Looking for that special Valentine's Day gift?

Wednesday, February 08, 2012
Boutique which sells the miracle cosmetic.
(click any image to enlarge)
With Valentine's Day approaching my male readers are no doubt looking for a perfect gift for their sweetie. Look no further, for I have the perfect gift. It is a cosmetic that promises it:
[I]mproves blood microcirculation and supplies oxygen to the tissues, stimulates the local immune system, antioxidant activity, eliminates pigmentation disorder, protects the skin from environment, slows down aging, makes the skin more elastic and keeps moisture.
Why, not only does it impart youth and health to skin, it also provides -- just like old-timey patent medicines -- all manner of extra health benefits. Won't your special someone be thrilled to get all of that for a gift? 

But, what could this miracle cosmetic be?

When discussing  the last Strafor article's Host Stratfor Babe I mentioned that Mary Baker -- the 19th Century English servant girl who had posed as an Oriental Princess -- ended her days collecting leeches. Little did I realize that leech farming (or should that be leech ranching?) is still an ongoing enterprise.

EnglishRussia has an article, Leech Cosmetics Production, that details a Russian firm which uses the extract of leech saliva, as well as dried leech powder, as the base for a line of cosmetics. Their high end product, which includes an extract of leech embryos, sells for $1500.

Below is a tour through the leech cosmetic biofactory, which continues after the jump. At the EnglishRussia link there are many more pictures, as well as details on how to properly apply a medicinal leech if needs be. So read the article, and then rush out to buy some leech-infused cosmetics for your loved one today!   

Leech breeding tank, where the little nippers are lovingly raised.
The leech cometics lab
Milking a leech's saliva

Dried leech bricks
Adding leech powder to a solution
Mixing the leech-based solution
Processing leech extract
Mixing leech cosmetics
Leech cosmetics quality control
Packaging leech cosmetics for sale