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? POND’S Vitamin Micellar Water Brightening Rose is an effective and nourishing cleanser that is also infused with five and organic natural French roses. It cleanses and brightens skin in one week.

Plump your skin with nourishing tomato. 

If needles and blood are not your idea of a relaxing time, try POND’S Vitamin Duo Sheet Mask Plumping Tomato and Vitamin B6, which can also give you youthful-looking skin. Formulated by a Korean beauty expert, this mask replenishes the skin’s natural amino acids and lipids with 50 times more Vitaboosters, Vitamin B6, and tomato. Simply apply the mask, leave it on for 15 minutes, and remove. No need to rinse and no downtime.

Hydrate, brighten, and soften with niacinamide and 4D hyaluronic acid.

Not quite as slimy as snail mucin but just as nourishing, POND’S Perfect Potion Essence is a toner, essence, and serum in one product that hydrates and softens the skin. It contains brightening and healing and hydrating 4D hyaluronic acid.

To ward off and get a smooth, radiant complexion, the multi-tasking POND’S Bright Triple Glow Serum has GlutaBoost+, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid to help minimize pores, moisturize, and achieve an effortless dewy look, without resorting to any unsavory ingredients.

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.