Beauty isn’t always pretty, as these hellish beauty treatments prove. More weird than wonderful, the behind-the-scenes of fresh-faced celebrities is a little gorier than you might imagine—but no pain, no gain, right? From reptilian massages to prickly encounters with bees, these beauty treatments are like something straight out of a horror movie. If you’re squeamish, we suggest you look away now…
The Vampire Facial
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy is colloquially known as ‘The Vampire Facial’, created by skincare specialist Dr Barbara Sturm using the regenerative blood plasma from the patients own blood to help plump skin and minimise wrinkles. This weird beauty treatment was made famous by celebs like Kim Kardashian and Bar Refaeli, whose blood-smeared selfies solidified this creepy facial’s coveted status.
Bee Sting Therapy
If you’re wondering how on earth this could possibly be good for you, then you’re not alone. Officially known as apitherapy, this alternative therapy is said to use the venom of bees to help reduce inflammation. Gwyneth Paltrow is one of the celebrities who tried this unusual treatment, citing its long history in traditional medicine, but the scientific and medical community are yet to come back with evidence to support its apparent health benefits. With a high risk of anaphylactic shock, this one might be best left off your to-do list.
Snail Slime Facials
The idea of applying snail slime to your face is probably gross enough, but this therapy is actually done using live snails on the patient’s face. The snails excrete a mucus that is rich in antioxidants, proteins and hyaluronic acid, one of the key ingredients in super-hydrating skincare. Popular in South Korea, the theory is the mucus will help rejuvenate tired skin while minimising wrinkles.
This one is pretty much exactly as it sounds: if you have a fear of slithering reptiles, you might want to give this one a miss. New York spa Serpentessa began offering massages using her six-foot-long boa constrictors last year, which took the internet by storm—especially when Victoria’s Secret Angel Stella Maxwell shared her experience on Instagram. The massage uses the weight of the snake to relax muscles, and Serpentessa has said that many people visit to overcome their fear of snakes.
Blood-sucking leeches have a long history in both medical and cosmetic treatments, most commonly for preventing blood clots and improving circulation. However, when Demi Moore had the therapy done in 2008, it was for ‘blood detoxification’. We know of a few easier ways to detox, but each to their own…
The Fire Facial
This one takes the desire for a fresh-faced ‘glow’ a little too literally. The Fire Facial, otherwise known as Huǒ liáo, has its origins in China and was all the rage in 2013—we’re glad this one hasn’t stuck around in mainstream beauty. An alcohol-soaked facial towel is set alight on the face, very briefly, to stimulate the skin and remove dead cells. We reckon the risk of walking out with no eyebrows might be quite high…