When it comes to pampering, it seems that nothing is off the table these days. Salons and spas are becoming more innovative when it comes to new ways to claim back your youth, with some treatments even edging towards the outright absurd. While we’re yet to see Japan’s snail facials or Jakarta’s live python massages slither their way into this city, Dubai definitely has its own brand of wacky. Here, we round up 11 of the quirkiest treatments to try out over the next 12 months, if you think you’re brave enough…
Bee sting facial Botox naysayers can achieve similar results in the quest for plumper skin with this non-invasive bee venom facial. As it’s applied, the venom (which has been extracted from the buzzing bugs) fools the skin into believing it has been stung, and its natural reaction is to increase blood flow, collagen and elasticity. Heaven by Deborah Mitchell Bee Sting Facial at The Nail Spa. Dhs500 for 70 minutes. The Nail Spa, various locations including The Dubai Mall (04 339 9078).
Ultherapy facial This new procedure uses ultrasound imaging to achieve face-lift like results. But beware, it’s not totally pain free. The process involves the application of an ultrasound device which allows the therapist to see into the tissue beneath the skin so they can emit low levels of heat to the precise depth. This causes the skin to tighten and produce more collagen. Two months after the treatment is when results will be most noticeable and the effect can last for up to three years. Price determined on consultation. Rebecca Treston Aesthetics, Euromed Clinic, Jumeirah (04 394 5422).
Thermage facial The skin-tightening treatment that actress Gywneth Paltrow claims took years off her face involves the use of – and here’s where it all gets a bit Hogwarts – a wand, which emits radio frequency waves to heat the deepest layers of the skin. This helps tighten collagen and firms up the top layers of the skin. It costs an arm and a leg, but it’s a worthy investment: most see optimum results within six months. Dhs10,000. CosmeSurge Dubai, Al Habtoor Tower, Dubai Marina (04 447 1777).
Lava mask This curious-sounding treatment includes one key and undeniably bizarre ingredient: volcanic, ‘magnetically charged’ mud – straight from the coastlines of Hawaii. The facial itself is not quite as rich (or face-meltingly hot) as you might fear – a gloopy mixture is applied to the face and left to set. Expect a rather extreme tightening and tingling sensation as the mixture gets to work squeezing and stretching, then almost freezing and encasing your face. The results are certainly visible – once the mixture sets and is removed skin looks luminous and revived. Dhs1,800. American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery Hospital, Dubai Healthcare City (041 423 7600).
Chinese Ear Point treatment Billed as acupuncture without the needles, this herbal treatment involves small herbal seeds which are taped onto points in the ears and left for five to seven days, during which the patient regularly massages them into the skin. The seeds help with energy flow, sleeping problems, pain management, weight loss and even those trying to quit smoking. Dhs100. Dubai Herbal and Treatment Centre, Oud Metha Road, Za’abeel (04 335 1200).
Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy facial Given the gory procedure, it’s a relief the effects of this so-called vampire facial made popular by TV star Kim Kardashian can last up to two years. After taking a sample of your blood and numbing the face with cream, the therapist then injects the blood mixture just below the surface of your skin. This triggers the production of new cells and collagen, while gradually increasing the volume of your skin over time. Injections can take up to 30 minutes and side effects include temporary bruising. No pain, no gain. Dhs3,500. Eternal Clinic, Villa 397 Jumeirah Beach Road, Jumeirah 2, (opposite Gate 5 Jumeirah Beach Park), (04 344 0008).
Snake venom facial Designed to iron out expression lines and plump skin, the Botox 50-minute Companion by Rodial facial uses Glamoxy products, which contain real snake venom. The serum has natural botox-like qualities and the products, which include a pen, serum and mask, freeze facial muscles to give you that expressionless look. Dhs600 for 50 minutes; Dhs300 for 25 minutes. ShuiQi Spa and Fitness, Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 426 2000).
Goat’s milk bath The Velvet Nights experience gets underway with a body polish before you’re submerged in a bath with real goat’s milk and rose oil. High in lactic acid, goat’s milk is renowned for its moisturising qualities and is exceptionally useful at relieving eczema and psoriasis. Dhs1,800 for a couple for 120 minutes. Velvet Nights, Talise Ottoman Spa, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, Palm Jumeirah (04 453 0456).
Curious cures Gastric Mind Banding Feeling like a fat, flabby flop? Losing weight feeling like a constant, uphill battle? Get hypnotised into thinking you’ve had a gastric band fitted to help you stop overeating – the idea is that this therapy-based version (incorporating techniques such as neurolinguistic programming) carries fewer risks than the real surgery. Free consultations are available, with each 90-minute session thereafter costing Dhs900. Illuminations Well-Being Center, 409, Fortune Executive Towers, Jumeirah Lakes Towers (04 448 7043).
Rhythmic relaxation Feeling stressed or mentally drained? Rhythmic Relaxation Technique (RRT) claims that with a bit of gentle rocking (yes, like a baby) adults can be taken to a deep state of relaxation. Once you’re in this soothed state, you will be guided to heal traumas and open up energy blockages. From Dhs450. Miracles Center Dubai, 306, Icon Tower, TECOM, www.miraclesworldwide.com (04 363 9307).
Activate your DNA Based on the premise that every individual has the ability to tap into ten additional and previously dormant DNA strands, these aim to encourage people to perform greater human accomplishments or access their higher self. Two sessions are required with a one-month break between each. Dhs600 per session. Cosmic Healing Centre, 402 Montana Building, Options Furniture Building, after General Post Office, Karama (04 357 6676).