Don't Retract Pack

Article Asks: "Are Infant Foreskins the New Botox?"

The anonymous author who posted on cityfile (below) gets one point right -- parents today ARE keeping their sons intact, and, as a result, there are less infant foreskins to use in face cream. However, this is not a 'problem that is relevant to everyone'... A baby's penis belongs on his body - not on our faces. 

For more information about the sale of foreskins and their use in cosmetics and skin grafting, also see:

The Foreskins in Oprah's Face Cream

Stealing Foreskins: The Science of Skin Grafting

Unless you have young sons, you might not be aware that circumcision is on a downward trend, and that the anti-circumcision lobby is gaining ground. Not your problem? Well, it turns out that this issue is suddenly of relevance to everyone: Foreskins are the latest tool in the fight against aging, and we're going to need a constant fresh supply!
Developed by a biomedical company, "Vavelta" is a clear liquid, made from millions of microscopic new skin cells cultured from babies' foreskins, which is then injected into the skin to treat wrinkles, sun damage, and scars.
The clinical trials, which took place in London using "material" from a US hospital, have just been completed and reportedly show the technique to be "astonishingly effective." So there's a minor "ick" factor. But what's that compared to injecting your face with deadly poison or cow skin, or indeed to (gulp) actually aging?
In the event that the Daily Mail article is removed from their site, here it is in its entirety:
*Names have been changed and locations removed for the privacy of individuals
For more than 30 years, Maddy Johnson, 44, mother of three, hated her pitted and acne-scarred cheeks. "I never saw myself in the mirror," she says. "I just saw my scars." The effect on her confidence was catastrophic. "I used to hide behind my hair. I felt unattractive all the time."

This summer, Maddy, a surveyor, agreed to have her face injected with millions of microscopic new skin cells, cultured from babies' foreskins, as part of a trial into a new cosmetic procedure.

New skin treatment Vavelta injects patients' faces with cells cultured from the foreskins of newborn babies, which it says helps to permanently rejuvenate skin.

This treatment, called Vavelta, has been developed by the British biomedical company Intercytex. What is radical about it is that it seems to rejuvenate and restructure aging and damaged skin from the inside by repopulating the lower layers of the skin with millions of healthy young skin cells. Unlike fillers and Botox, it is claimed to be permanent.

Vavelta is a clear liquid in which tiny skin cells, called fibroblasts, are suspended. These are derived from baby foreskins donated by mothers at a hospital in the U.S. after routine circumcision.

The mothers and babies are screened before the foreskins, which would otherwise be discarded, are used. Once in Britain, they are divided into pieces less than a centimetre square and treated with enzymes to release the fibroblasts. These are grown in sterile conditions in labs.

The process is monitored by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the U.S. and by Britain's Human Tissue Authority.

Fibroblast cells are responsible for the repair and maintenance of youthful skin, pumping out collagen to create a line-free complexion. But as we age, they become dormant and many die. In trials, Vavelta appears to make skin smoother, thicker, more resilient and younger.

The treatment is not instant as the cells need time to settle into the dermis before they start to reproduce and stimulate new collagen, so results can take a month or more to register.

Vavelta is so new that results of the final clinical trials - on burns scars - aren't completed. But so far, it seems to work for most people and, in some cases, it is astonishingly effective.

Certainly Maddy Johnson is thrilled. "It has made a huge difference to me. I jumped at the chance to take part in the trial. I had the first treatment in May and the second in August. At first I was cynical, especially as there was no immediate effect. But over two months there was a softening as the coarse indentations smoothed out. I'd rated the improvement at 80 per cent. I feel wonderful. After years of embarrassment, I feel free. I'm even dating again and I never thought that would happen."

Sarah Myer, 48, who works in PR, volunteered for a medical trial of the treatment to see if it could reverse the aging process. "I had my nose-to-mouth lines treated a year ago. I had two treatments six weeks apart and each took five minutes. The injections were done with a fine needle and were almost painless. I was hugely skeptical as I walked out looking exactly the same. But gradually I started to notice I looked more lifted. When I compare my before and after photos, I can see a difference. I like the fact that the treatment is long-lasting. The drawbacks are that it is expensive and takes a while for any effect to show."

A vial of Vavelta costs £750, and to treat two cheeks for acne scarring would need two. By contrast, Botox costs from £250 and fillers are from £300.

However, Vavelta's advocates say it appears to be able to treat conditions for which there is no other effective solution and, unlike laser treatment, there is no need for recovery time.

"I think Vavelta will be particularly useful for hollows and fine lines under the eyes and especially purse-string lines around the mouth, which are hard to treat," says Dr Nick Lowe of the Cranley Clinic in London. "Fillers are not effective in these areas, while lasers can be painful and cause redness or peeling."

Asked to rate the improvements out of ten, the female volunteers gave it a score of 7.8. Professor Lowe rated it at 7.6, and found wrinkles were improved in 75 per cent of cases. "Patients who have sun damaged skin, burns or scars seem to respond best," says Dr Robin Stones, medical director of the Court House Clinics. "Burns also appear to respond well, and I've had a fantastic result on a raised, red, painful caesarean scar, which just melted away in less than three weeks. It doesn't work on everyone or on every type of acne scar. But because scarring causes psychological damage, when the treatment works, we are talking about a life-changing effect."

