[By Dana Lim]
In their quest for the holy grail of beauty, women have over time subjected their faces and bodies to bizarre beauty rituals. While the jury is still out on whether these indulgences truly contain the fountain of youth, our editorial team uncovers the unbelievable extents women will go to look beautiful.
Bird poop facials
Before you run out to get pooped on by a passing pigeon, know that this is no run-of-the-mill stray bird poop. If you have deep pockets, your visage will be lovingly smeared with nightingale excrement to restore its lost radiance and colour.
The legend: The aptly named ‘uguisu’ (which means nightingale in Japanese) is a powder made from the songbird faeces. Said to be used by 18th century geishas and kabuki actors to wipe the heavy white makeup off their faces, it also restores the complexion.
The science: Rich in the amino acid guanine, the rarified droppings are said to impart a soft, porcelain-white mien. We don’t suggest you try this at home, since the droppings have to be sterilized to remove toxins and then ground into a fine powder.
Ant Body Wash
Never thought those creepy crawlies could come to good use? Instead of causing you grief, ants are now your skin’s best friend.
The legend: Touted to remove dead skin and oil residues, this body wash is said to awaken the senses and provide an overall feeling of balance. It’s also perfect for people with oily skin or sluggish metabolisms. See those ants marching through your kitchen? They’re not the enemy after all.
The science: Ants contain high levels of formic acid, which is touted to energize your skin and body. In fact you’ll find that in some cultures, ants are part of their daily diet. For an top to toe energy boost, use them to wash your hair, as a shower scrub or even as a bath soak.
Bull sperm conditioner
This just shows the lengths ladies will go to achieve a head of crowning glory. Case in point — a conditioning treatment made out of bovine sperm.
The legend: Known as a symbol of virility, sperm has long been touted to possess anti-ageing benefits.
The science: Offered by Hari’s, an upscale salon in London, the Aberdeen Organic Bull Semen Treatment combines the semen of Aberdeen Angus bulls with Katera root to create a protein-rich hair mask that drenches follicles in gobs of moisture.The result? Shiny, full-bodied locks that have its devotees heralding it as “Viagra for hair.”
Where: Hari’s $85
Known for its ‘slowness’, snails are now the latest fad used to ‘slow’ down the ageing process in our fast paced world.
The legend: The mucus secreted by land snails has a powerful antioxidant that protects them from an atmosphere full of oxygen radicals. It also cushions the road as they forage across the sidewalk, so naturally if it works for them, it must work for us, right? Right.
The science: Snail serum has been clinically proven to help maintain the skin, as well as improve cell function. Additionally, it helps avoid excess or abnormal scars, including acne scarring. It also counteracts sun damage, prevents premature skin aging and wrinkles and accelerates the renewal of damaged tissues.