THROUGHOUT history, women have been known to go to great and dramatic lengths to look their best or at least conform to society’s ever evolving standard of beauty. Victorian women would put ammonia on their faces and nightshade in their eyes to be as perfect as statues. In the Middle Ages, women would bleed themselves with leeches to achieve that pale look. In the 1930s, radioactive cosmetics were made available to improve complexion. There really is some truth to the saying “Beauty is pain.” In this day and age, apparently, it takes more than a glam team to achieve that luminous celebrity-like skin, and although none of these bizarre beauty treatments is lethal, and they may be less crazy than those of centuries past, they still can be a little too crazy for comfort. Read on and you be the judge.
Geisha aka bird poop facial
Celebrity who swears by it: Victoria Beckham
Nightingale droppings are collected and sterilized using ultraviolet light before being dried and ground into powder. These droppings have high concentrations of urea and guanine, which are said to leave the skin smooth and supple. The nitrogen in urea accelerates skin regeneration while the bleaching qualities of guanine give you that post-facial glow.
Celebrity who swears by it: Katie Holmes
From escargot to escarglow, who knew snails could slither their way into just about anything? In this treatment, snail serum is administered through microneedling, which pushes the product deeper into the skin and produces collagen that tightens the skin and reduces fine lines. The serum is a mixture of purified snail slime—which in itself is rich in elastin, glycolic acid and protein—and hyaluronic acid, a hydrating agent.
Sheep placenta facial
Celebrity who swears by it: Simon Cowell
The facial combines stem cell concentrate—a blend of sheep placentas that were discarded after meat slaughter, and hyaluronic acid—microdermabrasion, a mask, and red light therapy. The placenta and umbilical cord of mammals have been found to be rich in stem cells which can kickstart skin cells to produce increased levels of collagen, protein and elastin, thereby reversing the signs of aging.
Celebrity who swears by it: Cate Blanchett
This also involves microneedling, but the serum applied to the skin contains epidermal growth factor or stem cells sourced from the foreskin of newborn Korean baby boys. Stem cells harvested from newborn circumcision are then made into a collagen-generating serum that regenerates the skin, improves its overall texture and corrects discoloration.
Celebrity who swears by it: Kim Kardashian
In essence, this facial makes use of your own blood to help promote the healthy activity of your skin cells. This is ideal for those with premature wrinkles, sun-damaged skin, and those who want an even tone and fresher appearance. Blood is drawn and then centrifuged to extract the platelet-rich plasma (derived from the serum part of the blood), which is injected back into your face to initiate production of collagen and elastin to give you a youthful glow.
Bee venom facial
Celebrity who swears by it: Kate Middleton
Dubbed to be nature’s Botox or bee-tox, this treatment claims to rejuvenate, reduce scars and wrinkles, and heal acne. The bee venom plumps up the skin by tricking it into thinking that it has been stung, thus triggering the healing process and creating a collagen synthesis. The procedure starts with a deep cleanse using a collagen cleanser, then a collagen toner is applied before a skin peel is lathered on to remove dead skin cells. The bee venom is applied last and left on for 20 minutes.
Snake venom facial
Celebrity who swear by it: Debra Messing
Contrary to what the name might have you believe, the main ingredient of this treatment is not snake venom, but a synthetic version of it that mildly mimics the paralyzing effect of a temple viper’s venom. The substance stuns the muscles under the skin to ease the look of lines and improve overall skin texture. It sends messages to the muscle receptors not to contract, hence the Botox-like effect.