What do Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Eva Longoria have in common?
For these and other celebrities, human placenta is proving to be the latest Hollywood beauty secret. Not that they are necessarily eating it (although Kim Kardashian did reveal before giving birth to baby North that she’d be interested in serving it to her family), but spreading it on their skin.
There are numerous companies out there – Mila Skincare, Shiseido and Progressive Beauty Products, to name three – that use placenta in their skincare products, claiming the antioxidants, proteins and amino acids in the organ have the power to magically rejuvenate the skin.
Dermatologists – unsurprisingly, primarily from Los Angeles, who boast a bank of A-list clients – have reported a boost in demand for their placenta treatments. And the word has now reached Dubai at the Biolite Aesthetic Skin Clinic in Umm Suqeim 2.
Alongside its 24 Karat Gold Facial and its Freeze Facial, Biolite’s Placenta Diamond Facial is just one of the many progressive treatments on offer. “It may have only just caught on as the latest Hollywood secret, but the benefits of placenta have been known for years,” says the founder of the clinic, the aestheticienne Mona Mirza. “Placenta carries every known form of life to nourish, protect and preserve the cells. When the placenta protein extract is applied it creates a quicker, deeper and lasting effect on skin cells.
“As we use human placenta, the molecular synergy is very compatible and works immediately. This is what allows the treatment to work so quickly, allowing the active live substance to propagate healing and rejuvenation,” she says.
Apparently, once the placenta protein is absorbed into the skin, it triggers cells to mimic the newer, fresher collagen, resulting in long-term benefits and youthful skin.
“The skin will be completely hydrated and plumper, and the use of oxygen therapy and an LED light ensures the products reach deep down into the skin for immediate results,” says Mirza.
* Tried and tested
WHAT? Placenta Diamond Facial
WHERE? Biolite Aesthetic Clinic, Umm Suqeim 2, 04 346 6641
WHAT TO EXPECT? I took a good look at the creams and was delighted to see that they look just like any other ordinary range of products.
First, a cleanse and exfoliation followed by a steam and black-head extraction. The placenta serum was then plied onto my skin and jets of cool oxygen blown onto my face to help with circulation. Then a gauze mask, coated with placenta products, was placed on my face for 10 minutes, while a small laser ensured deep penetration.
With the mask still in place, Deepa, my therapist, gave me a hand and arm massage. The mask was then gently removed and Deepa applied some of Biolite’s 100 per cent natural, mineral make-up, complete with SPF. I was glowing and this was reiterated by numerous comments that afternoon at the school gate. Even a week later, my skin felt hydrated and softer.
DETAILS Dh2,000, 60 minutes
* Placenta pills
For new mums, the placenta has amazing capabilities during the post-partum period. High in vitamins, particularly vitamin B6, reintroducing the placenta to your body is said to help ease postnatal depression, replenish iron and lost minerals, balance your hormones, increase milk production, lessen postnatal bleeding and even help out years later when you face menopause.
In the UAE, Elizabeth Bain, a United Kingdom-trained midwife and certified doula from Dubai Doulas (www.dubaidoulas.com), is one of the very few people to be qualified as an independent placenta encapsulation specialist – a specialised process requiring hygienic certification.
The placenta is dehydrated then ground into a powder, which makes up to 200 capsules.
“I am noticing more demand for this from many of my ladies,” says Bain. “Women today are under so much pressure to bounce straight back after birth and this is the best way to nourish and nurture our body when it has been depleted of all its energy and hormones. Your placenta is you – there’s nothing cannibalistic about it at all,” she says. “Women will find they have so much energy and it really helps reduce any postnatal depression.”