There is no denying that there are a fair share of slightly unorthodox spa treatments out there. From putting leeches on your face to letting fish nibble at the dead skin from your toes, we thought we’ve seen it all.
… Or have we? Turns out, there are plenty of weird and wacky spa treatments that we didn’t even think were possible. We’re talking snake massages, beer baths, and… a penis facial?! Nope, we’re not pulling your leg— they’re all legit.
Here is our list of 17 weird spa treatments that will have you going ‘what on earth?!’ just about every other second. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
1. Penis Facial
Yes, it is a thing. And apparently, it is also a hot favourite amongst the Hollywood crowd? Known as the Hollywood EGF Facial (and affectionately as the penis facial), this treatment earns its name due to the inclusion of an ingredient derived from newborn-baby foreskin.
To put it simply: yes, you are pretty much putting liquefied penis cells on your skin. Eek!
Big starlets like Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett certainly aren’t squeamish about it though, with Kate Beckinsale even posting about it on her Instagram.
So, how does a penis facial work? Well, as it turns out, it is utilised as a serum throughout the treatment, and it is known to promote wound healing as well as the diminishing of brown spots, age spots and wrinkles. Whoa!
Some have expressed concerns as to how said newborn-baby foreskin is sourced. The answer? It is apparently done through cloning in a lab. Phew!
2. Snake Massage
This treatment is so popular that customers claim that they can’t go back to normal massages after experiencing this. We can’t believe our ears!
It is definitely one of the most weird spa treatments there is, though it is a lot less complicated than most people think. What happens is that non-venomous king and corn snakes are draped over your naked form, with the movement of these reptiles on your body serving to have a calming effect on most. In fact, some people even claim that it feels like a cool compress on skin!
It also reportedly helps to ease migraines and soothe sore muscles. Provided you can handle snakes slithering all over you, of course.
3. Ramen Onsen
Ramen lovers have surely always fantasised about swimming in this bowl of soft, springy noodles, but we didn’t think it’d be quite so literal.
Soak in a bowl of ramen broth over at Yunnesun Spa, which is a short 1.5 hour drive away from Tokyo. It apparently has amazing health benefits, such as beautifying your skin as well as boosting your metabolism. This can be credited to the collagen found in pork broth, supposedly. Hmm, interesting!
Yunnesun Spa is also known for their other wacky baths, such as a wine bath, a coffee one, and even a sake one. Ramen takes the throne for being so outrageously wacky, though!
4. Bull Semen Hair Spa
Dry, unmanageable hair? Well, the answer could lie in… bull’s semen instead?! Originating from a spa in London, this treatment combines bull sperm with the protein rich plant Katera to give you the nourished, shiny, locks of your dreams.
The serum is reportedly refrigerated before application so as to ensure it doesn’t smell, and is even retrieved fresh from an Aberdeen-Angus bull on a cheshire farm. Who knew?!
5. Nightingale Poop Facial
A skincare hack supposedly loved by geishas back in the day, this Nightingale Poop Facial sounds exactly like what you’re thinking. Apparently, their droppings have properties that are known to brighten, heal, and re-texturise the skin due to natural enzymes and guanine in them. This, in turn, imparts a pearly texture to the skin. Say what?!
Considered to be a seriously weird and wacky spa treatment, you’ll be relieved to hear that the droppings are actually powdered and sanitised first. It is also accompanied with an anti-oxidant face mask that leaves you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated after — and not as if you’ve just smeared bird feces all over yourself. Alright, then!
6. Wet Hay Wrap
Something that barn animals snuggle in, or a super exclusive spa treatment? We just can’t tell. Invented by the Hotel Heubad in Italy, this cure-all treatment involves wrapping yourself in hot, wet, fermented, ‘fatty’, hay.
You will be wrapped in wet hay for 15-20 minutes before being wrapped once more, though this time it will be in linen sheets for a meditative comedown period. It is said to help boost your immune system as well as your metabolism, provided you can handle the stench!
7. Chocolate Fondue Wrap
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We all know about the amazing benefits that chocolate can do for your skin — hence all the luxury chocolate masks and products you can spot on shelves these days — but did you know that you can literally be slathered entirely in creamy, melted, oxygen-infused Swiss chocolate?
Available at a spa in Portugal, this treatment comprises of being fully covered in chocolate fondue from head to toe. This is then followed by being wrapped in a soft, warm blanket that helps fight skin ageing, promote healing as well as accelerate cellular rejuvenation. Sounds delicious, albeit a little strange!
