A much sought after “elixir of youth” sheep placenta is a staple in the beauty regimes of the world’s rich and famous. The role of the placenta in providing nourishment to the developing fetus led naturally to its association with life-giving and restorative properties. In many parts of the world, and in many different cultures, human and animal placentas have long been used for cosmetic purposes, as well as to promote overall health and well-being. Historical references to placenta in this context have been attributed to such diverse locations as ancient Egypt and China, France and the United Kingdom. In these and various other cultural settings, it was widely used as a beauty tonic and was often thought to improve the function of certain internal organs.
Sheep placenta, in particular, due to its high concentration of stem cells, has been prized for its anti-ageing effects. In fact, it is one of the richest sources of growth factors and nutrients known to science. One notable example of its use is by members of the British royal family who have been avid consumers of sheep placenta derived products for over 1400 years! That being the case, the longevity and flawless complexion of many of the current generations of that family would appear to lend credence, superficially at least, to claims made in support of its rejuvenating qualities.
Sheep Placenta Benefits
- a smoother, firmer, and more even skin tone
- reduction of dark spots and other blemishes
- hydrates skin for a more youthful complexion
- restores elasticity to reduce sagging
- helps eliminate fine lines and wrinkles
- assists in the stabilization of mood swings
- provides for a more restful sleep
- improves immune function
- assists in regulating menstrual cycle
- increases vitality and energy levels
The search for the elusive fountain of youth continues but for many sheep placenta is seen as a viable alternative that delivers tangible results. Celebrities as far back as the 1930’s were spending small fortunes on placenta injections, and today sheep placenta cream, facials and serums are as popular as ever. Simon Cowell, Victoria Beckham, Jennifer Lopez, and numerous other high profile media personalities and socialites have regular treatments involving the use of sheep placenta extract, with a single facial costing as much as US$700!
Sheep placenta are mostly harvested from sheep raised on the lush green fields and wide open spaces of New Zealand and Australia, two countries well known in connection with sheep farming. Once an unwanted byproduct, the growing demand for sheep placenta provides farmers with a valuable source of supplementary income. Once collected, the placenta are frozen and on-sold to pharmaceutical companies for processing. Although in its raw, unprocessed state, it would seem an unlikely ingredient for a beauty or health product, after the placenta essence is extracted, refined, and sterilized, what remains is a clear liquid having a not unpleasant vinegar-like scent.
Sheep placenta is most commonly available as a skin cream for topical use or as a capsule to be taken orally as a health food supplement. Furthermore, it has becoming an increasingly common ingredient in a variety of other anti-aging, personal hygiene, and health products including shampoos, soaps, and face masks.
While the jury is still out in terms of the scientific evidence for the purported benefits, demand for sheep placenta cosmetic treatments and health supplements continues to grow. In terms of skin care products containing sheep placenta, it has been argued by some that any benefits resulting from its use are due to the moisturizing properties of the base ingredients rather than to the sheep placenta extract itself. However, an accurate and comprehensive analysis of its physiological effects is difficult due to the complexity of its constituent elements, including growth factors, proteins, stem cells, hormones, and a variety of different nutrients.