Human Foreskins are Big Business for Cosmetics
In the business of vanity almost anything goes. Creams, lotions, and cosmetics are reported to be made out many things that most people would be repulsed by. Fish scales in lipsticks, cow placenta in
anti-aging products, crushed female cochineal insects in shampoo, and human foreskin in face cream.
Foreskin fibroblasts are used to grow and cultivate new cells that are then used for a variety of purposes. From the fibroblasts new skin for burn victims can be grown, skin to cover diabetic ulcers, and controversially it is also used to make cosmetic creams and collagens. One foreskin can be used for decades to grow $100,000 worth of fibroblasts.
Debate is growing over the ethics of using human foreskins for cosmetic purposes. One such cosmetic company, SkinMedica is raising a stir over their use of the growth hormone left over from growing artificial skin from foreskin fibroblasts. Dr. Fitzpatrick, who invented SkinMedica, works with a supplier that uses foreskin fibroblast to make injectable collagen. The foreskins that he receives the growth hormone for are used especially for cosmetics rather than for growing new skin for medical patients.
SkinMedica, which sells for over $100 for a 63-oz. bottle, was made famous by Oprah Winfrey and Barbara Walters. Winfrey in fact has promoted SkinMedica several times on her show and website. Discussions about the ethics of using human foreskins for vanity have been circulating on the web but there has not been a response from Winfrey on this debate.