Stella Ralfini, a 67-year-old grandmother has become a surprising YouTube video hit with her unusual beauty secrets that claim sperm is the key to youthful looking skin. The experienced couples therapist from London is the author of a book called The Three Faces of Sex, which is a supposed guide to tantric love-making. However, Ralfini states in her video she should have called it The Four Faces of Sex, before pointing at her own immovable visage and claiming that it too is the result of lovemaking, or more specifically the by-product of it. Semen facials are the skin savior she swears by ever since encountering them in India several years ago, however despite her claims and her own unbelievably wrinkle free face, it smacks more of dodgy science than a brilliant beauty secret.
While learning her trade in India (where else would anyone go to learn about the best ways to have sex?) over thirty years ago, Ralfini met a woman in her sixties (the same sort of age that Ralfini is now) who had perfect, glowing skin and looked much younger than her years. Eager to know her secret, Ralfini discovered that the woman used her husband’s sperm in a face mask recipe. Apparently the use of sperm as a beauty aid is a well-known technique used in India and passed on through families. Ralfini then tried it herself and states that within 6 months people were commenting favorably on the results and that the improvement in her skin was incredible. She hails the use of semen facials as a savior for her skin, and despite questions and criticisms that have arisen due to the dodgy nature of the science surrounding her beauty secret, she remains a steadfast believer.
However, while there is evidence to support the fact that semen could help with the breakdown of old, dead skin cells and thus have a rejuvenating effect on someone’s face, experts state that in order to gain such benefits it would need to be applied daily. Also despite Ralfini’s claims about using it as a mask, because semen is a body fluid, it is not really suitable for such a practice. Once outside the body the fluid would lose any health benefits it may have secreted almost immediately. Thus while various celebrities such as Heather Locklear and cosmetic professionals laud the practice of smothering ejaculate onto skin, there is little to suggest that it is in any way better than a regular facial or other more conventional (and less messy) treatments. After all, nothing kills a post orgasmic moment quite like the woman smearing the remnants of lovemaking all over her face, or attempting to scoop it into a bottle of some kind for use later (a tip Ralfini also advocates).
Yet Ralfini is not the only one who can lay claim to endorsing rather dodgy scientific beauty strategies, as the internet throws up all manner of weird and wonderful skin savior strategies. One woman who was clearly very fond of her cat advocated using kitty litter and water as a deep cleansing mask, and there have been all sorts of strange trends in the celebrity world including bee venom facials, urine facials and for the really rich individual, smothering caviar all over the pores is apparently another beauty savior. However, it is not just about what is put on the skin; many methods for attaining a youthful glow are related to what a person does with her skin, and include facial yoga and exercises and even face slapping in some places. What is notable, though, is that none of these treatments have much reputable science behind them, and while there is probably some benefit to all of them in some way, it is probably negligible and transient in its effectiveness and could easily be achieved with much less expense and unpleasantness. So while grandmothers are often said to be full of wisdom, perhaps it would be best if Ralfini’s idea of semen facials as a skin savior should be shelved along with any other dodgy science and beauty secrets she may decide to share.
By Rhona Scullion