Animals—they’re fun to play with, cute to cuddle with, and exciting to learn about. And when it comes to beauty treatments or your beauty routine, you’ve probably spent years avoiding products that test on animals, or cause any harm to animals in the production process. But what about using animals IN your beauty routine? Sounds bizarre, right? Well, it is. But it’s also becoming more and more common to see various creepy crawling creatures on the beauty scene, in everything from nail salons to spas to creams and beyond. According to Jeanine Recckio, of Mirror Mirror Imagination Group, which forecasts beauty trends, “though turning to animal ingredients isn’t the newest concept, it categorically popped out of nowhere…consumers are gravitating toward their exotic or shock appeal.” Some of these beauty treatments are inspired by beauty traditions that have existed for years in other cultures, and others are based in medical research, but something they all share is an interesting use of animals or animal secretions.
We know that people will do almost anything to feel younger, fight aging and look their best head to toe. And yes, that includes voluntarily applying bird feces to their face. You know what they say, don’t knock it until you try it. If it’s good enough for Gwyneth Paltrow, we’re confident it’s good enough for us. Here are some of the hottest beauty treatments involving live animals.
Forget callous treatments and pumice stones to remove rough skin on your feet; the latest beauty trend when it comes to foot and nail care is a fish pedicure, where you submerge your feet in a tub of hot water filled with fish. But not just any fish; these toothless fish, called Garra Rufa, eat your dead and flakey skin, leaving your feet smooth and soft. Be careful before you jump into this one. While the pedicure may work to achieve your goals of pretty feet, it can be unsanitary and hard to control the spread of infection of the fish have been used for prior pedicures.
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Even the word leech sounds creepy and makes us cringe a little. These bloodsuckers aren’t cute either, so it would take a really good reason to put them anywhere near our body. But the newly popular leech therapy is said to provide anti-aging benefits, including increasing blood circulation and making your skin look rejuvenated. As the leeches suck your blood, they also release saliva, which contains powerful proteins that improve blood flow and decreases blood pressure. Demi Moore swears by it, and if we could look half as gorgeous as she does, we’ll try it.
Similar to the fish pedicures, these baths involve eels that nibble away at your dry, dead skin, leaving your body smooth and flake-free. But yes, you need to climb into a tub filled with eels. We’re not entirely sold that this is the best option when you want to exfoliate, but it’s certainly generating a lot of buzz in the beauty world. PS – if we were you, we’d be careful with this treatment, since the eels can basically settle in anywhere they want on (or in) your body. One man in China reportedly had an eel get cozy in his kidney after entering his body through his genitals. Enough said.
This treatment is not for the faint of heart or anyone who is terrified of slithering, scaly creatures. After all, you will be having multiple snakes moving across your body in an effort to ease pains and relax muscles and joints.
Bird Poop Facials
Remember when we said people were voluntarily putting feces on their face? Well, bird poop facials are actually a thing, and they promise to make your skin softer and smoother than ever before thanks to a special enzyme found in imported Asian nightingale excrement. If you think about it too much, you’ll feel ridiculous for paying someone upwards of $180 to literally spread poop on your face. But if you ignore the facts and let it happen, you might be pleasantly surprised by the results.