Ladies, let’s admit it: We’ll try just about anything in the name of beauty (but let’s stay away from the Gorilla Glue please). We’re always in search of the latest “It” product or treatment that can make us look our best, even if the concoction is a little bit unusual.
When a friend first told me that she’d begun using milk of magnesia as a primer under her foundation to keep her oily skin in check, I looked at her bewildered and confused. I had never heard of the remedy, and was concerned about the effects it could have on the skin. Nevertheless, it was one of the many unconventional beauty products that really got my attention.
I decided to try it for myself and was completely blown away. The laxative really did work. My makeup lasted longer after applying milk of magnesia to my T-zone, where my skin tends to get particularly shiny as the day progresses. Again, it sounds weird and not at all what you’d expect from a setting solution, but it did the trick for me.
Whether you’re looking to thicken and strengthen your strands while battling hair loss, or to brighten skin to reduce hyperpigmentation, the beauty remedy you’ve been waiting for might be lurking in an unexpected package. There are tons of hair and skin treatments (some that have been used for years) that are being unearthed to address some of our most stubborn cosmetic issues.
Here are five unconventional beauty products and treatments that actually work.
1. Bee venom cream
Bee venom has multiple uses that are beneficial to the human body. Doctors have administered it to treat patients diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) to help lessen their fatigue and improve their overall quality of life.
Bee venom is also used to treat pain associated with other conditions like fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis. When it comes to beauty, it’s is said to be nature’s Botox, which is why you’ll find it in popular face creams and masks. It helps enhance the production of elastin and collagen, which aids in firming and smoothing the skin.
2. Mayonnaise for hair
If you thought mayo was only for sandwiches, think again. The popular condiment also doubles as a hair treatment. Because of its high fat and protein content, the oil-based spread has many benefits for tresses.
Cardi B took her 80 million Instagram followers on a journey as she concocted her own DIY hair mask using mayonnaise, avocado, honey, eggs, and a mixture of castor, olive, and argan oils. After popping this list of ingredients in a blender, the mixture was applied to infuse moisture back in her hair. It even worked to bring out baby Kulture’s curl pattern.
One study found that L-cysteine, an amino acid found in mayonnaise, was effective in building keratin which makes hair strong and helps it grow.
3. Snail facials
For the past few years, snail facials have been springing up as the next “it” treatment among spa services. The process is exactly as it sounds: Live snails are placed on your face, secreting slime, or “mucin” to give you a more youthful appearance.
While this method isn’t for the faint of heart, if you’re willing to endure a little Fear Factor action it just might be worth it. Why? Because snail mucin is packed with healing nutrients like hyaluronic acid, glycoprotein enzymes, and proteoglycans.
Recognition of the benefits of mucin dates back centuries, when it was used for treating skin disorders and healing wounds. Interestingly enough, snail mucin is a unique natural product that cannot be replicated in laboratories with synthetic chemicals. That might explain why utilizing live snails in facials has become so popular.
If you’re not down for having a creepy-crawly mollusk on your face (trust me, I get it), but still want the advantages this incredible treatment offers, there are a variety of creams and serums you can shop for that incorporate snail mucin. The result: a beaming glow.
4. Leech therapy
The thought of letting a leech suck your blood in the name of beauty may not appeal to you if you’re squeamish, but these slimy suckers come in handy for a myriad of beauty uses. Medically speaking, leeches have been applied for centuries to prevent limb amputation in diabetics, and soft tissue damage in those who’ve undergone cosmetic surgery. According to Healthline, leech therapy’s benefits for blood circulation has also led some people to use it to treat baldness and hair loss on the scalp.
Over the last couple of years, people have turned to the therapy for facials. Silesian Holistic Center in New York City helped popularize the leech facial, promising firmer skin and reduced wrinkles. The process involves attaching a few leeches to a client’s stomach, letting them become engorged with blood, and then extracting that blood (which will then be mixed with the leech’s enzymes) to be used as a face mask.
However, dermatologist Lynne Haven, M.D., told New Beauty that leech therapy is unlikely to yield the promised results of youthful looking skin. “If you’re a normal, healthy person there is no medical reason to use a leech. And I think that leech facials don’t make any sense,” she said. It’s been reported that people with compromised immune systems may not be great candidates for this one since there is a small risk for bacterial infection.
5. Hemorrhoid cream as an under-eye treatment
Yes, you read that right. Hemorrhoid cream is not just a miracle worker for your backside, it can also moonlight as an under-eye treatment.
The skin located directly under the eye is delicate and filled with tiny blood vessels. And because your eyes endure so much stress throughout the day from staring at the computer and texting, puffiness and dark circles can show up no matter how well you take care of your skin.
Although the cream is designed to shrink hemorrhoids (which are nothing but engorged blood vessels in the rectum) they can also do the same for the blood vessels around the eyes. “Preparation H is a vasoconstrictor,” dermatologist Sejal Shah, M.D., told Today.com. “By narrowing the vessels, it helps reduce puffiness. It can also make any bluish discoloration less noticeable.”