We know that celebs like their wacky beauty regimes, but none compare to Cate Blanchett's new fave facial.
The actress recently revealed to Vogue Australia that she had gone a spa date with actress Sandra Bullock in which they both received -- get ready for it -- a "penis facial."
Although the controversial bit has since been removed from her interview, according to Shape.com, Blanchett was quoted as saying, "Sandy [Sandra] Bullock and I saw this facialist in New York, Georgia Louise, and she gives what we call the penis facial and it’s something – I don’t know what it is, or whether it’s just 'cause it smells a bit like sperm – there’s some enzyme in it so Sandy refers to it as the penis facial.”
Before you think this is a NSFW situation, the treatment is fairly tame. Blanchett and Bullock received Louise's "Hollywood EGF Facial," which apparently was "secret" before the Oscar winner's interview (oops!).
According to Louise's site, the facial includes "a cleanse, followed by an intensive TCA peel, micro-needling machine and an electrifying mask to calm the skin," which is then followed by EGF serum (Epidermal Growth Factor), a.k.a. the stuff that's earned the facial its phallic nickname.
"EGF is derived from the progenitor cells of the human fibroblast taken from Korean newborn baby foreskin – which helps to generate collagen and elastin. FDA approved stem cells and peptides are penetrated deep into the skin using a special electric micro- needling wand," the website describes.
Though Blanchett and Bullock might swear by the procedure -- their skin is luminous, after all -- as Dr. Sonam Yadav, Medical Director of Juverne, points out, "Stem cells are a matter of continual debate, even among doctors and therefore a balanced view must be taken of such claims. Moral issues aside, their efficacy is a matter of debate, and scientific evidence of efficacy is limited."
Stem cells are known for being able to regenerate and transform into any cell type in the body, so when they are used topically, in creams, serums, and facials, "the stem cells allegedly repair the skin and trigger a regenerative response," says Dr. Yadav.
However, according to Dr. Yadav, stem cell facials, as well as other stem-cell-based products, don't work.
"The ability of a stem cell to survive in a product -- going from laboratory to manufacturing to retail and then on a patient's shelf -- is highly suspect," she says. "Even if it were able to survive, the ability to penetrate the skin and then to exert the cited effect is not yet known. Several reputed doctors and scientists have stated the same on record and while stem cells are an exciting possibility, there is currently not enough plausible evidence to show that they may actually work in this desired manner."
What is known to work, says Dr. Yadav, are topical retinoids, and clinical treatments that actually do reach the dermis and trigger a measurable verifiable healing response with visible immediate and long-term results - such as microneedling and radio frequency.
"My favorite in fact combines the two," says Dr. Yadav, who also adds that "Microneedling Radio frequency is a USFDA approved celebrity favorite rejuvenation tool."
Sounds a bit better than saying you had a "penis" facial, no?
Although, we gotta admit, if getting a "penis" facial means we'll have a complexion as gorgeous as Blanchett's, we might have to try.
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