Share This Page

Some drop $180 for bird poop facials

| Friday, Aug. 2, 2013, 9:12 p.m.
In this Wednesday, July 17, 2013, photo, salon owner Shizuka Bernstein gives what she calls a Geisha Facial to Mari Miyoshi at Shizuka New York skin care in New York.

NEW YORK — Bird poop for beauty?

That's what goes into facials at a luxury spa where the traditional Japanese treatment using imported Asian nightingale excrement mixed with rice bran goes for $180 a pop.

About 100 women and men go into the Shizuka New York skin care salon, just off Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, each month to get the treatment, which is promoted as a way to keep the face soft and smooth using an enzyme in the poop to gently exfoliate the skin.

Spa owner Shizuka Bernstein, a Tokyo native married to an American, has been offering what she calls the Geisha Facial for about five years.

“I try to bring Japanese beauty secrets to the United States,” said Bernstein, who learned the treatment from her mother.

The Geisha Facial poop treatment, while relatively rare in the United States, is no secret in Japan, where it was first used in the 1600s by actors and geishas.

“That's why Japanese grandmothers have beautiful complexions,” said Duke Klauck, owner of the Ten Thousand Waves health spa in Santa Fe, N.M., which offers a Nightingale Facial for $129.

On a recent afternoon, Mari Miyoshi arrived at the sixth-floor Shizuka spa to try the treatment for the first time.

The 35-year-old occupational therapist reclined, relaxing amid aromas of camellia and lavender.

The cream-colored poop, dried and finely ground, was mixed with rice bran and applied to Miyoshi's face with a brush.

Does it smell? “Yes, but like toasted rice,” Miyoshi said.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.