Ahh yes, what we will do for…beauty?
The most fascinating things are always those things that humans tend to come up with. And the fact that a multitude will string along and try this stuff is beyond me, but… Check out some Bizarre World Beauty Trends (Post originally from ELLE, Emily Hebert)
1. England: Bull-Sperm Hair Treatment
Hari’s Salon in London offers a bull-sperm conditioning treatment for troubled tresses. Mixed with katera root, an Iranian plant, the protein-packed concoction is believed to reinvigorate colored, overprocessed, and/or frizzy hair types.
2. Germany: Beer Bath
Celebrities like Catherine Zeta-Jones have long lathered up with beer for shinier tresses, but in Germany you can take this at-home remedy to the next level. Fortified with brewer’s yeast, malt, and two scoops of hops, beer baths are offered at a handful of spas. Bubbly and warm, the Jacuzzi-like treatment is designed to soothe skin: The B vitamins, biotin, and protein compounds in beer are thought to cleanse and nourish.
3. Israel: Snake Massage
At Ada Barak’s Spa in Talmei Elazar, Israel, slithering snakes are being used to create a therapeutic massage (don’t worry, the serpents are nonvenomous). Not convinced of the relaxation benefits of reptiles roaming your back? According to proponents of the practice, larger snakes produce a calming, kneading sensation, while smaller garden varieties provide gentle caresses.
4. Turkey: Fish Pedicure
Instead of a typical pre-pedi exfoliation procedure, tootsies are soaked in a tub of water containing garra rufa fish, Turkish carp. Traditionally used to treat conditions such as psoriasis and eczema, these slippery creatures nibble at dead skin. Some, however, say the treatment is fishy: In addition to being potential disease carriers, the “doctor fish” are actually no more effective than a loofah or pumice stone.
5. Japan: Bird-Dropping Facial
Offered in spas across the U.S., facials with bird droppings originated in Japan centuries ago. Geisha and kabuki actors would use the famed nightingale droppings to remove their thick white makeup: The enzyme- and guanine-packed paste proved to be an expert exfoliator. Additionally, the high nitrogen content of nightingale droppings removes bacteria and dead skin cells from the dermis more gently than acid peels. Wary of applying bird excrement to your face? Unlike in ancient Japanese culture, today’s nightingale facials are performed using a sterilized powder form of droppings.
6. Chile: Snail Secretions
When it was discovered that handlers on a Chilean snail farm had exceptionally smooth hands, the beauty industry took notice. Many believe that the snail secretions (released by snails to repair and protect) are beneficial to human skin as well. As a result, a variety of face creams containing this supposedly therapeutic fluid have become available, the most notable being BioSkincream.
7. China: Cupping Acupuncture
A few years ago, Gwyneth Paltrow created buzz when she showed up at an event in a backless dress, exposing peculiar circles up and down her spine. Turns out, the markings weren’t in fact bruises but rather the result of Chinese cupping acupuncture. In this age-old procedure, small glass or bamboo cups are lit and applied on the skin; a vacuum is created when the air under the cup cools, which is believed to stimulate blood flow and rebalance inner energy. Though the treatment is painless, dark-red welts are a byproduct.
8. Russia: Platza Treatment
Offered at Russian spas and bathhouses, the platza oak-leaf procedure involves being beaten in a steam-filled room by an olive oil–drenched oak-leaf broom called venik. The oak leaves contain a natural astringent that opens pores, removes toxins, and exfoliates dead skin. To finish the treatment and seal in the benefits of the oak leaves, a bucket of ice-cold water is poured over the spa patron.
9. Austria: Leech Detox
If you thought the leech detox went out of style centuries ago, think again: Despite health risks, blood-sucking leeches are still used in Austrian spas today, and they even have a celebrity fan. Last March, actress Demi Moore spoke of her “leech therapy” on the Late Show With David Letterman, telling the host that the experience helped detoxify her blood (whatever that means). Moore went on to describe how four leeches got drunk on her blood (the feasting began at her belly button), how they don’t like hair and prefer waxed or shaved skin, and, yes—how she plans to go back for more. Gross!
10. United States: Chocolate Fondue Wrap
Though chocolate spa treatments are offered throughout the world, the most fitting place to receive one would have to be Hershey, Pennsylvania. In the hometown of the popular Hershey chocolate bar, the Hotel Hershey has a Chocolate Spa that entices visitors with its Chocolate Fondue Wrap. Based on the premise that chocolate’s vitamins and antioxidants are antiagers, the treatment involves being covered with a cocoa-mud wrap. Mmmm….
11. Mexico: Cactus Massage and Tequila Body Scrub
When we think of Mexico, we think of tequila and cacti. But as a spa treatment, incorporating these two entities seems pretty unusual. Enter the Hakali Body Massage and Punta Mita Margarita offerings at Mexico’s Four Seasons Resort: While the body massage involves being massaged with actual cactus (nopal) paddies, the margarita body scrub is made from tequila, salt, and fresh lime juice. The reasoning behind these two procedures? Nopal is thought to be healing and detoxifying, while the sea salts impart minerals, lime acts as a natural astringent and conditioner, and tequila purifies.
Posted on September 22, 2011, in Kawaii? Nope...Weird! and tagged beer bath, bird dropping, body scrub, cactus massage, china, detox, england, facials, germany, israel, japan, leech, Mexico, snails, Spa, sperm, tequila, turkey, United States. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.