For centuries, women have been committing acts of medieval torture on themselves just to look, seem, smell or even just feel more beautiful. Here are some of the biggest OMG WTF beauty rituals you might not know about… (and if you have tried one of them, tell us all about it because we haven’t found anyone brave enough to try them yet!)
Ant body wash
A refreshing and energy-giving wash – or is it? Ants contain high levels of formic acid, which is energy-giving. In fact you’ll find that in some cultures, ants are part of a daily diet. The Natural Expired Fruits Acids help remove dead skin and oil residues, and according to the website, this body wash will awaken the senses and provide an overall feeling of balance. It’s also perfect for people with oily skin or sluggish metabolisms. See those ants marching through your kitchen? They’re not the enemy after all.
Pig placenta beauty drink
If you missed Sex Ed 101, placenta is tissue that grows inside of women when they are pregnant. It serves to nourish and protect the fetus and is pushed out after the fetus during what is called the ‘afterbirth’. It’s slimy, slippery, bloody and full of fluids, so who would think to drink such a thing? The desire for youth and beauty can be a strong one, which is why people in Japan are currently lining up to drink ground pig placenta. Like menstrual blood, placentas are full of vitamins, nutrients and minerals – everything that an egg or baby feeds on, pre-Gerber. Personally, I prefer my Centrum Complete A-to-Z.
There is a little-known practice found in Ethiopian salons. Women are given a 45-minute massage head to toe, using butter as the massaging medium. Butter is also applied everywhere, from toe to scalp. Plastic bags are put over the hands and feet, and the guest is given a large chunk of butter to spread over her lady parts. Then she is led to a room with a long row of toilets and smoke holes. The woman sits on the toilet with her legs as far apart as possible, with her hoo-ha positioned over the smoke hole, and three heavy blankets are thrown over her so that no smoke escapes. She’ll sit like that until all of the butter is melted, and she has become a giant steaming yam. The idea is to tighten up the vaginal muscles post-pregnancy – or perhaps your partner prefers butter on muffin.
Portuguese urine gargle
When Marc Antony wooed Cleopatra, when Julius Caesar made a speech, when Ben Hur rode his mighty chariot, they all participated in a sacred ritual that continues today – they gargled. While that hardly deserves a mention, bear in mind, they weren’t swishing Listerine. To improve the colour of their teeth and freshen their breath, Romans imported and swilled Portuguese urine. Apparently, the Portuguese pH was much more divine and manly than mellow Roman yellow. While obviously unpleasant, urine contains several compounds like ammonia and urea that actually kill germs and help fight the gum disease gingivitis.
The mucus secreted by land snails has a powerful antioxidant that protects them from an atmosphere full of oxygen radicals. It also cushions the road as they forage across the sidewalk, so naturally if it works for them, it must work for us, right? Right. Snail serum has been clinically proven to help maintain the skin, as well as improve cell function. Additionally, it helps avoid excess or abnormal scars, including acne scarring. It also counteracts sun damage, prevents premature skin ageing and wrinkles and accelerates the renewal of damaged tissues. And you thought they were only good for French appetizers and sidewalk art.
Written by Sonja Holbrook, this article originally appeared on SheKnows.
Image: Patryk Kosmider/Shutterstock.com