We’ve looked at strange remedies… now lets dissect the weird and wonderful things people will do to create picture-perfect salon finish skin:
- Snail facials: snails, fed on an organic diet of fruit and vegetables are placed on the skin and allowed to slide all over, leaving a shiny trail of mucous behind. This mucous is said to target cell regeneration and help to remove dead skin cells (there must be an enzyme in the mucous that acts as a non-granular exfoliant) —this is one I can’t even think about too much because slugs are my most hated creepy-crawly —yuck.
- Spermine: yes, it is like the name suggests. Using seminal fluid (or sperm) under UV light to allow the active ingredients and antioxidants to penetrate the top layers of the skin. It is said that it can help the skin to retain moisture and slow down the ageing process (largely because it contains protein, which is essential to skin health)
- Bee Sting Facial: venom is collected from bees, which have stung a pane of glass with electrical charge running through it (sounds a little bit cruel to me…). The theory is, that the toxin in bee venom called melittin causes a healing reaction in the skin (because the skin thinks it’s been stung), so boosts blood flow, elastin and collagen production to the skin resulting in fresh, plump skin. There is also some research on this toxin possibly preventing HIV and malignant tumours (article here). But it is a process to extract it and can be quite expensive, which is why this treatment isn’t common
- Vinotherapy: many people use wine as therapy already, but this kind of therapy is skin therapy, yes, using wine. Wine apparently helps to even skin tone, improve circulation and brighten the skin. Spa treatments are designed using not only wine, but also the pulp and crushed seeds and stems of grapes that are left over after juice is extracted in the wine making process. The seeds and stems create a fantastic refining scrub, and resveratrol which is found in the skin of grapes is said to be anti-ageing, teamed with polyphenols, which are antioxidants, that stimulate fresh skin cell growth and refine the skin’s tone.
- Gemstone Facial: Gemstones are strategically placed on the face to stimulate particular healing energies to help stimulate the skin, through a holistic approach (for example, stimulating the lymphatic system to decrease toxins in the skin and increase circulation). The type of gemstones used varies largely depending on the salon and the area in the world you are having your facial done in.
- Sheep Placenta: Yes, the afterbirth of sheep… stem cells are extracted and used in a facial. Stem cells are said to be able to reverse the signs of ageing, but I would think that they need to be properly preserved to be useful on the skin (there is also a procedure to have stem cells injected into the skin which costs upwards of $20,000).
- The Burning Face Facial: In this facial, the therapist soaks a towel in alcohol, places it over your face and sets it on fire. The towel is removed just before you suffer from scarring burns, but your entire face is burnt just enough to completely stimulate the healing reaction of the skin, meaning completely fresh skin underneath (absolutely no way would I ever recommend this to anyone! Get a chemical peel instead!)
- The Vampire Facial: This one has been made famous by Kim Kardashian, it involves drawing blood and spinning it to remove the platelets. It is then injected back into the skin of the face, and the remaining plasma is spread over the skin (it is said to be rejuvenating). The platelets are said to help stimulate collagen and elastin production in the skin, giving it a ‘natural’ facelift