On this Summer Friday, the Associated Press wants us to appreciate this fun fact: Bird poop facials—I shit you not—are still very popular with people concerned with their skincare. And at one NYC salon, people pay $180 to get one.
The magic bird poop is actually nightingale droppings that have been dried and incorporated into a mask that's just one step in a thorough facial process. The Shizuka New York salon calls it a Geisha Facial because geishas used it hundreds of years ago. Salon owner Shizuka Bernstein—she's Japanese and married to an American—told the AP, "I try to bring Japanese beauty secrets to the United States." In a previous interview, she explained, "The bird poop facial works because of an enzyme that breaks down the dead skin on the upper layers of the face. The nightingale poo acts as an exfoliate that brings out the dirt and dust that builds up in the skin and leaves the customer feeling refreshed."
Client Mari Miyoshi, one of Bernstein's 100 clients who get the facial every month (that's $18,000/month in bird poop facial revenue!), said the mixture smells "but like toasted rice." The salon's website has a little FAQ about the poop facial: "Is uguisu no fun facial safe/sanitary to use on my face? Yes, the uguisu no fun used in Shzuka’s Geisha Facial®s is professionally sanitized under UV light and powdered before being applied to the face in our NYC spa." However, a dermatologist says that using an apricot scrub to exfoliate your might have the same benefits.
Tom Cruise reportedly gets them, but don't think you can just collect pigeon bird droppings. Bernstein said nightingales , "We don’t do Central Park facials, because those birds eat garbage."