Hubert Burda Media

Three Face Treatments for the Daring

These unique procedures promise brighter, youthful-looking skin — if you can get past the “ick” factor.

Snake Venom Facial

Star ingredient: Synthetic snake venom

The facial being performed at Sonya Dakar Skin Clinic (Credit: Sonya Dakar Skin Clinic)

Thankfully, it’s not the real venom of a snake being used. Called the Syn-Ake, this ingredient is developed to mimic the paralysing effect of the temple viper’s venom for a Botox-like effect without the use of injections. What it does it to “stun” the skin and prevent further development of fine lines and wrinkles. A beauty treatment available at Sonya Dakar Skin Clinic in Beverly Hills, it involves simple cleansing, massage and mask, with the application of the synthetic venom to the skin that sends messages to the muscle receptors not to contract. Elements of the treatment are customised to fit the skin care needs of each client. Dakar's patrons include A-list names the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Lawrence.

Geisha Organic Facial

Star ingredient: Japanese nightingale droppings

Geisha Organic Facial at Ikeda Spa in Singapore (Credit: Ikeda Spa)

As its name suggests, the Geisha Organic Facial originated from a time when geishas and Kabuki actors used the treatment’s main ingredient, Japanese nightingale droppings, to remove their stage make-up. Not only did they observe how effective the natural enzymes were as a cleanser, the bleaching qualities of its amino acids effectively and naturally lightened skin. Even Victoria Beckham is a firm believer in the benefits of this bird poo. Offered at various spas in Japan and at Ikeda Spa in Singapore, the facial includes cleansing, exfoliation, meridian massage and lymphatic drainage with a jade roller — all involving natural Japanese ingredients, including a paste made from powdered nightingale droppings — to lighten and whiten the skin.

Vampire Facelift

Star ingredient: Human blood

Kim Kardashian West getting the Vampire Facelift (Credit: @kimkardashian Instagram)

When Kim Kardashian West posted a selfie of her face smeared in blood during a ‘Vampire Facelift’ on Instagram, it gave her followers a scare, but rest assured, she — or any other human or animal —wasn’t harmed in the process. Working like dermal fillers, the Vampire Facelift is a natural facial that uses the blood of the patient to plump up the skin while eliminating the risk of allergic reactions. About 10ml of a patient’s blood is first extracted from the arm and using a centrifuge (spinning the blood at high speed), the platelets are separated and collected before being mixed with thrombin and calcium. This induces platelets to release growth factors such as Platelet Derived Growth Factor and Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor to increase collagen and blood flow to the face. After which, the concoction is injected back into the face to activate multipotent stem cells. The result? Plump, smoother, younger-looking skin that last up to 15 months. Unfortunately, this treatment doesn’t seem to be available in Asia, but is offered by certain aesthetic clinics in Australia and New Zealand, Europe and the US.