A young Asian woman wearing a white tank top and white headband touching her face

From snakes to snails to blood — facial treatments have evolved from the standard cleanse-steam-extract-mask routine. These days, we don’t just go into spas and clinics for skin health. We also sign up for new experiences that can range from pampering to vampiric. Here are some unusual, baffling facial treatments and what they do for the skin.

Vampire Facial

Ever wondered what a blood-infused facial is like? Neither have we! But since it first appeared on celebrity and influencer Instagram accounts back in 2017, this gory-looking facial has been embraced by more people. Appropriately named “Vampire Facial” for a couple of reasons, this facial 1) uses drawn blood as a key skincare element and 2) promises to reverse signs of aging by stimulating cellular turnover.

The treatment involves microdermabrasion, followed by the application of platelet-rich plasma, which is the serum part of the blood that has been isolated from the patient’s blood sample using a centrifuge. Due to the microdermabrasion, it has a two- to three-day downtime. You’ll also need to avoid makeup and sunlight and wear lots of sunscreens — how’s that for role play?

Snail Facial

The land helix or snail has been used for its healing and dermatological benefits since ancient times. According to the NIH, snail mucin has been used against inflammation, lung diseases, headaches, skin diseases, and irritation. It has also been used as a key ingredient in Asian skincare.

The snail facial, popular in Japan and Korea, draws from these traditions and delivers a live-action experience. The treatment involves having small snails wander on your face, secreting slime that’s supposed to exfoliate, boost collagen, and relieve inflammation on the skin.

Gemstone Massage

If you’re into crystals and believe in their healing energies, you’ll probably enjoy the gemstone massage. A popular treatment in New York City spas, this 90-minute massage uses oils that are infused with precious stones. Selections include diamond, emerald, ruby, and sapphire treatments that can go for up to P19,000 per session.

Diamonds are said to bring clarity to the mind and stimulate creativity. Emerald is considered a gemstone of regeneration and recovery both for the mind and body. Ruby aids in manifestation and improves motivation. Sapphire releases mental tension, anxiety, and unwanted thoughts.

Nightingale Poop Facial

Would you slather poop on your face to get glowing skin? Japanese geishas used to do it all the time! Mostly, it was to remove their thick makeup and soothe the skin. For the modern version of this treatment, the poop is collected from a nightingale farm, dried out, and sanitized with ultraviolet light before it’s mixed with water to create a paste. Nightingale droppings, which contain the highest amount of pristine guanine, supposedly lighten the complexion, minimize the appearance of pores, as well as brighten and hydrate the skin.

What You Can Do at Home

If you have budget and access, there’s nothing wrong with booking these facial treatments for the experience. However, for those who want to achieve the same effects from home, here are some products that deliver the same result:

Remove makeup and brighten skin with vitamin-enriched micellar water.

Why put poop on your face like a geisha to thoroughly remove makeup and cleanse your skin when micellar water will do? Use micellar water to remove makeup, dirt, oil, and impurities from your skin at the end of a long day.

Plump your skin with nourishing watermelon. 

If needles and blood are not your idea of a relaxing time, try POND’S Watermelon Jelly Moisturizer, which can also give you youthful-looking skin. It rejuvenates and plumps your complexion with extra hydration, while giving it that coveted glass finish.

Hydrate, brighten, and soften with vitamin c and hyaluronic acid.

Not quite as slimy as snail mucin but just as nourishing, POND'S Bright Miracle Ultimate Clarity Day Serum is an essence and serum in one product that hydrates, brightens, and softens the skin.

Facial treatments are fun and can deliver satisfying benefits, but if you’re on a budget or can’t quite go to a spa or clinic just yet, the products above can help you achieve the same results at home — sans the blood, reptiles, and poop.