8. Cactus Massage
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"To survive in the desert, cactii must store mass amounts of water, and they pass on these skin-storing properties to our skin. Cactus not only helps to draw moisture into skin but improves skin’s ability to retain it by strengthening the skin’s barrier function to prevent moisture loss. Clever, huh? On top of that, vitamins E and K help to smooth and soften skin texture, fatty acids calm inflammation, and antioxidants help to prevent environmental damage that triggers early signs of aging." –> Beauty Bay
Sounds like it could potentially be a prickly good time?! Nah, don’t panic just yet. The cactus pricks are removed before they are used on clients, and it is said to remove toxins from the body all while hydrating skin.
How it works is that cactus, cactus blossom as well as pulque is used to form a warm meringue, which is then applied to skin using various massage techniques. This treatment may have originated in Singapore, but did you know that you can experience it in Singapore, too?
Yup, book yourself an appointment right here.
9. Ice-Box Treatment
You know that scene in Captain America where Bucky Barnes is put on ice? Well, as it turns out, that’s probably how he managed to keep his stunning good looks. Known as the Ice-Box Treatment, this form of cryotherapy has been used for centuries as a way to ease swelling, pain, as well as to treat rheumatic diseases! It even helps elevate stress and improve those suffering from sleeping disorders.
The procedure takes place in a -110°C temperature cabin, and you will be decked out in a bathing suit, headgear, and even mittens to help protect key body parts. Oh, and did we mention that you get a diploma after completing it? Talk about it being a massive achievement, right?
10. Beer Bath
Yes, because as it turns out, you can now soak in whatever your drink of choice is? Originating from the Czech Republic, this spa treatment involves soaking in a bubble bath made from mineral water mixed with dark beer at a temperature of 34 °C.
You will gradually begin to feel a slight rise in heart activity due to increased blood circulation, and is said to help with the regeneration of skin cells as well as to calm and decrease blood pressure. Just make sure to resist from stealing a sip or two throughout!
11. Kiln Sauna
Walking into a literal, real-life oven may sound like something out of your worst Hansel and Gretel inspired nightmares, but did you know that people in Korea are voluntarily doing so? Yup, referred to as a Kiln Sauna, it is actually a traditional spa treatment that involves immersing yourself in a stone kiln.
This stone kiln is powered by burning wood and charcoal and is said to reach temperatures of 200°C. Whoa! You can’t even wear synthetic clothes in there as it’ll melt, so jute blankets are used to protect your modesty. Apparently, this treatment allows users to sweat all the toxins out of their body. Uhh… if they say so, we suppose.
12. Chopper Massages
Those are real choppers, and yes, they do actually touch you. Repeatedly, in fact! Originating from Taipei, it is known as Dao Liao.
How it works is that a thick cloth is draped over you before your therapist will begin to ‘chop’ at you rhythmically with knives. There is a lot less force used than expected, and it is said to help improve blood circulation. We don’t know how well-rested you’ll feel with literal knives coming at you, but who knows?
13. Open Flame Bath
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We didn’t think getting slowly boiled in a large pot over an open flame would ever be appealing, but apparently it is?!
These re-purposed cauldrons are actually filled with flowers and heated up over fire, with the flowers and herbs helping promote relaxation as you lounge within it. Sounds nice, you know— if you can ignore the fact that you look like you’re about to be someone’s dinner.
14. Chinese Fire Massage
You’ll literally be playing with fire with this Chinese Fire Massage?! No, it’s nothing like the tiny flame you see when you undergo cupping, but what looks like a mini inferno raging on either your face, back, belly, or legs.
The procedure actually involves placing a cloth soaked in alcohol and elixir over problem areas. The cloth is then set alight and allowed to burn for less than a minute before a damp towel is used to smother the flames. Uh, sounds like it is a MINUTE too long, but sure! It supposedly helps reduce wrinkles, relieve muscle pain, and even tone the body.
15. Venik Massage
Would you pay someone to beat you with a broom made of fresh oak leaves? Well, apparently some people do!
Called a Venik Massage, it is done in Russian bathhouses and Finnish Saunas. What happens is that a broom is made out of fresh oak leaves soaked in olive oil. What follows next is you’ll be ‘whipped’ with said brush, before being asked to cool off by rinsing yourself in cold water. This helps rejuvenate the body all while moisturising and refreshing skin. Well, we suppose they say beauty is pain!
16. Biting Therapy
We don’t even know where to begin with this one. Called the Bite Massage, it involves massage therapist Dorothy Stein literally biting the backs of her celebrity clients. We’re talking big names such as Kanye West, Katy Perry, and even Simon Cowell?!
She does so as she believes that the motion promotes blood circulation in the same way cupping does. Uh… if you don’t mind the germs, we guess?
17. Snail Facial
This should come as no surprise to some of you considering how snail masks are all the rage these days. The real Snail Facial, though, involves letting real snails crawl all over your face, secreting snail mucus that consists of certain proteins and acids that delivers on anti-ageing benefits.
It even works on acne scars, burn marks, and dry skin. Hmm, consider us impressed!