When Beauty Gets Scary
WHEN BEAUTY GETS SCARY
by Sam Pick
Beauty’s a $160 billion-a-year global industry—and as many of us are quite aware, some people will do just about anything to look better or younger. We’re firm believers in the notion that looking good and feeling good go hand in hand …but is there a line in the sand? We’ll let you be the judge of that, but to help, here’s our compilation of the scariest beauty procedures we know of.
THE PIRANHA PEDICURE
Okay, to begin with, they aren’t really piranhas. (That would really be scary.)They’re tiny carp nibbling away at your feet. Known as doctor fish, these miniscule creatures attach themselves to bigger fish in the wild, indulging in a diet of dead scales. Utilized in footbaths around the world, they do more than simply exfoliate; diathanol, an enzyme found in their saliva, is said to boast skin-healing properties. For those of you who prefer fish spit to a traditional callus remover … this one’s for you.
THE VAMPIRE FACELIFT
Harvesting your own blood and re-injecting it into your face? It’s unconventional, to say the least—but unlike that of the blood-thirsty creatures that have infiltrated recent pop culture, this blood-sucking isn’t a yearning instinct; rather, it a means to stimulate collagen production. Dubbed Selphyl, this all-natural treatment is meant to plump and youth-ify, sort of like a hyaluronic filler. Be extra careful of the sun after this treatment. (Sorry, we couldn’t resist.)
THE NEEDLE ROLLER
As the name would suggest, this one’s not for the fainthearted. The instrument used in this procedure—though it looks like it could double as a self-defense object in a pinch—utilizes 192 steel micro-needles designed to part the pores on the top layer of the skin without damaging it, enhancing the skin’s ability to absorb and benefit from products. And how does it feel? Well, it’s been described as “a mere tickling sensation.” A small pain for a great gain?
THE UMBILICAL CORD SERUM
The name doesn’t suggest anything like a vampire facelift does, but this product has its own chilling truth. Novo Solutions MD has developed this product which derives from —believe it or not — human umbilical cord serum. Now, this doesn’t sound like the type of product you want to be rubbing all over your face, but it’s clinically proven to eliminate wrinkles while brightening and tightening.
THE OXYGEN BAR OF THE FUTURE
Clinics in Tokyo were the first to offer a 10-minute pick-me-up intravenous drip comprised of vitamin C, biotin, various amino acids, and their key ingredient, human placental extract. (Some call the whole setup the “oxygen bar of the future.”) For those seeking the fountain of youth, the treatment is meant to refresh the skin, making it smoother and appear younger. However, with a complex of placental compounds potentially including hormones, growth factors and immune molecules, this may in fact lead to other risks such as immune reactions or viruses. It’s hard to deny the concept though—placenta plays a pivotal role during pregnancy in supplying the fetus with oxygen and nutrients while protecting against diseases. You must admit there’s an eerie circle-of-life allure to the treatment. Hey, it’s more appealing to us than, say, the placental “health drink” that’s sold in Japan, which is said to taste like peaches. Yummy?
Article posted 10/17/2012.