8 Scary, Bizarre, and Gag-Inducing Natural Beauty Treatments

Woman facial photo

Photo credit: Getty Images

Oh, the astonishing lengths we'll go to slow the march of time. In the universal quest to thwart the aging process, people will try anything. And we do mean anything. Jabbing botulinum toxin into your forehead, it seems, is for amateurs. We bravely sought out the most exotic (read: beyond weird) natural beauty concoctions money can buy, several of which made us want to throw up a little. While these treatments are ostensibly "natural," in the broadest sense of the word, their eco-friendliness—and indeed, their efficacy—are highly debatable. Venture forth if you dare.

1. Bird poop facial

Uguisu no fun photo

Photo credit: Hannari-Ya

Smearing your visage with nightingale excrement sounds about as fun as, well, getting pooped on by a flock of birds with bowel-control issues. The aptly named uguisu no fun, a Japanese powder made from songbird feces, was used by 18th century geishas and kabuki actors to wipe the heavy white makeup off their faces. Don't pooh-pooh the doo-doo just yet, however. Rich in the amino acid guanine, the rarified droppings are said to impart a soft, porcelain-white mien, but it'll cost you. At Shizuka New York Day Spa, for instance, a 50-minute facial will run you $180.

2. Human placenta extract

Photo credit: Getty Images

Trying to regain the ruddy, fulsome skin you had as a baby? You're not aiming high enough; aspire for a complexion so creamy it's positively embryonic. In the kind of scrambled, Escheresque logic that appeals to the criminally insane and hallucinogen enthusiasts, word on Hollywood Boulevard has it that the same nutrient-rich placenta that sustains a fetus in utero will work miracles on sagging skin. EMK Placental has brewed up an entire range of products from postnatal issue—including face masks, eye gels, and hair serums—that celebs like J.Lo, Eva Longoria, and Madonna are rumored to partake of.

Before you start raiding maternity wards, however, note that the Environmental Working Group places placental extract at the top of its list of cosmetics ingredients to avoid, largely because studies have shown that the boatload of hormones involved may be enough to spur breast growth in toddlers.

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