By now the idea of injecting botulism to get rid of wrinkles has lost its shock factor. With well over 400 million men and women poking their forehead with this deadly toxin, the results far exceed the creep factor. But how do you feel about placenta in your face cream? The idea of afterbirth as a cosmetic ingredient may seem shocking, but internationally, the placenta can be found in several toiletries, from soap to night cream. So goes Paris and Milan, so go Beverly Hills and Manhattan. Spas, dermatologists, and plastic surgeons are all cashing in on the fad with their own customized placenta treatments.
Who’s Using Placenta?
While celebrities like Jennifer Lopez proudly report positive results with placenta products, the average shopper may shy away from human afterbirth. But with Geisha facials of Nightingale droppings in high demand, maybe placenta therapy has a place in cosmetics.
The power of the human placenta has been honored for thousands of years across all cultures. This dynamo of nourishment, rich in oxygen and nutrient-laden blood, is a natural contender for skin rejuvenation. The science behind this treatment reports that the youthful cells teach aging cells how to look young again. The idea is similar to the technology that allows pig skin to replicate the skin of burn victims.
Of course, ethical considerations are just one of the controversies surrounding this treatment. It is still being investigated and one study on placenta in African-American hair treatments showed young girls displaying hints of early onset puberty. Many of these hair products are purchased by more than just African-American groups, as many Hispanics use these nourishing products for their hair as well. The placenta has highly concentrated levels of estrogen and other hormones that could pose problems when used long term. Some initial research suggests a potential increase of risk for cancers while a Yale study reported estrogen increasing the bodies inability to deal with stress, making it more susceptible to mental illness.
Things to Consider
Another ethical concern questions the harvesting of human placenta. Most research finds that unclaimed placentas are purchased from hospitals but a recent story in This is London reports a mother who signed her placenta away for cancer research only to learn it was sold to a biochemical company for cosmetic use. Companies who manufacture the creams ensure clients that great care is taken to disinfect the protein and that additives maintain an environment inhospitable for pathogens. However, there is rarely a method in place to track from where and from whom the placentas came.
Where Can You Find Placenta?
Once you decide to give it a try, how do you know what you are getting? A placenta soap available overseas lists placenta plant extract in its ingredients, but a fact page on the site shows the benefits of human placenta. Similar confusion can be found on various sites, so it is definitely buyer beware when it comes to the choices available. Luckily, two of the most popular companies, EMK and Plazan are clear about their product ingredients. EMK Placenta Serum uses sheep placenta while Plazan uses human placenta.
Price for Placenta
For all its exotic qualities, treatments are reasonably priced in comparison to other beauty splurges. From $30 to upwards of $500 and more for facial treatments, the human placenta is within the budget of many women. Although most women swear by a greater quality of treatments, thus increasing the price. Users say treatment results appear instantly making placenta facials a popular treatment in Hollywood the day of Oscars. The effects, however, are not lasting and subsequent applications are required.
Placenta Facials and More
The use of placenta in cosmetics, most often facials and creams, has gained popularity regardless of the controversy. Although users swear by results, it is difficult to distinguish between the true benefits of placenta treatment alone and its complementary treatments. The science behind the treatment seems stable enough considering the use of cell regeneration in burn victims, but do note the vastly different settings in which these two therapies are applied. A sterile operating room hardly compares to the spa environment or a residential bathroom. Placenta in cosmetics may become more common, but, as always, it is important to check your labels and contact the company when concerns arise.
(Originally seen in A-List International, a San Diego Fashion and Beauty Publication)