Bizarre beauty treatments to check out
The worst part of Halloween is putting together a costume at the last minute. We’ve all been there. You thought you weren’t going to go out, accepted a party invite at the last minute, and then ended up waiting in line in front of a Spirit Halloween store for two hours on Halloween day. OK, if the worst part of Halloween is scrambling for a costume, the second worst part is electing to wear a costume that requires makeup or face paint. You either scrub it off abrasively at the end of the night, or you leave it on too long (after a few too many drinks) and break out for a week.
Well, what if we told you that you could get your dose of Halloween without having to scour for a costume or fall asleep with makeup caked on? Turns out, there are a number of skincare treatments that are great for your skin and that are spooky in their own right.
1. Snail facials
This is one of the treatments on the list that is exactly what it sounds like – a facial in which a bunch of snails slither around your face. The purpose of the facial is for your skin to absorb snail mucin, one of nature’s most excellent naturally-occurring potions. It’s nutrient-packed, containing prime skincare ingredients like hyaluronic acid and copper peptides, which make a great anti-aging serum. And here’s the best part: as snail mucin has made its way into the zeitgeist through skincare blogs and beauty TikTokers, you no longer need to get a snail facial to reap the benefits. You can buy snail mucin masks at many skincare stores.
2. Fire facials
Huo Liao - or fire therapy - is less unusual to someone who practices Traditional Chinese Medicine than to someone who is used to a facial involving a few serums and some extractions. The treatment involves soaking a towel in some herbs (or secret elixir, depending on the source you read) and a little alcohol and then lighting the towel on fire. The fire is put out with a wet towel just a few secrets later, and the result is allegedly tighter, healthier skin thanks to the absorption of the herbs and better circulation of Qi. Huo Liao is also used to treat everything from back pain to constipation. Of all the treatments on the list, it may just be the most difficult to find for anyone who is US-based.
If a fire facial isn’t for you, try cryotherapy. It’s the least spooky of the treatments on this list unless you’re afraid of extreme cold. The treatment involves having liquid nitrogen pumped all over your face for a few minutes. Some say it feels like sticking your face in the freezer for a few minutes. The treatment increases blood flow and can make skin look younger and plumper. Cryotherapy for the body is also available, which can be used to treat atopic dermatitis (just avoid that one if you get a little claustrophobic).
4. Vampire facials
This is one of the most mainstream treatments on this list, and when described, it’s also one of the creepiest. Put more scientifically, a vampire facial is microneedling with platelet-rich plasma (PRP). When you have it done, blood is drawn from your arm, and platelets and plasma are separated from red blood cells in a centrifuge. Your face is microneedled (typically after some numbing cream), and then the PRP is applied to the face and left on for up to an entire day. The medium to long-term results are younger and brighter-looking skin. The short-term effect is that you’re covered in blood and look like a vampire, or vampire bait, really.
5. Chemical peels
This is the most common treatment on the list, and it’s also been the most commonly used in sight gags on film and TV to make someone look terrifying (see: Lucille Bluth in Arrested Development and Jenna Maroney in 30 Rock). A chemical peel works by using chemical exfoliants to peel off the top layers of the skin to reveal healthier skin. Peels have varying levels of intensity, from at-home overnight peels that simply tingle for a few seconds to peels that can only be administered at a dermatologist’s office and require several days of recovery (staying out of the sun and with the camera off on Zoom calls). The latter treatments are what will give you a very temporary, very spooky look: a little like your face is melting off, but to reveal a more beautiful you.
Want to improve your skin fitness but looking for safe and effective treatments that are not so out there? Check out LaserAway, the nation's leading aesthetic dermatology provider that offers non-invasive and minimally invasive skin treatments, like Thermage, Clear + Brilliant, Botox, and more.
Khalid El Khatib is a Brooklyn-based writer and marketer who tweets too much.