Did you know that Queen Elizabeth I often applied a face mask which included toxic white lead as an ingredient? Or that the Ancient Romans believed that gladiator sweat could create a glowing complexion?
Weird, right? Well you may be surprised to learn that the 21st century has some totally bizarre anti-ageing beauty treatments all of its own.
We look at 3 anti-ageing beauty treatments that might freak you out – but actually work!
Yes, you heard right. Snail cream has been big in Korea for several years, but it’s taken the likes of celebrity Katie Holmes to get products infused with snail filtrate flying off the shelves in the West.
When we talk about snail cream, we’re talking about products made from snail filtrate or mucin. You know, the glittery trail your good friend the garden snail leaves behind. The creams also tend to be formulated with other skin-loving ingredients such as aloe vera and vitamin E.
Rumour has it that snail filtrate’s efficacy was first discovered by Chinese snail farmers, who found that handling the snails made their skin heal quickly and minimised scarring.
Snail cream is marketed as a product that can fade scarring, fight acne, moisturise skin and even fight the signs of ageing. If you’re feeling brave, you can even opt for a snail facial!
How does it work?
Snail filtrate contains allatoin, which promotes tissue growth; glycolic acid, which breaks down dead skin cells to prevent clogged pores and dullness; hyaluronic acid, which helps the skin to maintain moisture and; collagen, which strengthens the skin and protects it from environmental toxins.
Interested? Try Tony Moly’s Intense Care Snail Cream Set.
Again with the creepy crawlies? Not quite. SYN-ake cream isn’t actually made from snakes, nor will it give you scaly skin (phew!). Instead, it contains a synthetic peptide that mimics the effects of a polypepetide found in the Malaysian Temple Viper’s venom.
While SYN-ake anti-aging cream is a fairly new skin care innovation, it already boasts celebrity fans such as Jennifer Lopez and has been hailed by users as ‘Botox in a bottle’.
Studies have found that ongoing usage can significantly decrease the appearance of crow’s feet and expression lines on the forehead without the dangers of more drastic treatments.
How does it work?
SYN-ake cream works in a similar fashion to Botox, by blocking nerve receptors to keep your facial muscles relaxed. When the SYN-ake peptide freezes the tissue beneath a wrinkle, the paralysed muscle allows the wrinkle to relax, creating a ‘smoothed out’ appearance.
Interested? Try Secret Key Syn-ake Wrinkle & Whitening Cream.
Sheep Placenta Facial
Just when you thought things couldn’t get any weirder, let’s talk about the bizarre Sheep Placenta Facial that’s rapidly gaining popularity. Victoria Beckham and music mogul Simon Cowell are converts to the treatment, which has been touted as a less drastic solution to a conventional face lift.
The treatment was devised by Harley Street doctor, Dr Roberto Viel and can cost around £600 ($1,000) for results that last up to 5 months.
The Sheep Placenta Facial, also known as Actistem, involves applying an anaesthetic cream to the patient’s face before rolling a dermaroller across the skin to stimulate blood flow. Then, sheep placenta (in a viscous liquid form) is massaged onto each area of the face. The process is repeated three times for each portion of the face.
Patients are then told to keep their skin dry for the following 12 hours and to expect a visible improvement in skin texture within 3 days.
How does it work?
Just like snail cream, the Sheep Placenta Facial aims to promote the body’s production of collagen to fight the signs of ageing. According to Dr. Viel, the placenta treatment achieves this by harnessing the restorative power of sheep stem cells. These stem cells (present in the proteins contained in the placenta) rebuild the patient’s skin cells and fibroblasts, which build up elastin and collagen to increase skin firmness and plump up its appearance.
Interested? Sheep placenta facials are still catching on in Australia. In the meantime, you can check out this cream option from Healthy Care.
It’s amazing what people will put on their faces to stave off old age. However, with preliminary research showing that these three anti-ageing beauty treatments get results, they make an excellent choice for people who are feeling their years but aren’t quite ready (or comfortable) to go under the knife.
Would you try a weird skin treatment like a snail facial?
Bethany Tyndall writes about beauty on her blog Beauty Junkie.