Trendy foreskin facial might actually be the key to youthful skin

May 29, 2015 at 6:30 a.m. ET
Image: Brand New Images/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Move over, Botox and fillers: Today's skin-savvy are making a beeline to dermatologists to have their skin treated with a specialized facial that will give you a celeb-like glow. The key ingredient: foreskin.

Er... what?

OK, so it's not exactly like you're actually putting that skin from down there onto your face. The HydraFacial — now available in dermatologists' offices around the country — uses a multi-step system to erase wrinkles, lighten dark spots, reverse sun damage and stop acne. The key ingredient: Stem cells taken from an infant's foreskin. The idea is that the older skin will take the stem cells and mimic younger skin again.

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"It's well known that fetuses heal virtually scarless so newborn foreskin would likely have similar properties for healing and skin rejuvenation," says David Shafer, M.D., a board-certified plastic surgeon in New York City. Though Dr. Shafer doesn't perform the facials, he believes it truly is an effective treatment because real cells are used rather than chemicals.

The whole treatment is broken down into five steps, all done within 30 minutes. First, skin is cleaned and then treated with a peel formulated with salicylic and glycolic acid. Then, blackheads and dead skin are extracted, followed by a mask containing antioxidants and hyaluronic acid. After that's on, the stem cells are applied. Finally, a LED light is quickly moved over the skin to fight fine lines and hyperpigmentation.

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Why so many steps? "The facial's salicylic acid wash and exfoliation will help promote the growth factors to enter your skin barrier — more than applying topically," Melissa Doft, M.D., a board-certified New York plastic surgeon, tells SheKnows. "I would consider these facials as a growth-factor boost which will lead to longer term changes."

At least one person who has received the facial thinks it made a big impact on her skin.

"My nasolabial folds are still visible, although a bit less pronounced now," Ashley Weatherford wrote in New York magazine of her experience.

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"My skin glows in a way that I thought only Jennifer Lopez could glow," Weatherford continues. "Fresh from the facial, I saunter into a photo shoot wearing no makeup because my confidence is at Beyoncé levels."

Glow like JLo and Queen Bey? Foreskin it is, then!

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