Snails, slugs and vats of leeches: the recipe for a relaxing day at the spa
Snail anti-aging masque
In the Siberian city of Krasnoyars, snail slime is the fountain of youth. At a spa in the Russian metropolis, African mollusks of varying sizes are placed on the face and body. Their excretions, rich in glycolic acid and elastin, are believed to reduce wrinkles, scars and signs of aging. Unfortunately, the procedure also increases the signs of snails on your face.
In China, fish have been doing the job of spa professionals for years. Recently, a Virginia salon took a cue from the country and installed foot baths swarming with dead-skin-chewing carp. A 30-minute fish pedi will run you $50. That's about a dollar per fish.
Back in China, they don't stop at the feet. At Dr. Fish, a hot spring resort in the Chongqing Municipality, spa-goers soak their entire bodies in freshwater fish baths. Their exfoliating effects (gnawing off dead skin with abandon) leave patrons with what's been described as a "healthy glow."
Bird poop facial
Only in New York, home to eight million pigeons, would bird feces be commodified. For $50, Shizuka New York Day Spa offers a Geisha Facial, made from the excrement of a nightingale. Victoria Beckham swears by the droppings, which contain a natural acne-fighting enzyme.
Snake full body massage
This is either your worst fear or Lady Gaga's next VMA outfit. But a $90 relaxing spa treatment? It's hard to believe. At a spa in Israel, three different kinds of non-venomous snakes are unleashed on the face and back a customer. Their slithering, muscular movements are said to smooth out cramped muscles and stiff joints.
Sheep embryo injections
Debbie Harry recently revealed her secret to supple, young skin: injections of embryonic black sheep cells. "They would take from different organs, from the liver, from the glands, from the bone," she says, "and they would make up these injections. There were 11 injections, and I thought it was marvelous." Clinique La Prairie in Switzerland, began performing the anti-aging, cell rejuvenation treatments back in 1931. Despite the popularity of Botox and fillers, its positive results have made the treatment an uber-wealthy status symbol.
If you want to make it palatable, you can call it hirudotherapy. But what we're talking about are leeches on your face. The outdated medical procedure of applying blood-sucking slugs to the skin has made a comeback in beauty spas in Russia. For up to $1000 you can improve blood flow and channel the anti-inflammatory properties of leech saliva.
Urine isn't just for jellyfish burns. Hyper-naturalists believe it has antiseptic properties that fight acne and provide a deep facial cleanse. Vanessa Williams has tried it. So has one of 'The Doctors' on CBS. Not that he recommends it.