its ingredients out of your mind, this treatment may not be for you.
It’s said that those wishing to repair aged or damaged skin will notice the greatest difference in their skin, so if you think you can stomach it and are fed up with regular skin treatments, a placenta facial may be worth a shot.
Arsenal striker and Dutch international football player Robin van Persie tried to speed up the healing of an ankle injury by undergoing horse placenta treatment alongside physiotherapy and massage in 2009.