September 10, 2012

How Far Would You Go For The Sake Of Beauty?

Between the 14th and 17th century, in order to achieve the perfect pallor, which used to symbolise refinement, women used to drain their blood by attaching leeches to their faces, after which, they would smear raw egg whites onto their complexion, to get a glazed finish. In the absence of hairspray, hair was treated with the ancient equivalent of chewing gum, in order to make the curls stay in place, while the eyes were treated with belladonna, a poisonous plant used for dilating pupils, which was also used to poison the tips of soldiers’ arrows. The side effects? Blurry vision, confusion, even hallucinations.

If you think however that in recent decades, women have given up such bizarre practices in order to enhance their beauty, what with the arsenal of creams and lotions available today, designed to cater to every need, from luminous skin to Greek goddess hair, think again.

Women are more than ready to try any type of treatment, no matter how crazy, in order to be beautiful.

For instance, do you want radiant skin and it just so happens that you’re not very ticklish? Then what would you say if you knew that a simple bath in a big tank with a couple of fish could leave your skin as soft as a baby’s? Unlike the scary Piranha, these small fish, named “fish doctors”, will not eat you alive. Instead, they will simply get rid of your unwanted skin, eating away at your dead cells and sometimes, even ailing Psoriazis or eczema. This practice is however frowned upon, given that the use of the same fish from one person to another has been found to be unsanitary.

If the perspective of fish exfoliating your skin doesn’t scare you, how about a massage therapy performed by snakes? For about $70, the Ada Barak Spa in Tel Aviv, israel, will place six non-poisonous snakes on your body, for a relaxing massage session.

And if a snake bite could indeed be fatal to you, there seems to be a type of venom that is actually beneficial to you: wasp venom. At his farm in Silang, Cavite in the Phillipines, Joel Magsaysay treats his patients by letting live wasps sting them in a controlled environment. The insects’ venom is thought to contain a powerful protein cocktail which help the immune system function at its highest capacity, to heal any problem the body might have.

Another form of help from the animal world, this time to ensure that your hair is healthy and shiny, comes from bulls. A specialty of the Hari Salon in London, the unusual treatment involves a hair mask which contains ketera root and a generous dose of bull semen. And we’re not just talking regular bulls here. Only bulls with a Pedigree, from the Aberdeen Angus race, are used for this beauty treatment.

If you’re a little iffy about this last one, maybe a snail facial is more your type. In certain Russian beauty salons, the practice of applying live snails onto women’s faces so that their secretions will heal scars and hide fine wrinkles, is quite popular.

So, how far would you go for the sake of beauty?

Photos courtesy of:,,