For ages, humans have gone to crazy lengths to achieve or maintain their beauty. You may have heard about African and Asian tribes using metal rings to elongate their neck. And you're probably familiar that Ancient Romans used urine in facial masks hundreds of years ago. But, even in modern times in the Western world, there have been some pretty shocking beauty treatments that people are actually willing to spend a lot of money on. Read on to find out more about 15 of such treatments (and try not to get too grossed out). Would you try any of these to look younger?
15 Vampire facelift
You may be familiar with the pretty gross image that Kim Kardashian once tweeted of her face covered in blood. That was actually a cosmetic procedure called the platelet-rich fibrin matrix method, also known as the vampire facelift (for obvious reasons). The way that this procedure works is that a doctor draws blood from the person desiring to look younger and isolates platelets (the part of your blood that helps to stop bleeding) from that blood. They then activate the platelets to release growth factors (which normally repair injured skin). This leads to increased collagen production and new blood flow. Finally, they inject the growth factors back into the person’s face, filling out wrinkles and giving the person a rosy, younger look. The cost? $900 to $1500.
14 Leech facelift
Leeches—they’re slimy, they’re gross, and you’d probably lose your mind if you came into close contact with one. Yet, actress Demi Moore has admitted to using leeches as a beauty treatment! The leech facelift procedure is said to brighten and tighten your skin. The way it works is that the leeches suck your blood from your body until they are full. Then, the blood is mixed into a mask that is applied onto your face. Supposedly, leech saliva contains over 140 enzymes. So, this “leech blood mask” can kill unwanted bacteria, reduce inflammation, rejuvenate blood vessels, and more. Can you imagine having worms (which is basically what leeches are) crawling all over your face? We don’t know about you, but we’d rather just have wrinkles and dull skin!
13 24-carat gold facial
A lot of celebrities and other wealthy people love sheer opulence so, of course, they wouldn’t pass up the opportunity to have gold splattered all over their face. Yes, 24 carat gold facials are a real thing. And the price reflects it, too—these facials can cost hundreds of dollars and may even go up to $1200. They are said to improve skin texture, tone, wrinkles, dark spots, and more. This is because gold is an anti-inflammatory (so it can help to reduce redness) and it contains ions which are said to stimulate blood flow and slow down collagen depletion. It’s believed that even the Egyptian pharaoh, Cleopatra, used gold to keep her skin looking young and beautiful. We know we’d choose gold over leeches any day!
12 Bird poop facial
If you thought leech facials were bad, you better think again. There’s a spa in New York that offers bird poop facials. That’s not a typo, in case you were wondering. Victoria Beckham and Japanese geishas are fans of this beauty treatment. The treatment begins with steam to open up your pores (because you want the bird poop to just be absorbed completely into your skin). Then, dried, ground-up nightingale droppings are mixed with rice bran and brushed onto your face. After five glorious minutes, the mixture is washed off with a foaming cleanser and followed with a green-tea collagen mask. If you want to try this at home (and, by the way, don’t) you can’t use any old bird poop. You have to use nightingale poop, specifically, since they live on seeds alone and produce an enzyme that’s the main ingredient in this facial.
11 Placenta facial
We all want our skin to look and feel like a baby’s—soft, smooth, and with no acne. So, what better way to achieve that look than to put a baby’s placenta on your face, right? Yeah, this beauty treatment is weird, to say the least. But, it just might work. Most of the providers of this treatment use either human or sheep placenta, which have things like growth factors, nutrients, and amino acids in them.
When applied to the skin, they tighten and hydrate the skin. The stem cells that come from sheep placenta also promote collagen production and increases skin elasticity. Not surprisingly, Kim Kardashian has reportedly tried the placenta facial (along with Harry Styles and Victoria Beckham). The treatment goes for around $500.
10 Bee venom mask
Most of us would run the other way if we saw a bee or anything with the word “venom” written on it. So, it may come as a surprise that people are actually paying money to put bee venom on their skin. It makes sense, though, because bee venom can penetrate the skin, increasing blood flow, which makes the skin appear plumper and firmer. The blood flow can also lead to an increase in collagen and elastin production. It’s like getting botox without the needle! The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, reportedly used the Heaven Bee Venom Mask to prepare her skin for her big wedding day. The prices for this brand’s bee venom masks range from an affordable $19.87 to a whopping $619.72. Hey, if that’s what made her look that good, we’d like to try some ourselves!
9 Snail slime skincare
It takes quite a bit of courage to eat snails (escargot) and even then, the slime is removed and the snail is seasoned so that you can’t even tell you’re eating a snail. But, what about straight up putting snail slime all over your face? Sounds pretty disgusting, but people actually do it just so that they can look good. The practice goes back a long way—Ancient Greeks actually used crushed snails to treat inflamed skin. Today, snail slime creams are being marketed as a way to “soothe, regenerate and heal skin.” There’s truth to that—after all, it’s the way snails themselves protect their skin from damage and sun exposure. So, we really want to know—would you rub snail slime all over your face in the name of beauty, for only $34.95?
8 Fire facial
Most of us want to look smoking hot. This beauty treatment takes that literally, by lighting your face on fire. The fire facial, also called Huŏ Liáo, is performed in Chinese beauty salons. The way it works is that therapists apply a towel soaked in alcohol to your face and a “secret formula” to the skin. Then, they set the area on fire. Sounds kinda scary, doesn’t it? Not to worry, though, the “secret formula” that is applied to the skin protects it from being burned. It’s really too bad that we don’t know what’s in it, though. The treatment is said to stimulate cell regeneration, improving the look of wrinkles and complexion. The treatment can also be used for the common cold and obesity.
