snail slime face cream and ramen hot tubs: 5 unorthodox beauty treatments
On the quest to be forever young and bewitchingly beautiful, we’ve picked up wacky habits and weird ingredients along the way.
The quest to be beautiful has led humans down the rabbit hole of extreme beauty treatments. Injecting 20 cc's of botox into your face is almost as common to a trip to the hairdressers; non-surgical nose jobs can be done on your lunch break. But aside from surgical extremes, the makers of the beauty industry's creams, lotions, and potions are looking in far-flung, unexpected places for the products and processes that result in firmer bodies and faces. As we celebrate Alternative Beauty Day, we round up five of the weirdest and most unorthodox beauty phenomenons we can find. Partake in them at your own peril!
Ramen noodle jacuzzi
Ever loved the taste of tonkotsu-style ramen and just thought to yourself, 'gosh I wish I could just bathe in this porky goodness!?" Well, the Yunessun Spa House in Hakone, Japan offers you the chance to become the human ramen noodle you've always wanted to be. Ichiro Furuya, the spa's owner, claims that ramen's pork bone broth is an excellent source of collagen, helps improve the look of customer's skin, and increases metabolism. The treatment involves sweating it out in the broth and its accompanying synthetic noodles (real noodles have been banned by Japanese authorities). Being part of a human noodle bowl not for you? Don't fret: the spa also offers sake and green tea jacuzzis so you can stew in style.
Vampire blood facials
In a move that feels like we've taken our obsession with True Blood and Twilight one step too far, vampire blood facials have become all the rage amongst beauty aficionados. But Dracula doesn't donate his nights spoils in the name of beauty; the blood used in the facial is actually each client's own. It's extracted from the client's arm and and spun in a centrifuge to separate plasma from the blood cells. The platelet-rich plasma is then injected into the face to promote a smooth and plump visage. Our advice? Best sleep with one eye open before your best friend takes off with a vile of your blood!
Snail slime face cream
While it is commonly known that our European friends have long enjoyed devouring molluscs, it's lesser known that snails are harvested for medicinal and cosmetics properties as well (snails shells, it turns out, are often used in fertilizers). The secretion of snails can be used from everything from minor wounds to warts. And due to the elastin — anti-microbials, hyaluronic, and glycolic acids found in the mucus — snail slime is now a highly coveted component of face cream. Some price tags run over $300 for prime slime. You can also opt for live snails to trail your face in a facial, too! Who knew the fountain of youth lay in your childhood garden?
Bird poo facials
For a mere $260, you can have the pleasure of having bird feces smeared on your face in pursuit of blemish-free skin. The droppings are usually mixed with ingredients such as rice bran and rosewater to mask the scent and help promote a clearer, brighter skin-tone. Originating in Japan and made popular by geishas, the treatment has since been adopted by A-listers in the US and the UK. Far from using the everyday excrement of your neighborhood statue-dwelling pigeon, there are Japanese nightingale farms where the birds are fed special diets of seeds and berries to ensure premium poo for the facials. We shit you not!
Bee venom skincare
Wanna be Queen Bee, quite literally? The key to anti-aging skincare apparently lies in bee venom. Luxury skincare brand Rodial's line of bee venom products claims to plump fine line and wrinkles by controlling muscle contractions in the face. The venom works by tricking the body into thinking it's been stung; blood rushes to the area, which promotes firmness and tautness. The British beauty brand even offers a selection infused with 24-carat-gold for "instant radiance." Race you to the nearest hive!
As we share the first series of Beyond Beauty with Grace Neutral in full, follow us deeper into the world of alternative beauty. From the unorthodox to the obscure and the weird to the wonderful, we're celebrating the people, subcultures, treatments and trends helping to redefine beauty.
Text Lynette Nylander