The truth is, I’m pretty vain. There, I said it. I love indulging in treatments, beauty loot, and I can’t lie: a major motivator for me when it comes to exercising is that I know it makes my butt look great (cardio health, shmardio health). Although I sickly pride myself on erring on the experimental side of vanity, there are a slew of procedures that are just a little too absurd, even for a beauty junkie like me. Here’s a list of my no-no’s; whether they’re disgusting, dangerous or just plain confusing, these are treatments I feel cross the line.
Stem Cell Injections
Stem cell injections used in the beauty world, like many procedures, borrow intelligence and notion from the medical world. When injured, diseased or damaged tissue is injected with a patient’s own stem cells, extracted from their own blood, cells renew and regenerate themselves, aiding greatly in the healing process. When needle-happy plastic surgeons and their army of Barbies started experimenting with this procedure to treat ailments like wrinkles and sagging skin, some results were very good. Others, however, not so much: it’s nearly impossible to gauge how an individual’s body will process and react to these injections, and some patients experienced bizarre and unwanted growths. One case reported a woman who grew bone shards in her eyelids. I’ll stick with Botox, thanks.
Geisha Nightingale Dropping Facial
Bird poo. On your face. Yes, you read that right. Geishas have been perfecting their complexion since the 1600s with the Asian Nightingale’s droppings said to exfoliate, lock in moisture, even tone and produce a lit-from-within glow. If you can get past the ick factor, Shizuka Spa in New York City offers The Geisha Facial, which promises to “brighten, heal and retexturize the skin… and impart a pearly luster.” May we recommend a nose plug with your treatment?
Micro Needle Therapy
When your body is in distress, cells work in overdrive to repair and heal damaged skin. Cuts turn to scabs, burns heal, and in time, injuries are repaired and usually become invisible. Micro Needle Therapy banks on this concept, and a gadget that looks astonishingly similar to a Medival torture device was created to perform the procedure. The process involves a needle-studded roller, administered by a pro, who massages the device over your face, causing topical trauma. Cells rush to heal the wounds, and in the process clear up acne scars, wrinkles and fine lines. This thought alone makes me squeamish, but after reading some patients contracted blood-borne illnesses, like Hepatitis and HIV from unsanitary micro needle rollers, this treatment was immediately deemed as far too dangerous to try.
Bee and Snake Venom Facials
Similar in theory and your body’s process to Micro Needle Therapy, bee and snake venom are quickly becoming a beauty phenomenon when it comes to treating aging skin concerns. When applied topically to the face, venom-spiked creams and lotions trick the body into believing the skin has been stung and gets busy repairing damage. The downfall? This stuff stings. After all, your body is an incredibly clever mechanic and won’t be fooled into repairing skin if it doesn’t believe its been harmed. Apart from pain, venomous creams can be extremely dangerous if you have an allergic reaction, which is almost impossible to predict unless you’ve been bitten by a poisonous snake before.
Nipple darkening tattoos
Permanent makeup is an old trick, although still a super-creepy one. Women have been tattooing eyebrows, eyeliner and lip liner since the late 70s, but the newest form of beautifying via a tattoo goes a little beyond a flick of eyeliner: “titooing” involves darkening areolas and nipples for what women who have had the procedure say is an aesthetically more pleasing pair of breasts. British nipple-tattooing technician Gail Proudman explains, “The girls get them done so they can go topless and not be embarrassed, or when they’re in a changing room and getting changed. They can go on holiday in front of their partners, go for massages, spray tans and just not be conscious of their body.” If darker nipples are the secret to these womens’ confidence, then may they parade around topless with pride.