Geisha Facial®, An Eloise Parker New York Daily News Review

She’s guano have it! Trendy Japanese facial features bird droppings

Thursday, September 18th 2008

The New York Daily News Eloise Parker Reviews the Geisha Facial

They say bird droppings on your head bring good luck. When it comes to your skin, that may be true. After a long, hot summer, the change in weather brings dry, flaky skin and clogged pores, and the best cure may come from nature.

“As soon as the temperature goes down, especially on the East Coast, the air is so dry and the skin dehydrates,” says Japanese facialist Shizuka Bernstein, who has devised the ultimate treatment for the seasonal change: bird poop.

You may have read about the Geisha Facial®, launched this year at midtown’s Shizuka New York Day Spa. But I actually bit the bullet and tried it.

This one-of-a-kind facial, which combines nightingale droppings with natural oils to hydrate skin, is fast gaining momentum as a natural alternative to all those scary-sounding chemical peels, and even supermodel Karolina Kurkova has given it the thumbs-up.

“The collagen mask with green tea also adds Vitamin C, which is an antioxidant that helps repair damage done to the skin from sun exposure and UV rays during the summer. UV rays break down collagen, so the mask helps repair any damage,” says Bernstein, who will be getting stars red-carpet-ready with the treatment on E!’s “Countdown to the Primetime Emmys” this weekend.

Wrapped in a kimono-style robe, I certainly felt like a pampered star as Bernstein mixed the pure powdered poop with brown-rice flour, which masks the somewhat musky smell.


The result is a sweet-smelling, thick, white paste that is massaged into the skin like a superfine exfoliator.

It felt good. Even better, in fact, after a light extraction, hydrating camellia-oil massage and a green-tea and collagen mask, which is all part of the 50-minute skin treat.

Sure, the thick gel mask, complete with cut-out nose and mouth holes, had me feeling more like a Mexican wrestler than a graceful geisha, but once it was removed, my skin definitely looked clearer and garnered more than a few compliments as the day progressed.

“That’d be the bird poop,” I boasted.

As for the science: “It works in two ways,” explains Shizuka. “A natural enzyme in the powder breaks down dead skin cells, and a protein called guanine gives the skin luster.”

The powdered poop was first used by geishas in 18th-century Japan as a way to remove their makeup, which included toxic lead.

“My mother told me about it, so I decided to research it,” recalls Shizuka, noting that the process has become increasingly high-tech over the years.

“Nightingales used to be popular pets in Japan, but these days the birds are kept on a farm and given organic food. The droppings are collected, sterilized using ultraviolet rays and then powdered,” she says.

All that natural bounty doesn’t come cheap; the Geisha Facial® will set you back $180 per session. But for everyone who’s wondering whether you could find a cheaper version of the superpoop on the window ledge of your apartment, forget it.

“No, no, no!” exclaimed a horrified Shizuka of the potential bacteria-fest. “Especially not with those Central Park pigeons.”


Other Shizuka New York Day Spa 2008 Press Releases Les Nouvelles Esthetiques features Geisha Facial® – Skin ingredient technology, specifically the uguisu no fun (nightingale droppings) in the Geisha Facial® at Shizuka Day Spa in New York City, is the focus of this article from Les Nouvelles Esthetiques and Spa.
Bird excrement facial hits New York spa – The Geisha Bird Poop Facial was featured in the June 18, 2008 Los Angeles Times for its use of powdered nightingale droppings.
Geisha Facial® on Mezamashi – Video from Fuji TV featuring Shizuka NY Day Spa in New York City.
New York’s weirdest spa treatments – Weird spa treatments from the New York Daily News in NYC including Shizuka’s Geisha Bird Poop Facial and the fish pedicure from Alexandria, Virginia.
New York Magazine – Japanese Spa Treatment Comes to NYC – It’s full of crap…
Perez Hilton – In two separate posts, celebrity blogger Perez Hilton has poked fun at the nightingale poo facial – Shizuka’s Geisha Facial®.
New York Daily News, October 7, 2008 – Are bird droppings the secret to Posh Spice and David Beckham’s good looks?
All Shizuka NY 2008 Press Releases