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Snail Mucus, Semen, and Bird Poop Oh My! Do These Weird Facials Really Work?

"I just put WHAT on my face?"

Pain is beauty, as the saying goes. But some people are willing to pay a lot of money to put some really weird stuff on the face in the name of beauty. Animal by-products, creepy crawlies, live flames, human fluids and more are just a few of the strange things that the really rich seem to rely on to maintain a flawless appearance.

Snail Facials

Snail mucus has been around for a few years. The theory is that the trail of slime that protects the snail from damage as it runs around your garden also protect the skin from the elements, signs of aging, etc. Snail mucus is said to plump skin and battle acne. Mucus derived from sea snails contains a toxin that paralyzes its predators—and wrinkles. You can find snail slime in products from a variety of brands as well as expensive in-office treatments. And while all the science sounds pretty logical, there aren’t a whole lot of studies showing whether or not it actually works. However, most people that use the pricey products that utilize snail slime have good things to say about the results.

Spermine Facials

Using semen as a facial tool has been around for many years. Although some doctors offer spermine facials, many caution against going the DIY route because of the risk of transmitting diseases and sexually transmitted infections. The theory is that sperm are packed with protein and antioxidants. While these are healthy in theory, there’s no evidence that they do much of anything when used topically. It’s also possible to be allergic to semen and there can be a lot variation in the nutrients depending on the male diet. So you might want to skip this one if you have sensitive skin and other concerns.

Bird Poop

Japanese nightingale droppings are said to be the secret to Geishas’ perfect complexions. In the modern age, droppings are sterilized before creating exfoliating skincare products. The science is similar to products that use retinol or urea to lighten up acne marks and prevent aging, which is a lot cheaper and easier to stomach.

Lamb Placenta

Lamb placenta facials are based on the stem cell's possibilities. No lambs are harmed, as the placenta is rescued from the discard pile of the meat factory. While the marketing for the facials sounds amazing, it could be a little off. Stem cells must be alive to be active and useful and they are dead as they go through processing to make the placenta safe and stable in a skincare product.

Overall, the shock value of weird facials might be worth paying for, but their actual efficacy sounds questionable.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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