Ignore the Tuchus Ruckus: Spring for Some Face Cream

Don’t do it! Don’t let personal vanity fool you into undertaking the latest fad beauty treatment from the West Coast. Be warned! A grotesque and barbaric new cosmetic procedure is headed toward Manhattan, and you must resist the temptation to try it. Spawned on the extreme fringes of the Hollywood beauty scene-where vaginal “rejuvenation” surgery is more common than a mole removal-this heretofore unthinkable concept could change your life, or at least the color of your bum. Yes, you guessed it: I’m talking about anus-bleaching.

Whispers and innuendoes about this shocking new procedure-and the celebs who bleach-were jump-started by a snippet in the now-defunct Talk magazine. The Richard-Gere-gerbil-rumor-like frenzy has unfairly (I hope) zeroed in on ultra-thin thespian Lara Flynn Boyle. The wicked Web rumor mill has caused the talented and lovely star of The Practice to be ordained as the official Internet patron saint of anus-bleaching.

While Ms. Flynn Boyle gets more than her fair share of ink, the big question-why would anyone would engage in this extremely narcissistic activity?-remains unanswered: Web sites focus instead on bleaching tips, as if sharing ingredients for an apple-pie recipe. Click warily on http://www.pucker.up.com: This site has an anonymous “anal adviser” who advises his/her would-be bleachers (who have names like Black-Eyed Susan) on the various products available. Hydroquinone, kojic acid and mandelic acid are those currently favored by the sphincter community.

Before you go rushing for the Clorox, you might want to hear what Manhattan’s medical elite are saying about this matter. “These people need a hobby,” gasped dermatological doyenne Dr. Pat Wexler (212-684-2626) when I spoke to her by phone between clients. Sex and the City cast derma-fave Dr. Brad Katchen (212-334-1155) shared La Wexler’s rectal reservations. “The anus is genital tissue,” he said simply from Skincarelab, his headquarters in Soho. “Bleaching would irritate it.” The conclusion? Wax and pluck if you must, but don’t tinker with your sphincter .

For those of you who are focusing on your faces as opposed to your asses, Dr. Katchen has great news. Even as I was interviewing him, he was installing the first Carita Pro-lifting machine ever on American soil. The French miracle treatment, legendary since the 1960’s-rumor has it that Madge has been Chunnelling to Paris to avail herself-is a multi-step “facial rejuvenation system” which kicks off with a gorgeous sunflower-seed and essential-oil exfoliation, followed by a firming and lifting skin treatment performed by electrodes embedded in sponges. According to Dr. K, the results have a temporary smoothing effect, though not the long-lasting effects of Botox. Scrape together $250 and book your two-hour introduction.

Re new beauty products: My award for ballsiest beauty press release of the week goes without a doubt to Boston-based Fresh, makers of the legendary brown-sugar body polish ($58), who proudly announced this week that their latest effort was “inspired by the world’s first cream.” Entitled Crème Ancienne, this new, “exceptionally rich moisturizing skin cream” apparently replicates a recipe created by Claudius Galenus (almost rhymes with anus ) in the second century A.D. You know, back when creams were really creams! Fresh founders Lev Glazman and Alina Roytberg ship all the ingredients-meadowfoam seedsandbeeswax, amongst others-to the pristine island of Tautra, where Cistercian nuns promptly mix it up and dollop it into jars. As if all that weren’t camp enough, the nuns preserve Crème Ancienne with sodium borate, harvested from Tuscan lagoons.

Now the serious part: I tried Crème Ancienne and am now a huge raging devotee. After being initially perturbed by the Crisco-esque greasiness thereof, I found that the substance sank in and left my skin feeling younger and fresher, especially my hands and feet. Monastic fantastic! The lardiness is entirely appropriate for your climatically ravaged Manhattan skin, which-admit it-is as dry as a nun’s sandal. Place your order now at Fresh, Barneys, Bergdorf or Sephora; only 3,500 jars will be available this year. (At $250 per 3.5 ounces, one can only hope that the sisters are getting a decent slice of the action.)

P.S.: If you have any unfortunate butt-bleaching wounds, Crème Ancienne might help salve them: Galen apparently used his unguents on wounded Roman gladiators.

P.P.S.: Apologies to the good people at Fresh, the seafood restaurant at 105 Reade Street (212-406-1900). My adorably diligent assistant Danny, when asked by me to call up Fresh and get them to send over a sample of Crème Ancienne, inadvertently set in motion a wacky farce, during the course of which Daniel Angerer, the Austrian-born chef, wasted many hours toiling over an 18th-century cream sauce. Sor -ry!

Ignore the Tuchus Ruckus: Spring for Some Face Cream