Can you put a price on youthful beauty? Endless companies have tried to answer that elusive question for decades, even centuries, that's for sure. Even back as far as Cleopatra, people were searching for products that could not only enhance natural beauty, but completely alter it. These days, big promises are made by beauty creams and serums, vowing to keep you looking like you're in your twenties or thirties forever. Studies show, however, that most of these products are complete frauds and the claims that are made by most of them don't even have to do as they say they will, thanks to loose regulations. Basically, that microderm, antioxidant-enriched luminous exfoliate rejuvenating lotion is just regular, old lotion with a longer name.
So, if creams can't keep you looking young forever, then what will? Many would argue that the standards of unrealistic beauty have become so extreme in recent decades, there's virtually nothing that some people wouldn't do. And although cosmetic surgery has become much more culturally acceptable, even the act of slicing into our own faces or enduring injections just to turn the hands back a few years, seems downright barbaric when you really think about it. But cosmetic surgery procedures have become just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to things people are willing to do to buy their very own fountain of youth. From peeling off layers of their own faces, to using parasites to suck all the “old” out, the beauty industry is nothing if not innovative. Here are 13 of the most bizarre things people intentionally do to themselves in the name of maintaining that youthful glow.
Would you be willing to put blood sucking leeches on your face if it meant keeping a few of those wrinkles at bay? Well, Demi Moore reportedly is. The Ghost actress is said to believe in the use of the slimy creatures as a part of her rigorous beauty regimen. The leeches are said to work by removing toxins from the blood which thereby gives you a rejuvenated glow. If it were that easy, however, some experts say that donating blood would be just as effective while simultaneously less bizarre and much more productive towards a good cause.
12 Bird Poop
Victoria Beckham is definitely not one to choose comfort over beauty. Since she hit the scene in the late 1990s, she's been the poster child for six inch heels, restrictive diets, and the 24-7 facial posing. But bird poop? Yes, bird poop. The ex-Spice Girl reportedly uses a facial mask religiously to keep up her skin's glow.The mask consists of rice bran, water, and the fecal matter of nightingale birds. The treatment has been used on the complexions of Japanese Geishas for years to brighten and nourish their complexion. Each application takes a total of 60 minutes and costs around $200.
The act of using placenta for health benefits and cultural traditions is really nothing new. But using it as a beauty product just might be a new tale. Actress Eva Longoria supposedly is a fan of placenta treatment, which is said to speed up tissue regeneration. Although many Doctors do agree that placenta does contain numerous nutrients that can not be replicated in a lab, they also add that those nutrients most likely wouldn't be able to survive the processing and jarring procedures. So, is it really worth it?
10 Kitty Litter
Soft kitty, warm kitty... Having a pet is said to help fend off depression and stress. And now, another benefit to having a cat running around the house could be a few less lines across your face. In fact, you might not even need the cat to reap the benefits and instead just the kitty litter. That's right, that strong-smelling rocky agent used to collect the excretions of cats can also be used to help keep you looking young. It works, supposedly, by acting as a body scrub that promotes rigorous exfoliation. Supermodel Christie Brinkley reportedly uses kitty litter as a part of her beauty regimen. And although there's no science to back up the claims, there's no better spokesperson than Brinkley to promote an age-defying beauty product.
This one isn't as bizarre as it is just downright extravagant. Caviar has long-since been known as the appetizer of choice for the bourgeois. But it's also used as a skin care product now, too. Although it seems very Cleopatra-esque, modern day actresses like Angelina Jolie are said to use it. Caviar, otherwise known as the eggs of sturgeon, can cost upwards of $300 for a small amount. People like Jolie use the product all over their bodies as an extravagant moisturizer. It is said to contain antioxidants and fish oils filled with vitamins A and D, but you can also get those nutrients by taking fish oil supplements in a $15 bottle.
