BUT I DON’T HAVE TO DO WHAT THESE LADIES DO, as described in an Alter Net article by Larry Schwartz, a Brooklyn-based freelance writer with focus on health, science and American history. Victoria Beckham is reportedly a big fan of the sheep placenta facial. In this treatment, stem cells from the afterbirth of an ewe are extracted and applied to the skin. (Happy to miss that one). I’m even happier to avoid he snail facials utilized by Katie Holmes. Popular in Southeast Asia, the snail facial involves applying live snails to your face and allowing them to crawl over the skin, depositing their slime (scientifically, helix aspersa muller glycoconjugates). The snails disperse their mucus when under stress, and the substance supposedly contains healthy
nutrients that will alleviate acne, stretch marks, scars, and wrinkles.
We’ve heard of the “bee-stung lips” look, but how about the bee-stung face? Believers in this facial procedure claim that applying bee venom to the face fools the skin into thinking it has been stung, causing the body to direct blood to the face and producing collagen and elastin to smooth and soften the skin, while restoring elasticity. Among the proponents are Victoria Beckham, Kate Middleton and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
Another approach I am happy to have missed is to pump up the face with a dermal filler called hyaluronic acid. Then take some of your own blood, usually from the arm, use a centrifuge to extract platelet rich plasma (PRP), and in a series of injections, return that PRP back into your face. The theory is that the blood platelets contain growth factors that will repair your skin and restore your youthful glow. Still, Kim Kardashian swears by it, so it must be true. I give a whoopee about missing the next one: Leech facial. The leech facial involves allowing leeches to attach and suck blood from the face, and then smearing the leech-ed blood back onto the face. This allegedly will give you smoother, younger looking skin. Adherents like Demi Moore claim that the proteins and lipids in the leech saliva act to moisturize the skin. Needless to say, no science has shown this to be a fact. And anyway, do you really want leeches sucking blood from your face? NO. Kitty litter facial. NO. Bird poop facial. AARGH! Japanese geishas used the feces of the nightingale to remove the heavy makeup they wore, and today the geisha facial has gained adherents around the world. The dung of the Japanese nightingale supposedly has restorative properties, smoothing the skin and giving it that Tom Cruise glow. Cruise, in fact, uses the dung, according to Now Magazine. “Tom doesn’t go in for Botox or surgery, but he does pay close attention to all the new and popular natural treatments. He recently started experimenting with the nightingale poo facial.”
The fire facial is popular in spas all over China, but hasn’t yet caught on in the U.S. Not surprising since it involves setting fire to your face. Well, not exactly. A towel is soaked in alcohol and a special beauty elixir, wrapped on to the face, and then lit on fire. The towel is then quickly extinguished with another cloth (before your face melts, presumably). The treatment allegedly “stimulates the skin and addresses dullness, sagging and wrinkles.” Other than the fact that there is no science behind these claims, the fact that you would be lighting a fire on your face should give anyone pause.
Now how did I miss the last treatment on my list? it’s a semen facial, delicately referred to as “man juice.”