Move over vampire facial, there's a new skin care treatment in town that celebs can't get enough of. New York City aesthetician Georgia Louise has developed "The Hollywood EGF Facial," which earned it's more, erm, bodily-inspired pseudonym because it involves a serum that contains foreskin from Korean newborns. Yeah, we know. A-listers like Cate Blanchett and Sandra Bullock swear by it and it's getting all kinds of buzz — but is the penis facial all just hype? Here, a little more on the actual treatment, plus a top dermatologist's take.
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Here's What the Penis Facial Entails
The protocol isn't unlike many other facials — cleanse, peel, microneedling, a mask. The true distinction is the namesake serum step, which contains that Korean baby foreskin we mentioned earlier. That foreskin contains epidermal growth factors, or EGFs, which promote collagen and elastin, the proteins essential for strong, healthy, youthful skin. With a whopping price tag ($650, thank you very much), you better be raking in an A-list salary to get A-list worthy skin.
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Let's Talk About Those EGFs
Sure, it's buzzy and there's obviously a shock value to slathering anything penis-related on your face, but is there more to it than that? EGFs themselves do have benefits. "Epidermal growth factors are messengers that tell your skin to behave in a young, healthy manner, and have recently become popular in cosmeceutical products," explains Joshua Zeichner, MD, Director of Cosmetic & Clinical Research in Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. "By revving up activity of aging skin cells that aren't working as well as they did when they were young, these products can help the skin function at its optimal potential." Translation: Stronger, healthier, more youthful skin.
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But Do Penises Have to Be Involved?
In a word, nope. "There are a variety of skincare products that contain growth factors, some from botanical sources, and others from other areas like human foreskin. It's unclear which of these is actually the best, so we need to rely on published data showing clinical improvement," points out Zeichner. If you are going to go the EGF route (be it with said penis facial or another topical product), the best time to start using these ingredients is while you're young and your skin is still relatively healthy, he adds. So, think of them as more preventative than curative.
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Here Are a Few EGF Products to Try
Don't have the big bucks for a penis facial and/or are just disturbed by the idea? Yeah, us too. If you're curious about EGFs, consider going the product route. The Vie Collection Time Control Deep Wrinkles EGF Serum, $176, uses a peptide that has the same molecular structure (and effects) as EGFs, while Bioeffect EGF Serum, $159.98, uses a plant-based EGF replica that comes from barley. Still, at the end of the day, Zeichner recommends that these be used alongside tried-and-true anti-aging powerhouses (think retinoids and antioxidants) rather than as a replacement.