As I was browsing SpaFinder’s report on global spa trends for 2011, one “trend” in particular jumped out at me: Extreme Beauty. SpaFinder mentions treatments like plasma therapy, an anti-aging treatment where your blood is drawn, re-oxygenated, and then re-injected; intense detoxing treatments; and bizarre facials that take place nowhere near the face (think backside and vagina).
But as I dug deeper there was one cutting-edge treatment that literally left me queasy. It’s called the Buccal Technique. For those unfamiliar (and I’m guessing there are many of you), the Buccal is an intense facial massage performed inside the mouth. Inside the mouth. A trained therapist actually puts their hands inside your mouth and massages parts of your musculature where tension is stored in order to promote blood circulation and oxygenation of the skin. Purportedly, this undoubtedly hilarious-looking technique will give you a smoother, tighter complexion and help with jaw issues from teeth grinding and TMJ. Apparently, it’s also incredibly painful. Popular in the U.K., Buccal facials haven’t spread by word-of-mouth just yet, but give it time. Celebrities including Angelina Jolie, Scarlett Johansson, and Kate Moss have reportedly already opened their mouths and tried it.
Now, I’m all for a good facial and don’t mind enduring a little suffering for beauty’s sake (I also love a good Bikram yoga class), but I’m not ashamed to say that the only person I’m letting put their hands in my mouth is my dentist. And what about the pain aspect: Can’t aestheticians and therapists find other ways to help the rest of us look younger and feel better without them involving excruciating pain?
Where do you draw the line when it comes to beauty treatments?