Is Vavelta safe? It seems so. Research has shown the cells are not rejected by the body. Transient redness and itching are the only reported side effects.

So while Vavelta is not instant and certainly not cheap, it can transform some women's skin. Maddy Johnson is totally convinced. "It has transformed my life," she says.

Related News: 

Vavelta may be the new wave anti-aging treatment (New York Times):

A cut above the rest? Wrinkle treatment uses babies foreskin (Scientific American):

Foreskin for clear skin? (Popular Science):



  1. As a circumcised father who make the educated decision not to circumcise my son, the thought of harvesting infant foreskins to fuel self-centered cosmetic desires turns my stomach.

    As a photographer, the 'before and after' photos make my eyes roll. The before photo was taken with hard, undiffused, directional light from the front of the woman's face (camera left), precisely to create shadows that emphasize each pock mark and scar. The after photo was taken with a soft, diffused fill light from the left side of her face (the fill light source is just above the camera), preventing any shadows from appearing and hiding the surface irregularities. These pictures could have been taken 10 seconds apart with the same visual results, no treatment needed.

    There's a reason we call a soft light source from the camera's position "Beauty light."

    If they're using those types of photos to justify their 'study,' we're witnessing big business and advertising at it's finest. The cost in this case? The drug buyers' money and the foreskins of infant boys who have no say in the matter. How frustrating.

  2. What really surprised me (or not??) about this article was how biased it was in favor of the procedure. They really didn't go into the "eew" factor, and they certainly didn't discuss the controversy of circucision to begin with. Also, I found it just so telling that a British company had to come to the US to get foreskins since British people don't circumcise routinely. Ugh.

  3. I heard that bathing in the blood of virgins makes you young AND immortal. We should all try that!

    In all seriousness, this is gross. Circumcision in genital mutilation and should be illegal.

    Thanks for the blog, it's lovely!

  4. The article made it sound like the parents' permission is asked before they use their babies' foreskins for this purpose, and other wise they throw them away... do they really ask permission? What's that sound like, "Hey, after we cut off your son'r foreskin, can we... keep it? Here, sign this permission form for us. We're going to use it to inject into people's faces." How many people would really give permission? It seems like they would use them either way, if they are just going to toss them in the garbage.

  5. I had occasion to sign a consent form at Children's National Medical Center in Washington DC. In it was a paragraph stating that I consented to the hospital keeping and using any tissue for their own uses. Right there is the consent they need to sell foreskins.
    I marked out that entire paragraph and wrote over it "I do not consent to this". I marked up that consent form so much, it looked like a first draft of a term paper! I modified it so much that I did not sign it until I could review it with a nurse. Interestingly, no nurse ever came back to review it and they realized upon discharge that they didn't have a signed consent form in the file. I was presented with a new one upon discharge. I explained that I had asked to review it with someone and no one ever came to do so. We reviewed it, she got the privacy and patient bill of rights that the form said I had been provided with (NOT) and then asked me to back date it to the date of admission. I said, no, that would not be accurate!
    Please people, always read a consent for in it's entirety. Make sure you truly do agree to "testing and treatment" because testing and treatment is all encompassing. Perhaps you don't want a toxicology screen done on your urine or blood. Perhaps you don't wish your DNA to be preserved in a data bank. Perhaps you don't wish a part of your baby to be sold for profit. BUT perhaps you should leave your child's body whole.

  6. i find it bizarre that we're doing this in the UK, yet we don't cicumcise babies here. where on earth did the idea come from? 'eureka! the secret of eternal youth is in a newborns baby's foreskin'
    its just insane. and ridiculous.

  7. Ummm, ROTFL did anyone else notice this is UK based? LOL

  8. We don't cut baby foreskins off here in the UK (except where Jewish and Muslim parents demand it), it is immoral, unethical, unChristian, and damaging to the one person who has no say in the matter, the baby boy. The Intercytex company should be put out of action.
    Wrinkles are the consequence of aging, accept it, think yourself lucky that we live long enough to get wrinkles.

  9. As an uneducated 17 year old, I agreed to have my older son circ'd. I knew much more when my younger son was born, and he is whole. My stomach turns EVERY TIME I think about them mutilating my newborn's penis. Why is this not a part of sex ed in schools? What did they do with my son's foreskin? Ugh =(

    1. I too was unedcuated when my first son was born and made the decision to circ. My second son is whole and i regret doing that to my oldest everytime i think about it. a mistake i have to live with for the rest of my life.

  10. This is DASTARDLY EVIL what? Foreskins? This is like back when they offered there children to Moleck and also their gender parts if not all then in parts....This who thing is Pagan practices yes it is witchcraft folks take it for what it is that is the hard core truth any kind of "mutilation" is NOT of GOD (YHVH)!!!!! Its all about their "almighty dollar" they worship that is idolatry as well!