Clients drop $180 for bird poop facials at NYC spa - KMSP-TV

Clients drop $180 for bird poop facials at NYC spa

Posted: Updated:
Salon owner Shizuka Bernstein gives what she calls a Geisha Facial to Mari Miyoshi at Shizuka New York skin care in New York. The facial is a traditional Japanese treatment using Asian nightingale excrement mixed with rice bran.(AP Photo/Mary Alttaffer) Salon owner Shizuka Bernstein gives what she calls a Geisha Facial to Mari Miyoshi at Shizuka New York skin care in New York. The facial is a traditional Japanese treatment using Asian nightingale excrement mixed with rice bran.(AP Photo/Mary Alttaffer)

VERENA DOBNIK

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," says 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," says 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 in Manhattan, Mari Miyoshi arrived at the sixth-floor Shizuka New York spa to try the treatment for the first time.
 
"I'm a stressed-out New Yorker," the 35-year-old occupational therapist announced as she reclined on a table, relaxing amid aromas of camellia, lavender and rose.
 
The treatment begins with steam to open the pores and soften the skin. Cream is applied. And then comes what Bernstein calls "the nightingale part."
 
She pours the cream-colored poop, dried and finely ground, into a bowl, mixing it with the rice bran using a small spatula. She applies the potion to Miyoshi's face with a brush, rubbing it in with her hands.
 
Does it smell?
 
"Yes, but like toasted rice," Miyoshi says.
 
After about five minutes, it comes off with a foaming cleanser and Miyoshi's face is draped in a warm, wet towel bathed in lavender and geranium essences. Finally, the grand finale -- a green-tea collagen mask.
 
"Sooooo nice," Bernstein says softly, looking at Miyoshi's radiant face.
 
Dr. Michele Green, a Manhattan cosmetic dermatologist, says that while the nightingale facial "definitely has some rejuvenating effect, I don't think it's any different than, say, an apricot scrub or a mask that you could buy in a local pharmacy."
 
A common misconception is that any old bird poop, even from pigeons, is used. Bernstein says only droppings from birds of the nightingale species are used because they live on seeds, producing the natural enzyme that is the active ingredient.
 
"We don't do Central Park facials," she says, "because those birds eat garbage."

Copyright AP

  • Manhattan NewsManhattan NewsMore>>

  • New York adults gather for skipping club

    New York adults gather for skipping club

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 10:36 PM EDT2014-07-23 02:36:57 GMT
    Meet one fitness class that's spreading positivity and shedding pounds by skipping in a skipping club. Michelle Joni is the group's founder. She came up with the idea when she was heading to get a manicure and it was so cold she started skipping to stay warm.
    Meet one fitness class that's spreading positivity and shedding pounds by skipping in a skipping club. Michelle Joni is the group's founder. She came up with the idea when she was heading to get a manicure and it was so cold she started skipping to stay warm.
  • Manhattan West Project

    Skyline of West Side is changing

    Skyline of West Side is changing

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 6:25 PM EDT2014-07-22 22:25:22 GMT
    The Manhattan West Project is a $4.5 billion development that will change the skyline on the West Side. The five-acre site that will consist of office towers, a residential building, retail, a 5-star hotel, health and fitness facilities, rooftop gardens, restaurants, cafes, and a park is being built on top of active rail yards. Fox 5 got a look at the progress of the project.
    The Manhattan West Project is a $4.5 billion development that will change the skyline on the West Side. The five-acre site that will consist of office towers, a residential building, retail, a 5-star hotel, health and fitness facilities, rooftop gardens, restaurants, cafes, and a park is being built on top of active rail yards. Fox 5 got a look at the progress of the project.
  • Real estate heir charged for urinating on candy

    Real estate heir charged for urinating on candy

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 3:51 PM EDT2014-07-22 19:51:49 GMT
    A New York City real estate heir who admitted killing his neighbor a decade ago in Texas is facing a new charge in Houston that accuses him of urinating on candy at a drug store. Authorities say 71-year-old Robert Durst was arrested Sunday after arguing with store employees. They say he was charged with criminal mischief after urinating on at least $100 worth of candy.
    A New York City real estate heir who admitted killing his neighbor a decade ago in Texas is facing a new charge in Houston that accuses him of urinating on candy at a drug store. Authorities say 71-year-old Robert Durst was arrested Sunday after arguing with store employees. They say he was charged with criminal mischief after urinating on at least $100 worth of candy.
Powered by WorldNow

KMSP-TV
11358 Viking Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Phone: (952) 944-9999
Fax: (952) 942-0455

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices