How far would you go to for glowing, radiant and dewy skin? Would you let leeches crawl over your face? How about snakes or snails? While this might sound outrageous (and disgusting), these are actually legitimate facial treatments. Read on to discover more freaky facials.
We all want our skin to be smooth, wrinkle-free and clear. But is the ‘grossness’ factor of many modern facial treatments worth their reported benefits?
We investigate some of the weirdest facial treatments and weigh up whether they’re really worth the time and hassle.
The Geisha Facial
Don’t be fooled – while this facial does have a background and history steeped in traditional Japanese beauty, it’s also pretty darn gross.
Developed by a New York facialist (yes, that’s a word), the Geisha Facial incorporates a variety of natural and traditional beauty products. These products, which are said to ‘unlock the secrets of Geisha beauty’ supposedly brighten, soften and nourish the skin.
The only catch? The main ingredient used in the Geisha Facial is powdered nightingale droppings. I’ll give you a moment to reread and translate that …
Done? Awesome. Yes, you’re absolutely right: powdered nightingale droppings is code for bird poop.
Now if this has you running for the hills, hang around for just a minute. Because while rubbing bird poop on your face isn’t normally high on most people’s to-do list, (hold on, honey, I just need to catch that bird poo … with my face) it does have many reported benefits. And apparently, it’s totally sanitary.
According to the Shizuku New York Day Spa, the bird droppings used in the Geisha Facial are first exposed to ultraviolet light and then crushed into a fine powder in order to effectively sanitize them. To mask the poopy smell, rice bran is mixed in with the powder.
The result? According to a New York Time’s reporter, this treatment left her with glowing and beautiful skin. Victoria Beckham is also a long-time supporter of the bird poop facial and swears that it helps prevent acne.
Well … we suppose it depends on how badly you want radiant skin as to whether or not this treatment is worth it. Because at the end of the day, ultraviolet sanitization or not, it’s still bird poop. On your face.
The Anti-Aging Snail Masque
Apologies in advance, but if the bird poop facial didn’t leave you feeling a little nauseous, this treatment probably will.
The Anti-Aging Snail Masque (first clue, there), which was unintentionally discovered by a group of Chilean farmers, works under the premise that by adding snail slime (or ‘mucin’) to creams and lotions you are able to boost skin health and promote rapid healing.
This slime is said to prevent and treat acne, aid in the reduction of wrinkles, decrease inflammation, protect against any infections and boost cell growth. Pretty massive claims for a dab of snail slime.
According to the experts, the addition of snail mucin to beauty products actually makes sense. As part of their natural day-to-day life, snails move over the top of sharp rocks, twigs and unstable surfaces. To protect themselves, snails excrete mucin to rapidly heal their bodies from any cuts or injuries. When this substance is added to human beauty products, it is believed to offer the same benefits to humans.
And if you have an image of Chilean farmers rubbing snails on each other’s faces, this is how the discovery really happened: while harvesting snails for use as escargot, they noticed that any cuts or injuries they had were quickly healed. Their hands were also smoother and softer than ever after a snail harvesting.
The bad news? This treatment is banned in Canada, so any of our Canadian readers may have to stick to the other freaky facial treatments. Sorry, aye.
Phew, finally a treatment that doesn’t make your skin crawl. Right … ?
Uh, sorry again, beloved readers, but the freakiness is far from over. Next up we have an ancient medical procedure (think around the time of the Egyptians, over 3,500 years ago) that has recently enjoyed a comeback from our Russian friends.
The idea is simple. For beautiful, radiant skin just plop a few therapeutic leeches onto the face. Yup. Leeches. But don’t worry; they’re not the garden-variety leeches you’d find in your backyard (if you have leeches in your backyard). They’re trained therapeutic leeches. Uh huh. Yeah.
Said to slow down visible signs of aging as well as promote healthy-looking skin, leech therapy was particularly favored by Japanese Geishas (yikes, those women were brave) and traditional French women.
Leech therapy is also believed to purify the blood, as well as detoxify and rejuvenate the body. According to the leech experts, leeches contain (within their salivary glands) proteins, serotonin, collagenase, hirudin and hylauronidase, all of which are common ingredients in modern skincare products. They also have natural steroid hormones and fatty acids, which work to promote healthy skin.
I guess with those benefits, the only downside of this treatment is that you have to let leeches suck at your blood and slither all over your skin. Shudder. Oh, and if you’re indulging in a little leech therapy, don’t forget to ask for them to be applied behind your ears. This way, your hair can hide their bite marks. Shudder.
And now, because we clearly didn’t have enough reason to fear bloodsuckers, let’s look at our next freaky facial …
The Vampire Facial
There’s only one way to tell you about this freaky facial treatment and that’s quickly. Promoted and trialed by the ever-curious and weirdly well-preserved Kim Kardashian, the vampire facial recently received widespread (and horrified) media attention.
This treatment involves taking around three vials of your blood from your arm and then putting it into a machine to separate the blood into different elements. The platelet-rich component is then injected back into the skin on your face.
Facial therapists claim that this treatment will reduce the signs of aging, as well as refresh and rejuvenate your skin’s appearance. It is supposed to last for up to 18 months.
The advantages? You don’t need to get it that often, and it’s apparently a miracle worker.
The disadvantages? Well, you could start with the fact that your blood is first taken from you arm and then painfully re-injected back into your skin. There’s a minor point that this treatment has yet to be scientifically proven. Then, you could start thinking about the fact that following the treatment the bruising on your face will make you look like you’ve stepped in front of a bus. But besides that? Sure, go ahead.
Wow … I could probably leave the description of this particular facial at simply the headline, but I suppose we do need to find out whether or not the sperm is worth it.
Now, before we delve face first into the world of sperm, let’s clarify a few things. Firstly, this is a legitimate spa treatment. Get what I’m saying? There is no, uh, unprofessional application of sperm. And secondly, apparently the sperm is synthesized in a lab, so you’re not actually applying some guy’s spunk to your face.
The technical term for this facial is called the ‘Spermine facial’. Which almost sounds like ‘spearmint’, right? That’s not so bad. But okay, it’s definitely not spearmint. It’s spermine.
The good news is that the ‘spermine’ facial is supposed to reduce wrinkles and acne and increase the smoothness and softness of the skin.
Spermine, an ingredient found in sperm, is apparently loaded up with stacks of antioxidants. It is also meant to have more than ‘25 times the cellular protection of vitamin E’ (says The Globe and Mail).
Now, while it might sound a little weird to pay to have spermine (synthesized or otherwise) slathered onto your face, this treatment is actually pretty pricey. Expect to pay up to $250.00 a pop. And do the walk of shame home.
The Chocolate Facial
To end on a good note (after all, who wants to be left with the image of snails, bird poop, leeches and sperm being smothered on your skin?), I’m pleased to present my favorite freaky facial: the chocolate facial.
Hurrah! Not only can you eat it (dribble), you can slather it on your face too. And not just for fun! It’s all in the name of beauty.
Some beauty therapists claim that the chocolate facial will reduce the visible signs of aging, increase the softness and smoothness of your face and boost your mood.
While it hasn’t been entirely proven that a chocolate facial benefits the skin (whatever), it is well known that chocolate contains an abundance of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals such as iron, potassium and magnesium.
So it makes sense that putting all of this goodness onto your face will result in some tangible physical result. Or at least, that’s my hope. Otherwise I may need to just eat that tub of Nutella. Oh well.
It’s also been shown that just the smell of chocolate can increase serotonin levels in the brain, which in turn makes you feel happier.
So while it may not produce miraculous skin benefits, a decadent chocolate facial will leave you feeling (and smelling) delicious.
And you don’t even have to visit a salon for this facial; you can do it at home. Check out this cool recipe from Ninemsn for an easy and delicious chocolate facial recipe.
So what do you think of the top freaky facials? Would you try any of them? Have you tried any of them? Let us know your thoughts!
Cover photo: http://photoblog.nbcnews.com/