13 Creepy Skin Care Routines That Actually Work
Even if it means living through a literal horror movie
The average person’s day-to-day skincare routine is pretty standard. There’s some face-washing, maybe a little zit cream—nothing unusual. But the beauty world is a vast one, and more and more treatments are popping up these days—some of which are straight-up creepy. The thing is, despite being a bit cringe-inducing, plenty of them actually do your skin plenty of good, even if that means living through a literal horror movie. Here are 13 that should be on your radar.
By this point, you’re probably heard of the vampire facial. The skincare treatment—which has been making headlines thanks to celebrities like Kim Kardashian—involves a dermatologist extracting your own blood and then injecting it back into your face, in order to boost cell turnover. It helps get rid of fine lines and wrinkles, and can even out your skin tone. Yes, it sounds like something straight out of an Eli Roth flick, but it gets the job done.
You can vacuum up grit and grime in your home—and you can also vacuum gunk out of your pores. This facial involves gently getting rid of dead skin cells and anything else that clogs up your pores—blackheads included—by using a suction device. Once you see the creepy collection of gunk removed at the end, you’ll probably never look at your skin the same way again. The good news? You’ll be left with the cleanest skin you’ve ever had.
Bee Venom Mask
Bee venom seems like a weird thing to put on your face in the name of beauty. In mask form, it definitely stings, and can result in a whole lot of burning and redness, but the tactic checks out. Despite how creepy it may be, past research has shown it can help get rid of acne as well as fine lines and wrinkles.
Picture this: Your derm applies a chemical solution to your skin to remove the top layers, leaving you with—depending on the severity—red, irritated, swollen, and sometimes burning skin. It sounds crazy, but according to the Mayo Clinic, after the new skin grows back—which can take weeks—you’ll be left with improved skin tone and texture and a more youthful appearance.
Sure, microdermabrasion doesn’t involve injecting your own blood into your skin or sucking gunk out of your pores. It does involve using an instrument to essentially sand off the top layer of your skin, though. The process might leave you red or swollen for a couple days, but getting rid of that top layer can help with uneven pigmentation, elasticity, improved texture, fine lines, and acne.
Maybe having sheep placenta applied to your face doesn’t sound like the most relaxing skincare treatment. But as weird as it is, it’s actually said to do wonders for the skin when used under a LED light: Because the cells are similar to the stem cells found in humans, it can be fully absorbed for clear, youthful skin, according to skincare expert Louise Deschamps. Even weirder, there are also treatments where placenta cells—from humans, too—are injected into the skin, not just applied topically. Ewww.
While popping pimples yourself is only going to result in worse-looking skin and bigger problems in the end (hello, acne scars), getting an acne extraction done at the dermatologist can be super beneficial in cleaning out your pores—even though it’s kinda creepy. The procedure involves using a blade and comedone extractor to remove the buildup in your pimples and blackheads.
If you really want want to cringe, just research “leech facial.” The ancient practice involves first letting leeches attach and suck on your face, then rubbing the blood they sucked out of you back onto your face—something that could help lead to a more youthful glow due to the proteins they secrete. On top of that, they can also help get rid of acne: “Leeches may modestly help large, inflamed pimples heal,” said dermatologist Joshua Zeichner.
Bird Poop Facial
A face full of leeches is one thing, but how about bird poop? This facial—called the Shizuka’s Geisha Facial—is a centuries-old Japanese treatment that involves using powdered nightingale droppings to breakdown dead skin cells, and is said to result in brighter and softer skin. According to experts, the results—which people pay sky-high prices for—could be due to the high concentration of urea in bird feces.
Old Face Mask
It’s not uncommon for face masks to make your skin feel tight by the time you rinse them off. One mask that’s making waves for its creepiness is a Korean product from the brand Hanacure that makes your face look so wrinkly while it’s on that you could fool someone into thinking you’re a grandparent. Though it’s indeed weird looking at yourself in the mirror for a while, it does the trick, making your skin look young and fresh after it’s off.
With their intense light beams, lasers are incredibly powerful. Using something that can cut through all sorts of different materials on the delicate skin of your face during laser skin resurfacing sounds especially terrifying, but it can banish wrinkles, heal age spots and scars, and make your skin look better overall, says the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery. The only downside? The process feels like getting your skin snapped by rubber bands.
There’s something oh-so-creepy about putting needles in your face (probably because of Pinhead in all those freaky H*llraiser films!). The practice—which involves inserting super-thin needles into the skin at different points—has been around since ancient times to help with everything from bodily pains to mental health. Using it on the face also has some perks: It’s said to help fade wrinkles by creating new collagen and making your skin more elastic, says Brighton-Howell Dermatology. And yes, initial research backs this up.
Using a face mask that makes you look like you’re 50 years older is certainly creepy, but so is the Milky Piggy Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask ($11)—a Korean product that quickly went viral for turning people’s faces into weird-looking fluffy clouds. What starts as a normal mask keeps on growing and growing and growing until you’re left with a huge, cartoon-esque face. It’s worth it, though: It ups the circulation in your skin, giving you a softer complexion and a more youthful glow.
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