After giving birth to our daughter last May, we drove home from the hospital with 10 extra pounds in the car. Only 8.3 of them belonged to our daughter. Yes, I too am part of the growing trend of keeping your placenta to encapsulate it for the various benefits like warding off post-pardum depression and getting your body back in balance and feeling great quickly which I was totally committed to doing. For the relatively low price of just $75, I dropped my placenta off to a woman who really knows what she’s doing (not just some weirdo who cooks placentas in her free time- because believe me, they’re out there!) and picked up 90 neat little capsules the next day housed in an amber glass jar. (She also dehydrated the cord in the shape of a heart for a really creepy keepsake for which I can’t seem to find the proper home.)
I managed to take the first pill about a week later without gagging which required a lot of mental preparation and alone time. I kicked Mike out of the kitchen who was just staring at me and waiting for me to puke. Her enclosed instructions were for me to take 5 of them 3 times a day (!) which I haven’t done of course, just a few here and there because luckily I feel great and back to normal which left me to wonder about another use for my encapsulated organ lurking in my fridge. And then it hit me. Facials!
And why not? My facialist Tajden sells an ultra luxe cream made from sheep’s placenta for a few hundred bucks so why wouldn’t I just use my own? We brainstormed what to mix it with and decided that aloe would be the best and most neutral choice that wouldn’t upstage the star of the show. Last night I finally worked up the nerve to prepare my first placenta facial.
A few squirts of pure aloe gel (the kind you can eat and need to keep in the fridge) and 3 capsules of placenta powder later, I was spreading the chunky mixture onto my skin. It has a definite..um.. scent which may or may not be the herbs she adds to the placenta when she encapsulates it. After covering my face and neck I had quite a bit left over so I went over to Mike and started spreading it onto his face- not uncommon for me to do since I’m always trying out different things to review and an extra face sometimes comes in handy.
“What is this? It smells weird” he asked.
Shit. I thought he knew what I was mixing up in the kitchen and was just being extra agreeable due to newborn parent exhaustion.
“It’s my placenta.” I said it very calmly as to not set off any alarms. “Oh, and aloe,” I added to make the experience a bit more palatable.
He didn’t ask me if I was kidding, he just got really quiet and looked at me to see if I was serious or not. I was.
“Take it off of me before I throw up it stinks.”
“But you told me that you’d take one first to see how it made you feel before I started taking them.” (He didn’t.)
“I’d rather ingest one than have it smeared on my face.”
Well that’s where we differ.
He was holding the baby which prevented him from doing what he wanted to do; run to the sink, scrub it off, totally freak out, repeat.
“My placenta and I are both offended, and besides it’s the herbs you’re smelling” I said without really knowing if it was. I could see him eyeing a piece of placenta on my forehead, a charred, chunky reminder that this was no ordinary mask and no ordinary facial. While he washed his face clean about 6 or so seconds in, I hung in there for 10 minutes before removing it with cool water and discovering my skin was, um, red as f*ck. It didn’t feel like it was irritated per se, but man I wondered how my innocent placenta could betray me like this. I decided it was the mysterious herb blend and splashed more cold water on my skin before adding some soothing cream and calling it a night. The redness and irritation didn’t last btw, and I woke up with soft, glowing skin. Success.
In the end, I decided that I’ll probably do it again. Creams that contain placenta, colostrum, foreskin, and other random body parts and excretions of animals are common, so why not use something I already know is pure and all mine? It didn’t help that I saw it pre-pills in all of its original glory (below), but now that I’m over that initial shock I’m happy that I kept this organ that I created to sustain life for my daughter. In a strange way it felt like not putting it to (another) use just seemed like a total waste of growing it in the first place because how awesome is it that I whipped this sucker up from nowhere?