From the latest fad diet to the newest celebrity obsession, the secrets of beauty are oftentimes the center of women’s priorities. Women around the world go to great extremes to look their best, even if the cost is a painful, embarrassing or simply disgusting experience. While America is home to a few bizarre practices of its own—plastic surgery among others—some countries offer treatments that bring a whole new meaning to beauty. Check out what the world has in store for the beauty industry, and as a simple note of advice, take caution before you try any of these at home!
According to handlers on a snail farm, snail secretions not only protect snails themselves from free radicals, environmental pollution and UV radiation, but also protect human skin from oxygen radicals due to their high antioxidant content. The beauty industry has incorporated these magical snail secretions, which are touted for their regenerative properties, into skin products in order to provide customers with skin firmness, strength, suppleness, and elasticity. One popular product that contains them is BioSkinCare cream, a 1.76 oz moisturizing face cream that provides all the benefits of snail ooze for $70.
Indeed, Mexico has found a way to put the cactus to good use. At its Four Seasons Resort spa, clients can indulge in a unique massage and body scrub treatment. First, they are massaged with cactus paddies to help remove toxins (ouch!). Next, they are scrubbed with a mixture combining sea salt, lime juice, and tequila to exfoliate and cleanse. As simple as the mixture seems, the treatment costs $110 for 25 minutes of external inebriation. Think you can get drunk through osmosis?
If Cleopatra’s endorsement weren’t compelling enough, consider the scientific evidence backing the benefits of bathing in milk. According to researchers, milk is full of lactic acid, which is a form of alpha-hydroxy-acid that helps dissolve proteins and exfoliate dead skin cells. Applying milk to your skin will make it look fresher and younger. The fat content of the milk will also provide more conditioning, so if you plan to try this home remedy, opt for whole milk instead of skim milk.
A former beauty staple of geishas and kabuki actors, enzyme and guanine-rich nightingale droppings are now used around the world in spa beauty treatments. The droppings were originally used to remove makeup, but recognizing their high nitrogen content, spas now use them in their facials to destroy bacteria and unclog pores. The treatment also has a whitening effect and can run as high as $250.
A questionably safe treatment available in Turkish spas is the use of garra rufa fish to eat away at dead skin cells. Clients will soak feet in a tub of fish swimming in water. These fish are oftentimes helpful in treating psoriasis and eczema, but are also used for exfoliating prior to a pedicure.
Ada Barak’s spa in Talmei Elazar employs snakes during therapeutic massages. The snakes create an array of sensations depending on their size, and the slithering snakes are said to create a relaxing experience that aids in stress relief. Lucky for patrons, the snakes are all non-venomous. The unique experience runs for about $80.
Hari’s beauty salon in London offers customers unique hair treatments. Using the highest quality Iranian caviar, Hari’s promises a hair mask that nourishes and treats dull and dry hair. To enliven overworked or colored hair, the salon also offers a conditioning treatment that combines bull’s sperm with katera root. These treatments cost customers £100.
Spas in Austria continue to use leeches to detoxify human blood. The service attracts many patrons, including the likes of celebrities such as Demi Moore. Serious health risks are associated with the practice, but many continue to indulge in the prospect of cleansing their blood. The treatment can cost up to several hundred dollars.
A Mediterranean grandmother’s telltale tip for soft hair and vibrant skin is olive oil. For centuries, the oil has been used to remove make-up, reduce wrinkle lines, moisturize skin, and soften chapped lips. Those who swear by this home treatment will also apply the oil to their scalp to reduce dandruff, itchiness and dryness.
Beauty salons in Ethiopia offer a particularly interesting butter massage treatment. After receiving a massage using butter on a plastic-covered massage bed, women are told to lather butter on their vaginal area and sit atop a smoldering hole in the ground. Basting of the buttered vagina is believed to tighten and cleanse the area post-pregnancy. But before you capture that snake you saw in your backyard or start dolloping butter onto your nether regions, deeply consider leaving these practices to the professionals! While these practices may work for certain individuals, they are not all safe or scientifically proven to be effective. But, hey, it is nice to know that tequila isn’t all that bad for you. Sources: BioSkinCare Greece: http://beyondjane.com/beauty/olive-oil-beauty-tips-10-neat-uses-for-olive-oil/ Egypt: http://www.cyrenorganics.com/index.php/skincare-articles/bathing-milk.html/ Elle Magazine