Odd Anti-Aging Tricks from Around the World

If you thought that Botox treatments and chemical peels were weird, you haven’t heard nothing yet.

It seems that worldwide, men and women are known to undergo some pretty drastic anti-aging methods in order to, literally, peel years off their lives. The following odd anti-aging treatments from around the globe might make you squeamish, but they prove that people will do almost anything to remain looking young, thin, and beautiful…

Want senior content delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up for our exclusive email list and receive articles and news on diet & nutrition, fitness, and mental health dedicated specifically to our senior audience!

Sake Hydrating Bath

Skin feeling a little parched? I’ll bet you never considered that bathing in sake might rejuvenate that flaky skin? Well, the people of Japan have utilized this popular spa treatment for ages. In fact, geishas once bathed in sake due to its richness in amino acids, a natural moisturizer.  Today, spa goers immerse themselves in hot tubs while a steady drip of sake streams from an overhead cask.

Cactus Massage

There’s nothing relaxing about a massage using a cactus plant. However, that doesn’t stop Mexican resorts from touting the spiky scrub down as the latest in therapeutic body treatments. First, the therapist will rub you down using prickly cactus leaves, followed by a scrub with coarse salt, lime and tequila. Personally, I’d rather just drink a margarita, por favor!

Snail Secretion Facials

If creepy crawlies make you squeamish than I can already tell you that this classic Chilean facial will have you digging a hole and hiding for the duration of this slide. The snail secretion facial is just what it sounds like, practitioners allow gooey snails to crawl and secrete on your face as a way to protect your skin against ultraviolet radiation and turn back the clock.

Leech Bloodletting

This rather sadistic-sounding treatment was first introduced way back in the Middle Ages. Doctors carried leeches in their medical bags, and let them attach to the skin of a sick person and literally suck out the illness and disease. Bloodletting or leech therapy continues to be a popular anti-aging and detoxifying treatment, particularly for movies stars, like Demi Moore, who openly swears by regular treatments.

Chocolate Body Wrap

While filling your belly with a pound of chocolate is awful for your health; it would seem that wrapping yourself in chocolate has quite the opposite effect. The chocolate body wrap is quite popular around the world for its antioxidant and anti-aging benefits—not to mention the idea of being immersed in the decadent aroma of chocolate is quite delicious.

Slithering Snake Massage

Don’t worry; the practitioners who practice snake massages in Israel don’t put poisonous or venomous reptiles on the job. However, they do use a slithering collection of corn snakes, milk snakes, and Florida king to knead your sore muscles. Sounds pretty stress relieving, doesn’t it? Ekkk!

Gold Facial

It seems like the evil Bond villain, Goldfinger, was doing poor Shirley Eaton a favor when he encased the Bond girl in solid gold. This star-studded treatment, which starts at around $500 per pop, is used as a therapeutic anti-aging facial in Japan. The warm liquid gold is poured over the face to make a mould (with eye, nose, and mouth holes) and clients get to keep their gold face mask as a souvenir.

Beer Bath

I didn’t say beer bong, I said beer bath. The prior would have quite the opposite effects. However, the Germans, purveyors of the world’s best beer, see past the consumption aspects of their brew.  They prepare beer soaks as a natural skin moisturizing treatment with friends. Yes, beer baths are group treatments. Just beware of the friend who brings a straw!

Geisha Facial

This next rather odd Japanese beauty treatment has been used for centuries by, as the name suggests, Geishas. The traditional Japanese female hostesses spread nightingale guano (or droppings) mixed with other ingredients in a paste over the face. The “geisha facial” is still used today to moisturize and lighten the skin under ultraviolet lamps.

Nibbling Fish Exfoliation

Toes a little ticklish? If so, you might not opt for this touching toes treatment, made popular in Asia, for its natural exfoliating prowess. During the treatment, the therapist fills a shared pool (ewwww) with water and fish that nibble at the dead skin on your tired tootsies. It might feel amazing, but keep in mind the public aspect and the shared skin floating around.


Emily Lockhart

Emily Lockhart is a certified yoga instructor and personal trainer. She believes that being healthy is a lifestyle choice, not a punishment or temporary fix to attain a desired fitness or body image goal. Anna helps her clients take responsibility for their own health and wellness through her classes and articles on ActiveBeat.