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Old 8th October 2008, 09:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Bull's semen, snail slime and flesh-eating fish... We reveal the weird and wacky lengths women will

go to to hold back the years

As Victoria Beckham reveals the secret to her newly luminous complexion is nightingale poo, FEMAIL investigates more of the world's weirdest beauty treatments

Although Victoria has only just discovered the power of poo at her swish New York beauty salons, Hari's Salon in London's South Kensington had been offering nightingale poop facials for 18 months already.

But despite its name, this facial is nowhere near as horrific as it sounds.

Bird brain: Victoria Beckham has been visiting New York salons to have nightingale poo facials since discovering in Japan how effective they were

The secret of success of the sewage is all down to the enzymes, specifically guanine, apparently - an illuminating amino acid that occurs in nightingale poo (and fish scales and bat faeces) that has been used in Japanese skin youthifying and brightening treatments for centuries, originally used to remove the thick white make-up from the faces of geishas.

There's no need for the squeamish to panic though: any ingredients extracted are thoroughly dried (though they still have an earthy whiff), mixed with other delights such as green tea, shea butter and gold leaf, and treated with UV light before it gets anywhere near your face.

Faeces from a nightingale like this one, left, are dried and used in treatments to rejuvenate the skin of customers paying up to £135 at salons like Hari's, right

The salon says the facial leaves the skin glowing and refreshed, and although they'd stopped offering the treatment (unbelievably, there weren't enough punters willing to have bird poo on their faces?)

Well, if it's good enough for poo-face Posh and hubby Becks, we're willing to have a go too.

The Nightingale Facial at Hari's salon costs £135 and lasts for 90 minutes. For more information call 020 7581 5211 or visit harissalon.com

Back at Hari's: Yes, the salon that smeared droppings on our faces has yet more unexpected uses for animal effluent.

And this time, it's quite literally a load of bull. Hari's intensively moisturising hair treatment has one miracle ingredient: the sperm of organically reared Angus bulls.

Apparently, say those in the know at the salon, the sperm is incredibly high in pure proteins that penetrate the hair deep to the shaft, nourishing it from within.

'I'd tried working with avocado oil and caviar,' said salon owner Hari, 'but the sperm definitely has the best nourishing qualities.'

It's Hari's number one treatment, so it must be good. Salon staff say the effects of the sperm carry on working days after it's been applied, and customers rave that they've never seen their hair look so shiny.

The protein in bull's sperm is nourishing to the hair, says salon owner Hari. 'I'm always looking for unusual treatments, he says, and this is our most popular'

After slathering the mixture on to the head, (again, thankfully, it is purified beyond the point of recognition) you will be plonked under gentle heat for the liquid to work its magic.

Twenty minutes later after a rinse and blow-dry, you will leave the salon with unfeasibly bouncy, invigorated locks... And a vague feeling of shame.

The bull's semen hair conditioning treatment at Hari's salon costs £59. To book, call 020 7581 5211 or visit harissalon.com

The thought of plunging your prone limbs into a tank of thousands of hungy flesh-eating fish is enough to send most sane people running for the hills.

In reality though, having a pescatarian pedicure is nowhere near as terrifying as you might think. An ancient treatment devised in Turkish spas and popular throughout the whole of Asia, the tiny toothless fish - known as doctor fish - have a penchant for devouring dead skin.

The garra rufa fish, otherwise known as doctor fish, devour dead skin on the feet, revealing the fresh, healthy skin beneath

The fish produce a chemical in their saliva that softens outer skin layers, which they then painlessly nibble away at, ridding feet of dead skin and revealing healthy, new skin beneath.

Even those who don't suffer from ticklish feet will find the sensation incredibly strange to begin with, but once you relax, the pecking, swarming sensation of thousands of tiny mouths becomes oddly relaxing.

While the majority of clinics are in Turkey or the Far East, clinics are now cropping up closer to home, with one available in Ireland.

Skin Therapy Ireland + 353 61 309614, www.skintherapyireland.com.

Apparently discovered by snail farmers (who knew snail farms even existed?) in Chile who realised that their hands, plunged up to the elbows in snail secretion all day, were noticeably softer and smoother than before, and small cuts healed quickly and without infection.

The slime from the 10,000 resident snails - destined to be served up on French dinner plates - was collected and added to a cream to make Elicina, a moisturiser made up of 80 per cent snail secretion.

Slime from a snail like this one, left, is collected and made into a cream - 80 per cent pure - that is said to aid rejuvenation of the skin and prevent against ageing

As well as collagen and elastin, glycerin and vitamins C, A and E, the snail goo contains allantoin, the substance that helps snails them regenerate their shells, which is a powerful anti-oxidant is said to protect the skin from the free-radicals that speed up the ageing process.

Fans say it has rid them of not only fine lines but acne scarring, stretch marks and razor bumps too. Its Spanish name, crema de caracol, sounds much more exotic than the rather Halloweeny 'snail cream', but it's what's inside that counts.

Elicina snail cream, £29.50 from www.elicinaeurope.com

Who in their right mind would deliberately slather snake poison over their face? Clearly plenty of women, if sales of Biodroga's cult venom cream are anything to go by.
Jars of their anti-ageing creams (from £45) contain Syn-Vipe, a protein that is a replica of the venom produced by the perilous temple viper.

The supposed miracle anti-wrinkle formula has the same face-freezing effects as Botox, and works by relaxing facial muscles so that fine expression lines and wrinkles are decreased.

The mock-venom mimics the effects of the snake venom - a neuro-toxin - and inhibits messages being sent from the brain to the nerve endings, though it'd be fair to say that anyone who is game for diving head first into a pot of serpent poison may have suffered some sort of inhibition to the brain already.

Visit biodroga.com

The magic ingredient in Biodrga is Syn-Vipe, a chemical that mimics the effects of viper poison

Source: Daily Mail UK., October 8, 2008

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