Unorthodox Beauty Treatments

Back in 2005, a “Nip/Tuck” episode featured a fictitious cream that Joan Rivers loved so much that she offered to be the celebrity spokeswoman. Unbeknownst to Rivers, the power behind the wonder cream was a human derived secret ingredient that would gross most people out—semen!What about semen made it such a great skin care additive?QUIZ: How Old is Your Skin?Perhaps it is semen’s level of glycosphingolipids, a fatty substance that can help reinforce the skin’s lipid barrier to help keep the skin hydrated. Or could it be the mineral richness of semen that helps jump-start slowing aged cells? Maybe the film forming aspect of this organic ingredient pulls skin taut, giving it an instant lift effect? I’m inclined to believe that all of the reasons mentioned make for an interesting anti-aging ingredient, but as to it being truly effective, the question is: Who is willing to try such an unorthodox beauty treatment?One of the most popular cosmetic procedures today are Botox injections. Approximately 6.1 million Botox procedures were performed in 2012—a record high! When one stops to think that people are being injected with a toxin produced by the life-threatening botulism-causing bacteria, clostridium botulinum, it seems like an extreme measure just to eliminate a few fine lines. But that’s what I love about science—the ability to take a threatening substance and tweak it so that it works for us instead of against us. That is indeed a beautiful thing!MORE: All the Facts Behind BotoxLet’s look at another popular poison that has found its way into skin care brands: bee venom. A study published in the International Journal of Advancements in Research & Technology showed that the bee venom contains “at least 18 pharmacologically active components including various enzymes, peptides, and proteins,” all familiar ingredients commonly found in skin care products. Bee venom has been used throughout the ages to treat inflammatory conditions thanks to its potent anti-inflammatory characteristics. However, it is the neurotoxin feature that even has Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, singing its praises. Bee venom is believed to have a “botox-like” effect on skin; it interferes with the signals going to the brain preventing muscle contractions. Many more studies need to be done to prove the skin benefits of bee venom. I’m not totally convinced but it makes for a great story!Last, but certainly not least, is snail slime. This treatment is available as a facial (Read: snails crawl over your face, depositing carbohydrates and proteins on the skin as they mosey along). Snail creams and serums are also available but are far more prevalent in the Asian market.  The U.S. market has either a healthy sense of skepticism or disgust for snail products, and I personally do not blame them. There are many ingredients that can benefit the skin far more efficiently than snail slime.The list of not-so-average skin treatments go on and on to include procedures like urine therapy and vampire facials. The question is how far are you willing to push the beauty envelope?

Share with your friends

leave a comment

FROM OUR FRIENDS