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Fish Pedicures and Other Bizarre Beauty Treatments

By (view all posts by jmediodia)
at 12:54PM Wednesday July 27, 2011
under Loose Change

Some people unwind in the weirdest ways. I recently came across an article about a woman's experience with a milkweed facial. Milkweed is what caterpillars rest on before they turn into butterflies, and is supposed to have the same transformational effect on your skin. Apparently, it smells awful, however it's not uncommon for someone to endure such things for beauty.

There are lots of bizarre beauty treatments out there that people pay big bucks for. Read on about some of the other unusual ways people pamper themselves:
Snake Venom Facial: There are no actual snakes or snake venom involved in this procedure (phew!). The mask or serum applied is a synthetic ingredient that mimics the effects of temple viper snake venom, for a temporary relaxed "Botox-like" appearance. The price may sting a little though ($450), but celebs like Gwyneth Paltrow are known to fork out the money for it.

24-Carat Gold Facial: The treatment starts with a deep cleaning to prepare the skin, then sheets with 24-carat liquid gold are applied to your skin and steam is used to help it penetrate. The flashy facial was started in Japan by UMO Gold Facial and they claim that gold has many benefits for the skin: it lifts, firms, and fights off free radicals just to name a few. The price for this treatment can run from $250 to $500.

Fish Pedicure: The procedure involves dipping your feet in a tank full of carp or "doctor fish" that nibble away dead skin. They don't have teeth so they can't bite off your skin. After about 15-30 minutes of feeding your rough feet skin to a bunch of hungry fish, then you can get the actual pedicure. Fish pedicures started in Turkey as a way to treat skin problems including psoriasis (I hope Kim Kardashian likes flesh-eating fishes) and made its way to the U.S. in 2008 as a spa service. It is now banned in 18 states due to health and humane reasons. The treatment costs around $50 for 30 minutes. To me, that means 30 minutes of tickling torture--no thank you.

Butt Facial: Yes, it's a facial for your fanny. If pampering your face isn't enough, you can also give your private parts some TLC. The "facial" starts off with exfoliation, followed by micro-current therapy to help lift and rid the area of cellulite and finishes with a spray tan. It's a quick-fix for a sagging backside, but for around $80 to $700 per treatment I think I'll just do more squats.

Geisha Facial: If flesh-eating fish aren't bizarre enough for you, try getting bird poop plastered on your face. This beauty treatment from Japan uses nightingale droppings and has been said to brighten and soften the skin. The poop gets dried, mixed with rice bran and water, and applied as a mask. A-listers like Victoria Beckham was reportedly a fan of this treatment and it costs around $200. There are lots of other facial treatments out there that are more pleasant (and probably more effective) for a fraction of the cost.

Chocolate Massage: Enjoy chocolate without the calories, and have soft skin at the same time. The Hotel Hershey spa in Pennsylvania has a variety of chocolate-infused treatments like the coconut chocolate truffle treatment, which uses a combination of coconut sugar exfoliation and a chocolate truffle body wrap. Finally, something that actually sounds pleasant. Their other treatments include a cocoa bath and a chocolate fondue wrap. Treatments range from $45 to $195.

Do you think these spa treatments are worth it?