Who doesn’t love going to the beauty salon or day spa for a bit of pampering?
Whether it’s getting a facial or a massage, a manicure or a pedicure, it’s always great to treat yourself and have a spot of “me time” in the process.
But these days it’s not all putting mud on your face and heated rocks on your back while you listen to a CD of some guy playing the pan flute in a dimly lit room. There’s a whole bunch of new and unconventional pampering methods out there you might not have heard of.. and many of then not for the faint-hearted.
Here are some offbeat beauty treatments that people out there are doing, right now, somewhere in the world, as you read this:
1. Live snail facials
In Japan you can experience live snails crawling over your face in the name of beauty. It’s claimed that their mucus trails contain proteins, antioxidants and hyaluronic acid and therefore have amazing beauty-boosting powers.
2. Thai face slapping
Getting slapped in the face doesn’t sound very relaxing. However, it is claimed that face slapping, along with something called “massage boxing” provide a range of health benefits, supposedly including shrinking pores and removing wrinkles.
3. Snake massage
At Ada Barak’s carnivorous plant farm in Israel, not only can you check out plants that like to eat creatures, but you can enjoy a “therapeutic snake massage”. The owner of the farm claims to have conceived the idea for the treatment after picking up a snake from one of her plants and passing it around to guests who reported they were more relaxed after handling it. The massage involves removing your top and pants, lying down, and experiencing the feeling of small snakes crawling on your skin.
4. Fish pedicure
Fish pedicures began as a trend in the Middle East and are now popular all over the planet. How it works is just like a normal pedicure, except you put your feet in a tank and allow garra ruffa fish to gnaw at your flesh. Well they eat dead and callused skin. But still. The practise is banned in many places because the fish can carry diseases and make you ill.
5. Cactus massage
In Mexico you can get a massage with a warm cactus mixture that is supposed to remove toxins and rehydrate your skin.
6. Golf ball massage
In Abu Dhabi, you can book in for a 90-minute deep tissue massage using golf balls that have been warmed with menthol and then rolled over your muscles.
7. Bird poop facial
An upscale spa in Manhattan offers a facial that is claimed to be inspired by Japanese Geishas and involves bird shit. The key ingredient is “powdered nightingale droppings” and it is said to soften, brighten and nourish the complexion. It is also claimed the nightingale poo can help remove makeup and heal skin.
8. Leech detox
Supposedly a treatment favoured by actress Demi Moore to help her to stay looking youthful, she attends an Austrian spa to have leeches applied to her body for detoxification.
In Finland you can have a “Super Cold Treatment” that involves sitting in an icebox for a few minutes in just a bathing suit, mittens, ear muffs and felt footwear. It’s claimed this treatment will release stress, boost the immune system and aid sleep. You have to stay for the required amount of time only, because otherwise you might get hypothermia and/or die.
10. Solid Gold Facial
A day spa in Florida offers patrons the opportunity to have their entire bodies painted in gold. They claim it prevents cellulite and signs of ageing.