7 Bull semen hair conditioner
We all want to put an end to our bad hair days, right? But how far are you willing to go? Would you try washing your hair with hair conditioner made with bull semen? Sounds pretty barf-worthy, but this is an actually thing. Bull semen supposedly strengthens hair and promotes growth, giving you longer, healthier hair. One salon in London, Hari’s, combines the bull sperm with a protein-rich plant called Katera. This protein-rich mixture is then massaged into the client’s hair and put under heat so that it’s absorbed. The good thing is that this treatment isn’t crazy expensive (it ranges from $90 to $138) and it doesn’t smell. But, we have a feeling that you’ll want to stick to your argan and coconut oils.
6 Kitty litter face scrub
Michelle Phan is a popular beauty vlogger who shared a little secret to her followers one day: kitty litter can be used as a face mask that softens skin and prevents acne. Yes, that kitty litter… you know, the thing your cat poops in. At least she didn’t recommend using used kitty litter (that would just be crazy). So, why kitty litter? Well, it’s made from bentonite clay—the same thing that many facial masks are made from. Also, a bag of kitty litter is super cheap compared to regular face masks. She recommends using the unscented kind because the scented ones may contain harmful chemicals that can irritate your skin. To prepare your kitty litter face mask, simply add some water and a bit of Aloe Vera to it and warm it up in the microwave. Then, apply it to your face and after 15 minutes, wash it off.
5 Doctor fish pedicure
There’s a controversial pedicure that made headlines a few years ago because it involved dunking your feet into a tank of fish. We’re getting the shivers just thinking about this. Garra rufa fish, also known as “doctor fish," are a small, toothless member of the carp family. When you place your feet in a tank filled with them, they’ll nibble off your dead, scaly skin, revealing a layer of new, healthy skin. In short, they exfoliate your skin. At first, the procedure feels ticklish (and some people are scared of the fish), but eventually, it just feels like a massage. The unique pedicure was so controversial that it was eventually banned in many states because using the same fish to clean multiple clients can lead to the spread of infection.
4 Caviar facial and skincare
Caviar (fish eggs) is usually associated with all things luxurious and expensive, so it’s not really a surprise that someone decided to use it as a beauty treatment, too. The first time that caviar was used in a beauty product was in 1987, when La Prairie started a skin care line with caviar as its main ingredient.
Today, caviar facials are offered at high-end spas around the world, such as La Prairie spa in the Ritz-Carlton, New York. The price tag is just what you’d expect—upwards of $1000 per treatment. Caviar facials are claimed to brighten skin, getting rid of those pesky dark spots and resulting in an even skin tone. Caviar products also reportedly help to tighten and lift skin, hydrate skin, and prevent discoloration before it even occurs.
3 Red wine bath
Some people really love wine—so much so that they just wanna jump into a pool of red wine. It may sound like a fantasy to all you wine-lovers out there, but this is something that you can actually do at the Yunessun Spa Resort in Japan. You may have heard that drinking red wine has health benefits, but you may not have heard that bathing in it has beauty benefits. Yes, the polyphenols found in grape seeds contain powerful antioxidants which, practitioners claim, can boost circulation, get rid of cellulite, and slow down aging! But, before you go spending hundreds of dollars on a wine bath, be aware that doctors are pretty skeptical of the procedure, saying that it’s unlikely that antioxidants absorbed by the skin will have anti-aging effects.
2 Chocolate body wrap and facial
If you’re not a fan of wine and chocolate is more your thing, you’re in luck. Chocolate for your body spa in Chicago is pretty much a chocolate-lover’s heaven on earth. The unique spa offers chocolate body treatments such as a chocolate body wrap, chocolate massage, and chocolate facial! It’s not just for pure pleasure; the treatments actually help your skin look better. The sweet smell of chocolate is said to release endorphins (your “feel-good” hormones) and since chocolate is an antioxidant, it helps to slow down the skin’s aging process by protecting against wrinkle-causing damage. Cocoa beans also improve circulation in the skin, reduce swelling, and may accelerate the burning of fat. If you don’t want to spend a load of money on this treatment, you can try it at home.
1 Arctic Ice Room
You may be familiar with the fact that most spas offer saunas, which can improve circulation, increase collagen production, and detoxify the skin. It makes sense because the temperatures are so high in saunas that it causes sweating and an increased heart rate as the body works to maintain its normal temperature. But, what about the opposite of a sauna? That is, a freezing cold room. Can that help to maintain your beauty? There’s a spa in Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas that you can visit to find out. Once you step into the spa’s Arctic Ice Room, you’ll begin to breathe in mint-infused air, chilled to 55 degrees F, while snowflakes fall from the ceiling. It’s said that the cold can tighten pores and reduce hypertension.
Sources: vampirefacelift.com, dailymail.co.uk, silesianholisticcenter.com, nytlive.nytimes.com, pronuskincare.com, retiefskincenter.com, cbc.ca, livestrong.com, hollywoodreporter.com, instyle.com, instyle.com, dailymail.co.uk, dailymail.co.uk, naturallycurly.com, dailymail.co.uk, cdc.gov, thestar.com, forbes.com, dailymail.co.uk, elitereaders.com, chocolateforyourbody.com, livestrong.com, vegas.com,