On my quest for clear skin, I’ve been lasered, scrubbed, and had mud rubbed all over my face. So when I heard about the Japanese Nightingale Facial, I was more than willing to try it. Nicknamed the “bird poop facial,” this procedure involves having bird droppings smeared all over your face—all in the name of beauty of course—and it can be done at the Biolite Clinic in Dubai for AED/SAR 1,200.
This spa treatment originated from ancient Japan after geishas discovered that nightingale droppings not only removed makeup, but also brightened and healed their skin. Popular with celebrities (Victoria Beckham and Tom Cruise apparently swear by it), the treatment is formulated with powdered nightingale enzymes that are sanitized and exposed to ultraviolet light. The nightingale droppings contain an enzyme called guanine that works as a natural bleaching agent, which lightens dark circles and blemishes.
My therapist was a petite woman named Sameera who told me that the nightingale enzymes are exported all the way from Japan. It wasn’t until I was lying down on the bed and Sameera started cleansing my face in preparation for the bird dropping formula that I started to feel a sense of trepidation. As she began to slather the excretion on my face, the only thought going through my mind was, “There’s bird poop on my skin.” I was next hit with a whiff of the concoction. It was surprisingly a lot less pungent than I had anticipated—it smelled of moldy rice—probably due to the fact that the mixture is a combination of nightingale excretion and rice bran.
Sameera began to massage the droppings on my face and just like waiters at restaurants who ask you how the food is while your mouth is full, she thought that this was the most appropriate time to interrogate me about my skincare routine. I kept my lips tightly sealed and only nodded yes or no to her questions for fear of ingesting any of the poop product.
Five minutes later, it was wiped off, followed by a painful extraction and laser treatment. Sameera then massaged my face with pure organic camellia oil and told me to come back for another facial in three weeks. Overall, the experience was very interesting; and it left my face feeling soft and noticeably brighter. All I have to say is, “Don’t pooh-pooh the idea.”