8 Not Smiling
This one might sound like a joke and to most people, it probably is. But some people take it very seriously. Laugh lines are called what they are for a reason - laughing and any other facial expression that causes creases in the face is the cause of the lines we get around our mouths and eyes. Some people have decided that the best way to delay those lines from appearing is to express as little facial emotion as possible. Most specifically, laughing. There is a woman who calls herself the Modern Mona Lisa who swears that she hasn't smiled in over 40 years with friends who corroborate her claims. More famously, Kim Kardashian is often criticized for her expressionless demeanor. When she posted a photo of herself laughing with a friend to her Instagram account, she wrote "See, I do smile. But not often. It causes wrinkles."
7 Drinking Collagen
Another questionable remedy used to delay the aging process to come from Japan is the practice of drinking collagen. You can buy it in a powder form or in a ready-to-drink beverage in a can, for $2 each, that has been derived from pigs, chickens and cows. Women have been using collagen injections for decades now, but the practice of drinking it is relatively new. The hope is that by drinking concentrated collagen, your skin gets a boost from the inside out. That's why foods that have been added with collagen have seen a drastic increase in demand in Japan as well, and are even advertised as such on restaurant menus.
6 Eating Only Purple Foods
Antioxidants are proven to help in fighting the aging process. They can be found in everything from those expensive creams you buy, to the fruit that you eat. Dark colored berries such as blueberries and goji berries are known for being super high in antioxidants. So, some people have taken that to an extreme by following a diet that only allows purple colored foods. Shock rocker Courtney Love has been said to follow this diet on more than one occasion. Unfortunately, Love has had so much surgical work done on top of it, there's no way to accurately say whether or not the diet actually works. But, chances are that a healthful diet filled with a variety of colors is just as effective.
5 Face Fillers And Botox
One of the most common treatments has become fillers and botox injections. They're much more affordable and less scary than surgery. A lot of people see these injections as being generally safe. But that's not entirely true. Not only can you get poisoning from these types of injections when they're not done properly, you can also end up with a paralyzed face. Injections are also extremely addicting because of how easy and cost effective they are. Many celebrities' faces have been completely transformed -and not in a good way- with obvious signs of injection abuse. Names like Heidi Montag and Bret Michaels come to mind.
No matter how many injections a person gets to take the wrinkles out of their face, one of the biggest giveaways of a person's age is their neck. After time, the skin of the neck gradually loses its elasticity and begins to droop and sag, creating visible wrinkles and creases and the dreaded "turkey neck." That's where the necklift comes in. This procedure surgically cuts and pulls the skin of the neck taught so that the wrinkles and sagging skin essentially go back into place. Although the results don't transform a person back to their youthful neck days, it can make someone look much more well rested and might even produce more transforming results than a face lift.
3 24 Karat Gold Mask
Facial masks have been used in beauty regimens for as long as there have been beauty regimens. But they usually include ingredients like honey, milk, and other moisturizing agents - not gold. This crazy expensive face mask became popular based on a Japanese company's claim that it contains a high antioxidant level. Now available all around the world, you can know what it feels like to be slathered in gold and see if it does anything to reverse the signs of aging - for a cool $250 a pop, that is.
2 Preparation H
One of the biggest beauty secrets for supermodels stopped being so much of a secret years ago, when Christy Turlington let the cat out of the bag that she frequently used Preparation H under her eyes to fight off dark circles and bags. Commonly used to treat hemorrhoids, the cream contains phenylephrine which helps to constrict blood vessels which can actually reduce puffiness. However, many experts warn against using this cream on your face frequently. Once in a while to alleviate the signs of a super late night is deemed okay, but frequent use can lead to the thinning of the skin of that area, which can essentially lead to premature wrinkles.
1 Plant Stem Cells
Stem cell research is all the rage in science these days, with claims that it has the ability to reverse the effects of all kinds of healthy and mental problems and ailments. And now aging might just be added to the list of things that it can reverse. Plant stem cells have already helped burn victims in healing their scars by stimulating regeneration. Dior's Capture Wrinkle Cream supposedly contains plant stem cells which can show results on the face of the user in under an hour. A 1.7 ounce jar will set you back $105 and no studies have been done to back up any claims made by the company. Only time will tell in determining whether or not plant stem cells become the new botox.