AHEAD OF THE PACK

Ex­otic in­gre­di­ents, in­spired at the an­i­mal farm are the new in

India Today - - CONTENTS -

The unglam­orous demise of pelt and fur at the al­tar of po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness may have ruf­fled a few feath­ers but fash­ion’s crit­ter calls seem to have been an­swered else­where. As nightin­gale drop­pings and snake venom re­place ass’s milk as the new face of food fa­cials, the multi-bil­lion dol­lar beauty in­dus­try seems to be ex­plor­ing the tan­gle of trop­i­cal jun­gle to com­bat the heat and stress of the ur­ban ter­rain. With van­ity and nar­cis­sism as twin pil­lars of this Holy Grail, youth re­mains the ul­ti­mate elixir and con­quer­ing age the fi­nal fron­tier.

SNAKE MAS­SAGE

For the truly in­trepid, slith­er­ing snakes are con­sid­ered strangely soothing to the skin and hence make for a great mas­sage tool. If you’re bored of the usual aro­mather­apy, heated stones, jade, golf balls ac­com­pa­nied by dul­cet el­e­va­tor mu­sic, nudge it up a notch with a snake mas­sage. The idea is to al­low your skin to make con­tact with small snakes that crawl all over it. The treat­ment is said to help re­lieve mi­graines and soothes sore mus­cles. At Barak’s snake spa in Talmei Elazar, Is­rael; www.wa­handa.com/place/ad­abaraks-car­niv­o­rous-plant-farm/

PLA­CENTA FA­CIAL

If in­jec­tions of live sheep pla­centa cells are too in­va­sive for you, then try th­ese pla­centa-based beauty treat­ments from a Sin­ga­pore-based com­pany that claim it does won­ders for sun and acne-rav­aged skin. Ex­cel­lent for an­ti­ag­ing and cell re­newal, its pla­centa-based prod­ucts in­clude a tonic, a soap, and fa­cial mask among oth­ers. Ben­e­fits? From clear skin to brain stimulation. www.may­lande.com

NIGHTIN­GALE EX­CRE­MENT FA­CIAL

Geishas, tra­di­tional Ja­panese women

en­ter­tain­ers, once wore heavy white makeup con­tain­ing toxic lead and zinc, which dam­aged their skin. As an an­ti­dote, they ap­plied a face mask con­tain­ing nightin­gale drop­pings. The birds’ poop al­legedly con­tains en­zymes that break down dead skin cells, and gua­nine that gives the com­plex­ion a warm glow. The Shizuka New York Day Spa of­fers a mod­ernised ver­sion, in which the drop­pings are sani­tised in ul­tra­vi­o­let light and then mixed with rice bran to ex­fo­li­ate. The treat­ment costs $180. http://shizukany.com/ser­vices/skin-care /the geisha-fa­cial/

SNAIL SLIME MOIS­TURISER

An­i­mal se­cre­tion as a beauty aid may de­ter the most zeal­ous nar­cis­sist, but the gooey stuff that snails ex­crete dur­ing the course of their trav­els has in­dus­try mavens coo­ing. Dis­cov­ered by Chilean snail farm­ers who were up to their el­bows in snail goo each day no­ticed that their hands were softer and smoother. En­ter the snail slime mois­turiser. For­tu­nately, you don't have to book a stay at a Chilean snail farm to ben­e­fit. Elic­ina snail slime mois­turiser is avail­able on the brand’s web­site and many spas now of­fer snail slime fa­cials as well.

http://elic­in­ausa.com

LEECH DETOX­I­FI­CA­TION

The thought of leeches suck­ing blood may hint at me­dieval, or at least macabre, but with pro­po­nents like Hol­ly­wood ac­tress Demi Moore, who could ques­tion the seem­ingly loath­some? The leggy lass has ad­mit­ted to us­ing leeches in her beauty reg­i­men at an Aus­trian spa where she had leeches ap­plied to her body as a detox­i­fi­ca­tion mea­sure. New York City’s Con­tin­uum Center for Health and Heal­ing of­fers leech treat­ments for arthri­tis and other ail­ments as well for about for $600 a ses­sion www.healthand­heal­ingny.org; con­tact@el­e­men­talem­brace.com

WHALE VOMIT

Whale vomit by any other name would be just as dis­gust­ing, but am­ber­gris, is not only an es­sen­tial in­gre-

The Ja­panese have cre­ated a sweet vanilla scent from cow dung in half the pro­cess­ing cost as that from the vanilla bean”

di­ent in some beauty creams but it’s also added as a fix­a­tive in per­fumes. A fix­a­tive is used mainly to re­duce the rate of evap­o­ra­tion of the per­fume.

BULL SE­MEN

This may sound rad­i­cal but bull se­men is the new won­der stim­u­lant for dull hair and is be­ing used by Euro­pean sa­lons to en­hance nat­u­ral shine. Sper­mine, an an­tiox­i­dant found in sperm, is not just used in fancy salon fa­cials but in hair care prod­ucts. A Scan­di­na­vian com­pany called Skin­science makes an en­tire line of sper­mine creams tout­ing the an­tiox­i­dant as be­ing 30 times stronger than Vitamin E. www.skin­science.com

How­ever, not all in­gre­di­ents ac­tu­ally mois­turise; some like snake venom smooth wrin­kles—no bo­tox needed, sim­ply ap­ply the mois­turiser that con­tains the snake venom. The venom paral­y­ses fa­cial nerves sim­i­lar to bo­tox but with­out los­ing the use of fa­cial ex­pres­sions. So whether you fancy a face mask made with seal oil for soft, blub­bery skin or use lip­sticks made with cochineal bee­tles, van­ity fare is best served up on the an­i­mal farm.

A CAVIAR FA­CIAL BE­ING PER­FORMED ( ABOVE); THE SLIMY SE­CRE­TIONS EMIT­TED BY THE SNAIL IS USED TO HEAL AND MOIS­TURISE THE SKIN ( TOP RIGHT)

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