Today I’ll be reviewing the My Beauty Diary Bird’s Nest mask (learn more about sheet masks and My Beauty Diary here). Right now you might be saying “Bird’s Nest?!! Asia, what the fuck?” but before you flip out let’s learn more about it.
One of the largest consumers of bird’s nest products is mainland China, the nests being used to make soups, beauty products, and PROFIT. Male edible nest swiftlets (aerodramus fuciphagus, similar to swallows) produce the nests using their saliva. The nests take 35 days to create, and workers are specially trained in climbing and extraction, only taking part of the nest so that the swiftlets can rebuild. After harvesting the nests, they are painstakingly cleaned strand by strand to remove anything that is impure. As you can see they’re difficult to produce, and therefore very expensive. Even just a handful of bird’s nest can run about US $100! A figure I discovered here puts the Malaysian production of bird’s nests at US $1.59 billion, and other countries also produce bird’s nest, notably Thailand and Indonesia.
Adorable swiftlets! Producers house swiftlets in caves (like these) and buildings.
(Photo by Paul B Jones)
Bird’s nest is considered one of the “four great youth tonics” in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), and the wealthy elite during dynastic times would eat bird’s nest soup daily to keep their skin healthy and young. Today, bird’s nest is said to benefit the skin and is used worldwide for that purpose. It’s a strong symbol of luxury, and due to the building’s shape China’s Beijing National Stadium (2008 Summer Olympics) is nicknamed “The Bird’s Nest”.