Would You Put Cat Poop On Your Face?

Adding to the list of bizarre skin care products, this treatment promises tighter, well-hydrated skin.

Unusual beauty treatments are nothing new. Men and women have experimented with masks made of bee venom, creams with snail slime, and even bird poop facials in the past. Then it should come as no surprise that there’s an ultra-luxe skin treatment made using cat faeces. Hermetise’s Kopi Luwak Anti-Pollution Oxygen Brightening treatment which costs over $4,994 (approx Rs 31,800) for the three steps, combines gold, the most expensive coffee in the world, and faeces from the Civet cat. It claims to not just clear and brighten skin, but enrich it with anti-ageing ingredients. The Civet eats Kopi Luwak coffee beans and unable to fully digest them, excretes them out, which is collected by farmers and sold as one of the most expensive coffees in the world. But does it have skin care benefits?

The exotic factor

Dr Mohan Thomas, Senior cosmetic surgeon, Cosmetic Surgery Institute, feels such bizarre treatments work on a psychological level. “Since they are made of exotic substances which are costly and not easily available, people might believe it’s working. There is no method by which it can be proved that these ingredients are useful to the skin, let alone facial skin. The tried-and-tested creams have been researched and studied for many years. There are proven ways to use these creams. Their side effects have been studied in detail. Moreover, one type of cream cannot be used on all skin types hence a mix of exfoliators, sunscreens and moisturisers are needed,” he says. He further advises checking with an expert before trying such products.

Strange ingredients

While some of the ingredients that are used are common, like gold and coffee, the cat faeces itself is questionable. Dr Soma Sarkar, Medical Director and Dermatologist, Skin Inn explains, “As a doctor, I can vouch for gold and coffee as both have anti-inflammatory properties and the coffee is also a detoxifier so it helps to eliminate the toxins and give a beautiful radiance to the skin. But I have my doubts about the cat poop. In India, at least, we don’t have any product on these lines. Caviar is something we use here but animal poop is a little too weird.”

Not enough evidence

Dr Geeta Fazalbhoy, Dermatologist and founder of Skin n You clinic, feels everyday there is a new product and new cream in market but no researched or documented evidence that they work. She warns, “Some people may land up with bad Contact dermatitis on the face. I do not recommend the use of such products till they are tested and we have data to support that they are hypoallergenic and contain well researched ingredients.” Dr Vandana Punjabi, Dermatologist and Cosmetologist, adds, “I personally feel such treatments are not only bizarre, but have no scientific basis and research. They are a waste of time and money, giving people big hopes with poor results. It is always better to use known products, under the expertise and guidance of a well-trained and reputed dermatologist.”