When it comes to skincare, being a celebrity has its benefits… and its consequences. On one hand, a high-profile star will almost certainly have to wear thick makeup and follow a harried, stressful schedule filled with appearances, performances, photoshoots and more, two factors that have been proven to cause acne, wrinkles and other skin problems. On the other hand, the wealth and connections that come with a successful career make it possible for stars to afford healthy food, award-winning dermatologists and amazing treatments, which can help create and maintain beautiful, youthful complexions. However, some of these procedures sound strange enough to raise more than a few eyebrows. Take Harry Style’s alleged treatment of choice: a Hollywood dermatologist claims the One Direction singer is a fan of sheep placenta facials.
In an interview with the British magazine Grazia, Hollywood dermatologist and ‘aesthetician’ Louise Deschamps claimed that the 21-year-old pop star receives sheep placenta facials at Dr. Harold Lancer’s Beverly Hills clinic every six weeks. The treatment is supposedly Styles’ answer to the challenges of his busy touring schedule: wearing makeup and traveling reportedly wreaks havoc on his pores. However, Deschamps claims that he also loves the process of getting a facial and enjoys taking care of his skin.
The unusual facial costs £325, or $482.40 USD, and takes 90 minutes. To create the solution, the clinic reportedly extracts stem cells from placenta taken from prime New Zealand sheep, which have a high concentration of nutrients that fight damaging free-radicals. The stem cells are then flash frozen and mixed into a gel containing gold flecks. This mixture is then applied to the patient’s face after they have been exfoliated, exposed to steam and had their pores opened with a handheld LED light.
As strange and luxurious as this treatment sounds, a sheep placenta facial isn’t the oddest or more expensive procedure celebrities have allegedly tried. For example, Kim Kardashian made headlines in 2013 after tweeting a picture of her vampire facial, which claims to boost collagen levels and reduce signs of aging. Over the course of the almost $900 procedure, blood is drawn out of the arm, spun in a machine to remove the platelets, and then splattered onto the patient’s face with acupuncture-style needles. Gisele Bundchen is also reportedly a fan of the treatment.
Meanwhile, other stars seem to prefer the alleged benefits and opulence of precious metals and jewels: for example, Sports Illustrated supermodel Bar Refaeli has shared pictures of herself undergoing a $185 liquid-gold facial, which uses a mixture of caviar ampule, honey, sea buckthorn and gold. The treatment apparently helps uneven pigmentation, reduces inflammation and bacteria, and improves elasticity, decreasing signs of aging and brightening the skin. Similarly, actress Mila Kunis has reportedly paid over $6,000 for diamond and ruby facials before awards ceremonies, in which precious stones are rubbed over the skin to create a “lustrous sheen.”
However, the least pleasant of these beauty fads is likely Gwyneth Paltrow’s favorite treatment: known for her high-profile lifestyle blog, Goop, Paltrow has discussed using a procedure called Thermage, or “the ironing treatment”, to reduce her wrinkles. Thermage uses radio waves to inflict slight damage to the lower levels of the skin, a tactic that allegedly stimulates collagen production. Paltrow has compared the sensation of the $4,700 treatment to being slapped in the face.
While some of these treatment options might sound ridiculous, they do appear to work: expensive makeup and professional lighting surely help as well, as all of the stars who use these treatments have excellent skin. Fortunately, even patients who can’t afford regular gold-and-sheep placenta facials or don’t want to cover themselves in blood can see results from different anti-aging treatments, such as Juvederm injections.
“While it is always fun to read the tabloids about the extremes of facial care, the quickest and most economical therapies are botox and juvederm for best results,” said Dr. Janis P. Campbell, dermatologist at Laser Rejuvenation CLinic & Spa of Calgary. “Thermage, Fraxel and Selphyl (the vampire lift) are great for skin tightening and skin texture improvement.”