How far would you go to get the smooth, glowing skin of your dreams? The answer for some people is VERY far. From semen (yes, real sperm) to animal placentas to fire, the things some women put on their face will astound — and possibly inspire — you.
Forget boring mud masks and cucumber slices! Here are 7 of the ugliest things you can put on your face in the name of getting beautiful skin.
According to beauty blogger Tracy Kiss, doing a daily, 20-minute semen facial has cured her of her rosacea, a skin condition where the cheeks and nose get red and irritated. And while this may seem like the best Internet prank ever (frat bros everywhere wish they’d thought of it first), Kiss assures you it’s legit, adding that it tightens and brightens her skin. She personally uses a donation from a friend who eats an organic, whole-foods diet and brings it to her in a plastic cup, but she encourages women to work with what they’ve got.
“I think people are concerned with the thought of putting semen on their face, but actually it’s a very natural and healthy thing to do,” she says in a YouTube video. “I know there are no added chemicals. It’s as natural and active and live as you could possibly get.”
2. Snail Mucous
Upscale salons in the U.K. and U.S. are now offering “snail facials” to help you get smoother, brighter skin. After lying back on a table, the aesthetician places three large snails on your face. (And no worries about these being any old garden gastropod, these snails are “totally organic and live a good life” according to one practitioner.) They then crawl all over your face for 20 minutes, leaving behind their mucous-y snail trail which is said to contain antioxidants and have skin tightening properties, leaving you with a refreshing “escarglow!”
3. Bee Venom
Called “natural Botox,” facials using a blend of alpha hydroxy acids, collagen and bee venom are said to reduce fine lines and give skin a tight, dewy look. Thankfully no actual bee stings are involved in the process, which if you didn’t know what it was would seem like every other facial ever, and patients are tested for allergies before. It’s said to be a favorite among celebrities famous for looking ageless.
“Immediately after, I looked a little grey, but my skin appeared completely matte and smooth, as though I was wearing a fine powder,” wrote one woman who tried it, adding that the facial wasn’t particularly relaxing but wasn’t unpleasant either. “The following day my color had returned and although my skin was definitely paler, it looked and felt smoother and I felt more confident going barefaced. After a few days I also noticed my skin was clearing up and the fine lines on my forehead were no longer visible. I even got some compliments about my complexion.”
Popularized by Kim Kardashian on her show, the “vampire facial” uses something akin to a tattoo gun with vials of your own blood to inject your face. One practitioner says the blood stimulates collagen and elastin fibers, which makes your skin smoother and all around clearer. And despite the gore — your face looks like you lost a boxing match to Mike Tyson, hence the name — women everywhere are lining up for the pricey treatment. But does it work?
“I glowed,” wrote Ruthie Friedlander, a writer who tried it out for Elle. “And less than a week later, my skin has never looked better or felt smoother. I can’t wait to go back for round two.”
5. Stem Cells From Sheep Placentas
Stem cells are one of nature’s most amazing miracles: The tiny cells are the beginning of all kinds of tissues and can grow into almost anything that makes a living organism. Baby kittens, baby lambs, baby babies — all your favorite adorable neonates can credit their existence to stem cells. (As can you!) So it makes sense that medical scientists would use them to help generate or regenerate tissue. It makes slightly less sense to use them as a topical solution on your face as the cells in your skin have already become skin cells and adding stem cells won’t make new ones. But if you have $500 to burn, it’s worth a try. Advocates say the stem cells, often extracted from sheep placentas, increase collagen production and plump up your skin.
More: 10 WTF beauty treatments that take bizarre to a new level
6. Snake Venom
Snake venom is used to paralyze prey so the viper can eat it, and proponents of the “snake venom facial” say it will do the same thing to your face, paralyzing your muscles similar to Botox but without the needles (or fangs). Instead, the venom is mixed into a lotion that is applied topically to your face as part of a regular facial. “The venom gently stuns the skin, preventing further development of lines and wrinkles,” says one site. We suppose that’s one way to get over your snake phobia?
Placing an alcohol-soaked cloth over someone’s face and lighting it on fire sounds like the premise of a horror movie, but according to Cosmopolitan, it’s all the rage in China. Women there reportedly seek out the “fire facial” treatment to fight colds, lose weight and brighten dull skin. And it’s not as frightening as it first sounds: The ‘facialists’ say they put out the fire using another cloth “very quickly” before it can reach your skin.
Sure, sounds fun.