It seems nothing is a step too far when it comes to our quest for eternal youth and stunning skin. We take a look at seven of the most bonkers beauty treatments out there...
1. Snail facial
This is apparently the latest in the beauty and wellness craze and is being pioneered in Thailand, a country renowned for its spa culture.
A brave reporter from the Associated Press headed to the Snail Spa, Chiang Mai, to try out the snail facial, believed to be a wonderful treatment for acne sufferers. Helix aspera muller glycononjugates – snail mucus! – has been used since ancient times as a remedy for skin inflammation. It contains a range of antioxidants believed to be great at healing the skin.
If you don’t like the idea of slimy snails crawling on your face, but want the benefits, then try out the Dr Organic snail gel, on sale at Holland & Barrett for £19.99. It’s had rave reviews from punters who say it’s freshened, plumped up and cleared their skin.
2. Bee Venom
There’s been a real buzz around bee venom during the past few months, with famous faces such as Kate Middleton and Kylie Minogue rumoured to use it as a secret weapon against ageing.
The venom used in the bee venom facials doesn’t harm bees, it’s extracted using a small metal plate put in the hive and makes a bee feel threatened. As the plate is hard, the bee keeps it’s sting and survives, unlike when it stings something soft like a human’s skin.
Placing bee venom on the face tricks skin into believing it’s been stung. The body then directs blood towards the area, thereby stimulating collagen and elastin production. A kind of ‘natural botox’ which tightens skin and makes it look younger.
Want to try it at home? Nip + Fab have a lifting mask which you can apply and wear overnight before washing off in the morning, available at Boots for £9.99. However, always do a patch test before applying in case of an allergic reaction, and of course if you have an allergy to bee or wasp stings you should steer clear of this one.
Slapping placenta on your face? Sounds pretty bonkers and a bit gross to boot. But Victoria Beckham and Simon Cowell are two of the many A-listers who apparently swear by a sheep placenta facial to keep the wrinkles at bay.
This treatment was first developed in LA (where else?) before being brought over to the UK. It’s believed to work as research has shown there’s stem cells in the umbilical cord and placenta of mammals. These stem cells have the ability to repair all of the different types of cells in the human body.
By applying placenta to the face, it will revitalise the skin cells and allow more collagen and elastin to be produced. This will plump out skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
The placenta facial costs £185 for 75 minutes, but you can also get the benefits yourself at home should you wish. Luxury skincare brand Rodial recently launched their Bee Venom & Placenta 24 Carat Gold Ultimate Creme, which contains placental protein. However, at a cool £375 it’s a real splurge.
4. Vampire facial
Kim Kardashian caused a real stir in 2013 when she was seen getting a painful looking ‘vampire facial’ on an episode of the reality show Kourtney and Kim Take Miami.
Viewers saw the star have blood drawn from her arm using a large needle, before the sample was spun in a machine to have the platelets removed. Then it was splattered back into her body via tiny needles in the face. Ouch!
And for an eye-watering £600 for the 90 minutes you can have it done over here too. It’s claimed it can smooth the skin and reduce the appearance of ageing, as well as remove under-eye puffiness and rejuvenate the face. Kim K definitely seemed happy with the results of hers!
5. Caviar facial
When we think of caviar, we think of a pricey foodstuff. Beluga caviar, for example, is one of the most expensive foods in the world. But the luxury snack made from fish roe (eggs) is a popular beauty treatment too. Sounds fishy? Well, it has a lot of celeb fans, including former US President George Bush Snr, apparently!
Fresh caviar eggs are rich in peptides and amino acids which help to ‘stimulate cell metabolism’ and maintain youthful-looking skin. It’s also a completely natural product, so it’s less invasive than something like botox.
It works by being applied to the skin using a gauze to hold the caviar eggs and keep them in place as the oils inside the roe are squeezed out onto the face. And if you think it might be a bit stinky, you’d be wrong. Many converts of this say it doesn’t smell at all.
6. Leech therapy
The idea of using these slippery suckers for medicinal reasons has been around since Medieval times, where ‘blood-letting’ to maintain health was very popular.
The NHS still uses leeches to aid recovery from plastic and reconstructive surgery. But in more recent years, hirudotherapy, or ‘leech therapy’, has become a beauty treatment, gaining status after actress Demi Moore admitted to becoming a fan of it back in 2008.
It was even featured in the Bonkers section of Chat!
Fans and practitioners of leech therapy say it can restore circulation, help with painful conditions such as sciatica and RSI and help people look younger.
Leeches attach onto the skin, where they then suck blood for 20-40 minutes until they’re full and fall off. During this time, they release an anti-clotting chemical through their saliva, which keeps blood flowing through the wound for around 10 hours, promoting a youthful appearance. They also have painkilling chemicals in their spit too.
7. Breast milk soap
From a Covent Garden restaurant selling breast milk ice-cream to jewellery maker who made charms out of solidified breast milk, it seems there’s a lot of innovative uses for a mother’s milk. And soap is no exception, with some parents going positively gaga over the all-natural ingredients.
It’s been very popular in the US and China, with some mothers there deciding to make soap out of their extra milk using online recipes. Back in 2010 Florida mum Paula D’Amore launched her business Liquid Gold Soaps, where she uses milk mothers send to her to make a special soap just for them and their family. According to Paula, the milk can help soothe acne, eczema and bites and stings.
Would you be brave enough to try any of these weird beauty treatments?