Geishas used to smear bird excrement on their faces in place of moisturizer. Whale placenta was once a main ingredient in lipstick. Humans have long been willing to go to bizarre lengths to maintain our looks, and the modern beauty industry is no exception (remember the first time you heard people were injecting botulism into their faces to prevent wrinkles?) Still, there are some treatments that manage to seem strange even in our world of squeezing into Spanx and competitive nail art (which hasn’t stopped me from chasing down a few of them).
From the Vampire Facial to the majestic V-Steam, here are 12 seemingly bizarre beauty treatments explained:
All The Celebrities Are Doing It 1 of 13
Does that mean you should too?
[Image courtesy of Simon Wicks, Flickr Commons]
Snail Facial 2 of 13
Fish Pedicure 3 of 13
Why not get a pedi just by soaking your feet in a bath of tiny flesh-eating fish that nibble your toes!? Great for exfoliating! (What?!) No, seriously. These little fish known as garra rufa, or "Doctor Fish," are famous for sucking the calluses (barf) and other "imperfections" from your toes. But be sure to exercise caution if you choose to go this route, as their use is still controversial due to lack of regulation and potential for infection.
[Image courtesy of Simon Wicks, Flickr Commons]
Leech Cleanse 4 of 13
Vampire Facial 5 of 13
Made famous by Kim Kardashian, during this treatment, blood is taken from your body, spun to remove platelets, and re-injected into your face via MicroNeedling. If you want to read about my experience with MicroNeedling (sans blood mask) click here.
[Image via @kimkardashian on Instagram]
V-Steam 6 of 13
Said to relieve menstrual cramps, kill bacteria, boost fertility, and renew your lady-soul from the inside out, I've actually tested this one out personally.
Picture a square wooden toilet with a steaming bucket of herbs where the water would go, and then picture yourself sitting on it while naked under a giant hair-cutting gown. (Alternately, you could visit a spa with the newfangled version which just looks like a really fancy toilet. Giant hair-cutting gown still required.)
While the steaming of your privates isn't unpleasant, I'm not sure that I saw any notable results from my single treatment. Bonus fun fact? I had mine in a room with four other bloggers, but that's a whole other post. Talk about bonding.
[Image courtesy of Alverton Spa, Flickr Commons]
Stiletto Lift 7 of 13
Injectables have more uses than you may have ever even thought. Yes, ladies -- this procedure involves having Botox or any number of other fillers INJECTED INTO THE BALLS OF YOUR FEET to numb to the pain of wearing high heels for long periods of time.
But...what about your ankles? Do they offer steel reinforcements?
[Image courtesy of Emilio Labrador, Flickr Commons]
Bee Venom Facial 8 of 13
Buzzzzzzzzz!!! Made popular by Camilla (Duchess of Cornwall, obvs), this facial touts bee venom as the natural alternative to Botox. The serum is usually applied as a masque, which firms, tightens, and lifts the facial skin. (Psst--rumor has it Kate may be getting this treatment now, too!)
[Image courtesy of Andreas., Flickr Commons]
Vibration Therapy 9 of 13
Exhale Spa in New York City describes this non-invasive service as: "relaxing and gentle therapy, which leverages tuning forks to relieve pain, increase mental focus, and create a general sense of wellbeing. Specific points on the body may be targeted, as well as the overall aura."
[Image courtesy of Rai Parfait, Flickr Commons]
Evian Bath 10 of 13
It has been rumored that hotel guests who throw down $6,000 per night to stay in the penthouse suite at the Hotel Victor in South Beach, Miami have the option to partake in a $5,000 bath of one thousand bottles of pure Evian Natural Spring Water, sprinkled with rose petals. This mega-indulgent experience claims to leave you feeling "revitalized and refreshed." ...Now, don't get me wrong, but I could achieve "revitalized and refreshed" from a wet wipe and still hope to send my kids to college (amIright?)...
[Image courtesy of Dennis Wong, Flickr Commons]
Placenta Cream Facial 11 of 13
No, it's totally real. This treatment uses sheep placenta -- on your face -- to firm and tighten skin while promoting collagen production and intense hydration. Offered by Rodeo Drive dermatologist Dr. Lancer and at several other spas across America and Europe.
[Image courtesy of Sam Wordingham, Flickr Commons]
Red Vine Bath 12 of 13
Offered at the Caudalie Spa in New York's famous Plaza Hotel, this wine-centric "Vinotherapie" treatment is a bath that features the extract of Red Vine leaf, said to exfoliate the skin, reduce the appearance of cellulite, increase blood flow, and even reduce the appearance of fine lines. (I'll take one and a glass of 2007 Napa Valley Cabernet ... deal?)
[Image courtesy of Don McDougall, Flickr Commons]
Snake Venom Facial 13 of 13
Another one that's touted as "nature's Botox," the snake venom facial promises to lift and tighten facial skin. Offered at Sonya Dakar in Beverly Hills, this synthetic "SYN-AKE" venom promises to "gently stun" your facial skin...much like good ol' botulism.
[Image courtesy of Orin Zebest, Flickr Commons]