Last April — in the midst of a year where I spent way too much time on the phone with a urologist asking reckless questions about dicks that both my editor-in-chief and I, for reasons neither of us can fully articulate, needed to know the answers to — I made time to have baby foreskin rubbed into my face.
For the record, I wasn’t the first person to undergo this Korean baby-dick-sponsored skin rejuvenation. In fact, I wasn’t even supposed to be the MEL reporter assigned to the story. But when my colleague Ian Lecklitner — a more self-respecting journalist — passed on the offer to receive a penis facial, I, trusting that Hollywood stars like Cate Blanchett and Sandra Bullock knew something that I didn’t about the supernatural properties of a child’s foreskin, raised my hand.
This is where I wish I could say something pithy about what a waste of time and money it was. But I won’t. I don’t want to. Because while I really hoped the foreskin facial would be just another Goop-inspired gimmick, beholden to only those who are rich enough to try anything once, even a $255 dick facial, instead, it was pure Hollywood magic.
It has been 233 days since the skin on my face felt as smooth and unblemished as the skin on my dick. The wrinkles resembling crow’s feet have renewed their lease near my eyes, and I’m no longer the 28-year-old man with the complexion of a porcelain doll. When I look in the mirror, I don’t see what I am, I only see what I used to be.
Okay, maybe I’m being a bit overly dramatic but honestly, I miss it. I miss the gloss. I miss the sheen. I miss looking in the mirror and thinking, “Fuck, I look good.”
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve tried to recreate the wizardry of a baby foreskin facial. I’ve washed my face using my girlfriend’s most expensive scrubs. I have, for the first time in my life, begun to adorn my under-eyes with a bit of Japanese eye cream almost every morning after I shower. I’ve even allowed my girlfriend to paint my face with some charcoal paint-like substance that’s meant to “exfoliate my skin.” But when none of these DIY methods succeed in returning my skin to its expectant-mother glow, I decided to call up DMH Aesthetics — the skincare clinic that forever corrupted my hope for a skin-positive future.
When I tell all this to Jackie, the woman who answered the phone and who also does patient consultations, she tells me what she tells all her clients looking for a less expensive method to maintaining that extra special foreskin glow. “The two ways to upkeep skin are constantly drinking water — tons of water makes a huge difference,” she tells me. “Also, wearing sunscreen everyday helps reduce fine lines, wrinkles, skin pigmentation and stops aging. We can always tell who’s wearing sunscreen and who’s not.”
But Jackie, I implore, the foreskin facial — now, commonly referred to as a Hydrafacial with growth factor — it’s a miracle. Does your skin clinic sell any ‘cheaper’ miracles?
“At most medical spas like ours, the Hydrafacial is the cheapest, most entry-level treatment,” she says. “What people can do that’s more cost-effective is order themselves a serum or get a standardized facial that any esthetician can perform.” She goes on to explain that a Hydrafacial is essentially the machine version of a standard facial, minus the growth factor, aka the baby’s foreskin. “There’s also higher risk of scarring when extractions are performed by hand.”
Okay, so if cheaper is out, what about an even better, newer skincare trend? After all, it’s not implausible to think that baby’s foreskin was just the tip (pun unavoidable) and that biomedical companies have set their sights on something even more transcendent — embryonic foreskin, perhaps?
“What’s really common nowadays is microneedling — the vampire facial,” says Jackie. Though the face-bludgeoning procedure was for all intents and purposes invented in 2013, after Kim Kardashian posted a photo of herself that looked as though her face had been exfoliated using a mace, it gained widespread popularity throughout the country beginning last year. “It involves taking a person’s own blood — which contain our white blood cells and platelets — and reinjecting platelet-rich plasma back onto your skin. But that costs around $1,500.”
If that sounds absurd to you, that’s fair. That’s normal, even.
As for me?
Well, Dorian Gray may have died trying, but my youthful exploits ain’t over yet.