Oprah rubbed a group of Vancouver activists the wrong way when she promoted face cream with ingredients derived from foreskin.
The Canadian Foreskin Awareness Project will hold a protest outside Oprah’s show at the Rogers Arena Thursday to condemn her endorsement of SkinMedica products, which contain anti-aging growth factors derived from a circumcised baby’s foreskin.
“Tissue from little boys is being put into cosmetic products for vain old women to rub on their faces. That is absolutely wrong,” CAN-FAP founder Glen Callender said in an interview, adding he expects a few dozen people at the protest.
“How do you think Oprah Winfrey would respond if a skin cream for men used tissue taken from the genitalia of little girls? I think people would lose their minds over it.”
Oprah’s website only mentions SkinMedica briefly in a 2009 post, but she has promoted it at times over the past decade.
The products, lauded in a variety of beauty magazines, contain growth factors that were bioengineered from a single donation of foreskin more than 10 years ago, SkinMedica spokeswoman Chrissy Baum said. The foreskin fibroblasts are cultured in a lab and growth hormones from this process are used in the products.
“It’s not like there’s actual foreskin in the products,” she said.
Foreskin fibroblasts also have medical purposes, such as re-growing skin for burn victims or helping heal ulcers. The cells can easily be bought online for about $85 a piece.
But one foreskin used is enough to anger Callender’s group, which takes issue with any circumcision done without consent of the person – something impossible to achieve if an infant is involved. It’s a double standard that circumcising girls younger than 18 is illegal in Canada yet the same practice is done on boys frequently, Callender said.
“We don’t think it’s radical to suggest exactly the rights girls have today should be given to boys and intersex children,” he said.
In Canada, circumcision is not recommended as a medically necessary procedure.
Other uses for foreskin