I am getting a placenta facial, I tell friends. Their faces screw up automatically. Really, some people are so squeamish. I, on the other hand, am up for anything.
I mean, how bad can it be? Simon Cowell swears by it, apparently. Denise Richardson and Kim Kardashian are also fans. But don’t let that put you off.
The science goes something like this: harnessing stem cell technology, the placenta (from New Zealand sheep, in case you were wondering, since they are more rigorously tested) encourages increased production of collagen and all-round cell renewal that re-energises the skin and reduces the signs of ageing.
There are already products out there made using apple stem cells, but research has shown they are far less effective in humans than those taken from our closer mammal relatives.
And, if you were worrying about how Stem Cell Beauty Innovations get the placenta, I’m told they’re ethically harvested from sheep, post birth. Absolutely no sheep were harmed in the making of this treatment.
With all that out of the way, my therapist starts by thoroughly cleansing my skin then looking at it through a magnifying glass to expose the problem areas. A period of extraction follows (that’s squeezing spots, to you and me), then a gentle exfoliation using a scrub with pumpkin seeds – nothing too strenuous so far.
Microdermabrasion then helps remove any more dead skin, preparing the face for the placenta products that contain the all-important stem cells.
Product one – a serum that includes a small amount of stem cells – is massaged into the skin. Product two, the Stem Cell Concentrate is applied in conjuntion with red light therapy to help it penetrate further into the skin.
The Stem Cell Eye Firming Cream is then massaged around my eyes to treat dark circles and crow’s feet, followed by the Gold Serum – the mama of the lot. This little honey costs a mere £129 a bottle and contains 24 carat gold (thought to help the stem cell extract penetrate the dermis). No wonder Hollywood loves this facial so much.
The treatment takes just over an hour and is completely painless.
I want to be cynical. I really do. But I look great afterwards. My skin tone is more even, the fine lines are plumped out and I’m glowing. It’s one of the best facials I’ve ever had – and I’ve had a few. I love it. This must be what it feels like to be a Kardashian.
The O-Placenta Facial costs £185 (£925 for six). Beyond MediSpa, Harvey Nichols, 30-34 St Andrew Square, Edinburgh (0131-524 8332, www.beyondmedispa.co.uk)