What does it take to be beautiful? Apparently, it takes a lot of money. According to Forbes magazine, Beauty is a $445 billion industry. It’s not only the cost that is mind-boggling; there are some unusual beauty treatments that people not only have tried, but some faithfully believe in them.
Unusual Historical Beauty Treatments
Unusual methods to improve one’s look or body are not a new phenomenon. Since ancient times, people, women in particular have used questionable practices or ingredients in the pursuit of beauty. Here are a few of them.
- The herb belladonna also known as deadly nightshade was applied to the eyelids of 16th-century Italian women. They used it to dilate their pupils, which they thought gave them the desirable dreamy look. It was a risk because deadly nightshade could have caused blindness.
- Bavarian women bathed in arsenic springs to whiten their skin.
- Lead was also a popular treatment. Women in the Middle East used ground up lead as eyeshadow and for the eyebrows. Sixteenth-century ladies of England painted lead on their face to whiten it and to dye their hair.
Modern Unconventional Beauty Treatments
Fast forward centuries later, unusual beauty and spa treatments are still the norm. While they may seem odd, many of them are very popular. A couple of them are decades old.
- Chocolate – Chocolate is no longer just an ice cream and cake ingredient. Spas around the world offer cocoa-filled body wraps, facials, and massages.
- Red Wine Baths – Vinotherapy is supposed to help prevent aging and improve circulation. Before conjuring about images of people soaking in red wine, it’s the leaves of red grapes that are used to make a bath brew.
- Horse Reiki – Reiki is an energy healing therapy where the practitioner places their hands on various areas of a client’s body for healing and balancing. At the Australian Free Rein ranch, the treatment has taken on a new dimension. Horses are the practitioners. The horses and clients are in a secure yard. While clients lie on a massage table, horses roam freely choosing the people they will Reiki. People who have tried it found it relaxing and that it helped with stress.
- Hay Body Wrap – This is an old treatment that is still popular. An Italian hotel developed the spa treatment in the early 20th century. Clients are wrapped in fresh hay to draw out toxins, boost the immune system, and improve metabolism.
- Snake Massage – This therapy goes back to the ancient days of Greece and Rome where snakes were used to heal the sick and dying. Many spas now offer this type of massage to their clients. Once placed on the body, non-venomous snakes crawl over the body. There is an attendant to make sure all goes well. If you can get past the idea of a snake on you, the treatment is said to be calming and reduces stress.
- Pepto-Bismol Facial – Pepto-Bismol as facemask is the latest at home treatment for acne and oily skin. And there is a bonus; afterward your face smells like Valentine’s Day candy hearts. While Pepto-Bismol contains salicylic acid found in some skin care products, other ingredients could irritate the skin and make acne worse.
- Cryotherapy – How does standing in as little clothing as possible for two to three minutes in minus 300 degrees Fahrenheit sound? Cryotherapy is offered at spas as a method to tone the skin, improve sleep, reduce cellulite, to boost libido, and for a host of other ailments and beauty flaws. There’s no current scientific evidence support the claims.
While unusual beauty and spa treatments are not very everyone, many people believe in them and feel they are beneficial.
- Astaiza, Randy 10 Dangerous Beauty Tricks From Ancient Times (September 18, 2012). Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com/gross-and-dangerous-ancient-beauty-tips-2012-9#leaded-hair-dye-7.
- Brundage, Carolyn. Busting myths about Monistat, Preparation H, Pepto-Bismol and other bizarro beauty products. Retrieved from http://www.tampabay.com/features/fashion/busting-myths-about-monistat-preparation-h-pepto-bismol-and-other-bizarro/1212346.
- Gayle, Damien. Is this a ssssspa treatment? Zoo offers maaage from four giant pythons…(May 21, 2014). Retrieved from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2634971/Is-sssss-spa-treatment-Zoo-offers-massage-four-giant-pythons-feeds-10-chickens-case-theyre-hungry.html.
- Giller, Megan. Six Chocolate Spa Treatments for the True Chocoholic (August 17, 2015). Retrieved from https://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/chocolate-massages-spa-treatments.
- Grout, Pam. Horse reiki and bull sperm hair masks….(May 1, 2013). Retrieved from https://travel.cnn.com/bizarre-spa-treatments-999836/.
- Greco, Alanna. Red Wine Baths Are The Newest Anti-aging Trend, But Does Vinotherapy Actually Work? (October 12, 2014). Retrieved from https://www.bustle.com/articles/45227-red-wine-baths-are-the-newest-anti-aging-trend-but-does-vinotherapy-actually-work.
- Robb, Alice. The deadly risks of a Victorian beauty regime. Retrieved from https://womenintheworld.com/2015/11/28/the-deadly-risks-of-a-victorian-beauty-regime/.
- Yeomans, Michelle. Global beauty market to reach $265 billion in 2017 due to an increase in GDP. Retrieved from https://www.cosmeticsdesign.com/Article/2012/11/07/Global-beauty-market-to-reach-265-billion-in-2017-due-to-an-increase-in-GDP.