The Huǒ liáo treatment, known as a fire facial or fire treatment, is the newest hottest beauty trend to emerge in China.
The process involves an esthetician or spa employee draping target areas of the face and body with alcohol and secret elixir saturated towels. The person, more specifically the towel the person is wearing, is set ablaze. Moments later the towel is extinguished.
The fiery beauty regime is supposedly based off ancient Chinese medicine. The dangerous treatment is intended to eliminate dull skin, alleviate the common cold, and revert obesity.
Performed incorrectly, the fire facial could leave patrons without hair, or worse permanently scarred (hyperpigmentation).
A similar practice of Chinese fire cupping is done by soaking a cotton ball in alcohol, placing it into a glass cup while ignited, and placing it against the patient’s skin. A suction is created, meant to stimulate circulation.
If you think playing with fire is ridiculous or extreme consider that people inject themselves with Botox in order to achieve a youthful, smooth appearance. The cosmetic injection promises to lessen the appearance of wrinkles and rejuvenate one’s pulchritude. But Botox is derived from Botulinum toxin, a protein neurotoxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, which can be lethal if improperly taken intravenously or inhaled.
The Four Seasons Resort in Punta Mita, Mexico charges nearly $250 to massage paddles of a cactus plant into the skin as a means of working out the toxins and hydrating the body. In Ethiopia butter can be applied from stem to stern, everywhere, and left to gradually melt from the body. In Israel, people can have a non-venomous snake writhe across their back as their masseuse.
In a bizarre attempt to battle aging, people have used placenta facial creams, smeared on sterilized nightingale bird excrement facials, and submersed themselves into ice-cold beer baths. People have experimented with hay body wraps, bull sperm conditioner in their hair, soap rendered from breast milk, and ancient Greek and Roman urine therapies as a would-be cure all.
Many of these treatments sound more like something seen on My Strange Addiction and less like pampering.
Spas, salons, television and print media alike have attempted to sell men and woman on all kinds of tonics, creams, and any kind of extreme fad guaranteed to relax muscles and tighten and smooth skin.
How far would you go in the name of beauty? Would you set yourself on fire? Does being set on fire sound relaxing?