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Beauty blogs were abuzz recently when it was rumored that the duchess formerly known as Kate Middleton owed her flawless complexion to an unusual ingredient: bee venom. (Don’t expect Buckingham Palace to confirm.)
But bee venom isn’t even the strangest cosmetic treatment out there these days, and Middleton — if she has, in fact, been stung by the bee venom craze — isn’t the first to seek out an unusual beauty boost. Some people will try anything in the name of vanity, from vampire face-lifts to (ew) bird poop facials. We nosed around to get the 411 on these bizarre anti-aging rituals, many of which cost a king’s (or queen’s) ransom.
Want to know where J.Lo gets her glow? It's not pretty — but she is, so maybe there's something to this bizarre treatment.
During a VH1 special a number of years ago, Jennifer Lopez proclaimed herself a fan of anti-aging placenta face masks. Placenta facials use freeze-dried, sterilized powder made from placentas taken after live human births or from other mammals, such as pigs, sheep, or goats. "It's full of proteins and enzymes, a freeze-dried cellular harvest," says Dr. Lancer. In his office, he says, he applies placenta-based products to help soothe the skin after a laser treatment or exfoliation — more traditional cosmetic procedures with anti-aging benefits.
Choosing Anti-Aging Beauty Treatments
First, a little cautionary note: Don’t try any of these treatments at home without first consulting your physician. "From a safety and effectiveness standpoint, patients need to ask their doctors whether there’s any good science behind the cosmetic procedures they want to try,” advises Jeffrey M. Kenkel, MD, professor and vice chairman of the department of plastic surgery at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and director of the Clinical Center for Cosmetic Laser Treatment and chief of plastic surgery at the Dallas Veterans Affairs Medical Center. “I love it when patients ask me a lot of questions, because once we’re done, I know that they are well informed.”
Your dermatologist’s office is a good place to go for a reality check if you’re tempted by the weird procedure your favorite star swears by. In general, the best anti-aging treatments are available through a doctor, often in a simple yet effective prescription cream. That may not sound as sexy (or as gross, depending on how you look at it) as some of the options on this list, but it’s likely safer and more effective.
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