I blogged recently about some media reports that medical benefits had been demonstrated for the practice of male circumcision in studies in Africa.
Just came across an article in CounterPunch by David Rosen on the debate that provided a curious and bizarre detail of which I was utterly (and blissfully) unaware.
There is, he says, "growing use of the male foreskin in female beauty products". As in face creams. Sorry for the gory details, but it appears that disgarded foreskins of newborns are the preferred source of fibroblasts that are used to create skin cultures that grow various types of artificial skin for medical uses (including skin grafts for burns).
Strange but apparently true.
In conclusion, the debate about circumcision has reached its most absurd form in the growing use of the male foreskin in female beauty products. In a valuable article, "Foreskin Face Cream and Other Beauty Products of the Future," Amanda Euringer reports that "foreskin fibroblasts are big business. A fibroblast is a piece of human skin that is used as a culture to grow other skin or cells — like human yogurt kits." She points out how a foreskin-based face cream, SkinMedica, was featured on Oprah Winfrey’s show and is used by celebrities like Oprah and Barbara Walters as an alternative to cosmetic surgery.
The things people do to fight wrinkles. Think I’ll stick to mud packs (not that I ever have, for the record).
As one article notes, though, this shouldn’t be all that surprising.
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.
You Muslims blushing out there should remember the hadith says, La haya fi din ("There is no shame in [discussions of] religion").
Feel free to hurl, though.