Bizarre Beauty Secrets from Around the World

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Bird Poop Facials and Snail Excretions? You won’t believe some of these remedies to try and look beautiful.

It seems there is always a new beauty trend popping up that is said to benefit skin or makeup routines.

But around the world, these trends can be very different to what is seen here.

From bird poop to snail secretions, these are some of the trends that we have spotted around the world.  

JAPAN: Nightingale Poop Facial

What do Victoria Beckham, Harry Styles and Tom Cruise have in common? They’re all fans of the Japanese facial Uguisu no fun, which translates to “nightingale faeces.”

Bizarre beauty secrets: bird poo facial
Japanese facial Uguisu no fun, made out of bird droppings.

This facial is rare; made from the excrements of a uncommon species of nightingale, native only to the island of Kyushu in the southwest of Japan.

The birds here are fed an exclusive diet of organic seeds and berries, and not worms like their wild counterparts. This makes the facial vegan, and even more sought after.

Once collected, it is sanitized and then dried out under a UV light. It then becomes ground up into a fine white powder, before being distributed to beauty salons.

This product has used since the 17th century by geishas, who wore heavy makeup, traditionally made from zinc and lead, which caused skin irritations.

As such, the use of nightingale poop helped to smooth and clear the skin, and the practice has remained throughout Japan today.

The benefits of such are said to include anti-ageing properties and the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles.

But the treatment is not cheap, with facials costing between $350 to $500 USD.

ZANZIBAR, TANZANIA: Clove scrub

On the island of Zanzibar, off the coast of Tanzania, brides have been using this recipe for centuries in the week leading up to their wedding.

Bizarre beauty secrets: cloves
Cloves are the main ingredient in this scrub, from Zanzibar. Image: Getty

‘Vidonge’, as it is locally known, is an aromatic scrub made out of cloves, coconut oil and rose is applied as an exfoliator to the body, leaving it smooth, supple and fragrant.

Cloves contain anti-septic properties, which is beneficial for those with sensitive or acne prone skin, and they’re also packed full of antioxidants.

Combined with rose water, which can help reduce inflammation, and coconut oil to hydrate and moisturize the skin, this scrub is well kept secret that will cleanse and benefit the entire body.

Other reports suggest that this scrub helps to increase male libido and stamina, which is perhaps why brides apply it before their wedding nights.

Mix three tablespoons of coarsely ground cloves, two tablespoons of coconut oil, two tablespoons of rose water, and three tablespoons of ground dried flowers. Massage into dry skin, then rinse after a few minutes.

Cost: under $20

BRAZIL: Oatmeal to treat sunburn

When people think of oats, they commonly think of a breakfast staple. But in Brazil, oatmeal is commonly used as a way to treat sunburn.

Say goodbye to Aloe Vera. Editor of Women’s Health Brazil, Monica Gailewitch says that this is because the grains have anti-inflammatory properties when mixed with water. Consequently, this is why oats are included in many skincare and eczema-treating products.

To make, blitz instant or slow-cooking oats in a food processor until fine, powder consistency.

Bizarre beauty: oatmeal for sunburn
Oatmeal baths soothe sunburn in Brazil

Run a warm bath and pour in the oat flour, allowing it to soak for 20 minutes, then soothe the sunburnt skin by relaxing in the water.

Cost: under $5

TURKEY: Daisy water as a hair highlighter

Toners aside, in Turkey, women use daisies as a natural hair highlight booster.

When seeped in water, daisies, or chamomile flowers, work to lighten hair due to the different flavonoids, otherwise known as what gives plants their pigmentations, that are found in the flower.

Daisy water or chamomile tea can lighten hair
Natural hair lightening: Chamomile tea, or daisy water

According to bustle.com, the lightening occurs as one of these flavonoids, quercetin, works by limiting the amount of melanin produced, which is the chemical that darkens hair and skin.

As such, this treatment will generally work better for people who have lighter hair, as less melanin is already produced.

Boil a cup of daisies, or several bags of chamomile tea, in two cups of water. Let it seep for over five minutes until it has cooled, before pouring the water over hair.  Repeat the process whenever shampooing.

While this won’t give the appearance of a salon-fresh dye job, this is a healthier solution to harsh bleaches and dyes which can damage the hair follicles.

Cost: Under $5

KOREA: Snail gel in skincare

Ever looked at the slimy trail left behind a snail and had a use for it? Korean beauty does, and it is commonly incorporated into skincare.

First originating as an ancient Greek tradition, using snail secretions has become a popular trend in Korea for its anti-ageing properties.

Beauty hacks: snails
Snail excretions can have amazing anti-ageing properties

In 2013, a study conducted in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology found that thick fluid contains natural acids and elastin, which helps to promote smooth skin and clear complexion. It also reportedly had benefits of reducing fine lines and acne scars.

Under lab conditions, scientists take the fluid excreted by the snails, then turn it into a fine, white powder.

This is then incorporated into a range of different products, from moisturizers, masks and serums.

Try the All-In-One Snail Repair Cream (RRP $54 AUD) by K-Beauty brand Peach and Lily, containing 92 per cent snail extract.

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Zoe Bradbury

CONTRIBUTOR

Zoe is a self-confessed health and fitness fanatic. She loves working out and being active, almost as much as she loves going out for brunch and eating avo toast.
If she’s not in the gym, you’ll usually find her online shopping, buying something she definitely does not need, or updating her Pinterest board with travel and adventure ideas for the future.
Her other loves include dark chocolate, coffee and cats, all enjoyed while watching bad (or really good?) reality TV

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