Known as "The Geisha Facial," this treatment is currently offered by high-end spas to clients seeking a soft, firm, and beautifully radiant complexion.
The use of this unusual ingredient dates to the 1700s, when Japanese entertainers known as geisha traditionally wore thick white makeup containing dangerous levels of lead.
This makeup was difficult to take off and caused skin problems – even death. Eventually, resourceful (and brave) individuals discovered that nightingale excrement not only helped remove the makeup, but also softened and brightened the skin, creating the flawless porcelain complexion often associated with Japanese geishas.
This unlikely beauty ingredient is sourced from carefully tended Japanese nightingale farms, where the pampered birds are fed organic seed. Their excrement is meticulously gathered, sanitized with ultraviolet light, dehydrated, and pulverized. During the facial, the excrement powder is mixed with water to form a paste that is brushed or massaged onto the face and then rinsed off.
Not for the faint of heart, the bird excrement facial provides anti-aging benefits that include reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles, improving the skin's softness and suppleness, and promoting a shimmery, radiant glow.
The high concentrations of urea and guanine make bird excrement great for the skin. A natural amino acid, guanine provides an iridescent effect, brightening and lightening the skin. Urea is part of the natural moisturizing factor and improves the skin's ability to create and retain water. In fact, healthy skin averages 28 micrograms of urea per square centimeter. Urea also strengthens the barrier function, improves cellular turnover, and reduces inflammation. However, levels of urea in the stratum corneum diminish over time, leading to increased roughness and dryness. Since urea is a highly effective moisturizing ingredient, it is often used in moisturizers to improve hydration and provide relief for dry, irritated skin.
If the thought of getting up close and personal with nightingale droppings ruffles clients' feathers, look for well-formulated products containing urea and guanine to soothe, moisturize, and brighten aging skin. Skin care professionals can also incorporate other multicultural beauty secrets into their facials. Creating a point of difference leads to a successful aesthetic business that is not just for the birds.