Let’s be real, we’ve all slathered unconventional concoctions on our hair and faces in the name of beauty. But celebrities have a knack for testing some of the most out-there treatments in the game — and letting the world know about it. From cat litter to nipple-cream lip balm, here are the ickiest beauty habits celebrities have fessed up to. Read on to find out whether these secrets are worth your time (and money) or if you’re better off sticking with your tried-and-true beauty routine.
1. Snooki’s Cat-Litter Face Scrub
“Jersey Shore” alum Snooki was on a mission to find a spa-quality DIY facial on the cheap when she stumbled upon an unconventional exfoliant. “Well, I definitely like to Google a lot, and I don’t like to spend a lot of money on spa treatments,” she explains on “Conan.” “So I Googled what else I could use that was not so expensive. It was cat litter.”
So is cat litter safe to rub on your face? Los Angeles-based licensed aesthetician Gregory Dylan advises against it. “Yes, it will exfoliate, but it’s going to be much too rough on the face, way too sharp and jagged. It could create micro-tears and scratches in the skin,” he says. “In a pinch or for a quick home treatment, one can sprinkle some baking soda into their regular cleanser for added exfoliation.”
Up next: This Oscar-winning starlet's facial contains a very unconventional ingredient...
2. Cate Blanchett’s “Penis Facial”
When Cate Blanchett told Vogue Australia that she and “Ocean’s 8” co-star Sandra Bullock got “penis facials,” most people were understandably confused. According to celebrity facialist Georgia Louise’s website, the treatment (officially known as an epidermal growth factor, or EGF, treatment) utilizes FDA-approved “progenitor cells of the human fibroblast taken from Korean newborn baby foreskin” — cells that help generate collagen and elastin. Sounds cringe-y, but Louise has clarified that the cells she uses in her treatment are actually clones of cells provided by a Korean stem cell bank — no babies are used!
The cost will set you back $834, but if just then thought of human byproducts makes you feel icky, licensed aesthetician Gregory Dylan tells LIVESTRONG.COM that you can get a facial that uses synthetic EGF for similar benefits.
Up next: Which reality TV royalty indulges in facials made created with her own blood?
3. Kim Kardashian’s “Vampire Facial”
If you feel faint at the sight of blood, you might want to avoid watching the infamous “Kim and Kourtney Take Miami” episode where Kim Kardashian gets a “blood facial” — a treatment that involves harvesting your blood, using a centrifuge to extract its platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and then injecting it into your skin with needles. No big deal.
“With microneedling, the skin is essentially repairing itself thanks to a ‘controlled injury,’” Dylan says. “This helps to improve the appearance of scars, sun spots and wrinkles.” He says PRP is rich in “growth factors,” which induce extra collagen and new cells into the skin by penetrating it with a microneedle. If you’re squeamish, you can try a treatment using silicone nano-tips, which only penetrate the surface of the skin, that uses a synthetic epidermal growth factor serum (EGF), for a less intense but similar effect. You can get this treatment, also known as nano-infusion or microchanneling, by request with most clinical aestheticians.
Up next: This stunning actress and beauty brand co-founder's hair mask recipe is sure to leave some folks stumped...
4. Salma Hayek’s Homemade Hair Mask
Salma Hayek’s go-to hair mask contains a grocery list of ingredients — literally. In an interview with Buzzfeed, the actress and Nuance cosmetics creator gushed about the benefits of avocado, mayonnaise, egg yolks, coconut oil and apple cider vinegar for your hair. And you can totally trust her on this one.
Los Angeles-based hairstylist Joshua Stinnett tells LIVESTRONG.COM that the essential fatty acids in avocado, mayonnaise and coconut oil can give your hair a healthy-looking luster. Stinnett is a fan of coconut oil because “it penetrates into the follicles, so it’s really good for sebum buildup, and it’s good for dandruff.” And rinsing with apple cider vinegar is a great way to deal with oily hair, according to Stinnett. “The acidity is basically going to help balance your hair’s acidity level. It’s good for repairing,” he says.
Up next: This actress is notorious for trying the strangest wellness trends — such as acupuncture with live bees...
5. Gwyneth Paltrow’s Inflammation Therapy
Wellness daredevil Gwyneth Paltrow is bringing bee skin care into the limelight with apitherapy — the use of bee-derived products, such as venom, honey and pollen, as medicine. “People use it to get rid of inflammation and scarring,” Paltrow told the New York Times. “Man, it’s painful.”
Not all apitherapy involves actual bee stings, but it sounds like Paltrow tried live bee acupuncture, which does. Acupuncturist and president of the American Apitherapy Society Frederique Keller tells Bazaar that the procedure is done by using a pair of tweezers to hold a live bee next to the skin until it stings you. But this is one treatment you should beware of: According to a recently published journal article, repeated use of live bee acupuncture could sensitize you to it. In other words, the more often you do it, the more dangerous it becomes. If you want to get the plumping and firming benefits of bee venom without the risk, try a topical cream — unless you’re already allergic to bees, that is.
Up next: Harley Quinn's chapped lips remedy might not be everyone's cup of tea...
6. Margot Robbie’s Unconventional Nipple-Cream Usage
Like many of us, Margot Robbie won’t go anywhere without her lip balm — or at least her version of it. Turns out, to moisturize her pout, Robbie prefers to use a serum that's secretly revered by breastfeeding moms — Bepanthen, aka nipple cream. “I have a conspiracy theory that lip balms actually have additives in them to dry your lips out so you keep buying them,” the “I, Tonya” actress tells Elle UK. “But because Bepanthen is just a cream for dry skin, it works.”
According to licensed aesthetician Gregory Dylan, the appeal of nipple cream probably comes from its soothing texture. “It’s probably going to penetrate a little bit better and still provide a really nice softening effect,” he said. If Robbie’s conspiracy theory got to you, but you’re not loving the idea of nipple cream, Dylan recommends opting for petroleum jelly for “a nice, conditioning and moisturizing effect.”
Up next: Leeches on your face? This former Victoria's Secret model says no biggie!
7. Miranda Kerr’s Leech Facial
We would do anything to get skin like Miranda Kerr’s, and, apparently, so would she. “I’ve had a leech facial,” the supermodel confessed at a conference hosted by Gwyneth Paltrow’s wellness website, Goop. “I kept the leeches, they’re in my koi pond. You’re not allowed to reuse them, and if you don’t take them home then she kills them, and I didn’t like that idea.”
Technically speaking, putting leeches on your face might have some benefits: “What the leeches do is suck and bring the blood to the surface, and the blood carries nutrients and oxygen to the skin,” Dylan says. “So, yes, technically it would give a benefit to the skin, however, it just sounds a little gross.”
Up next: Our favorite Avenger cleanses her face with a cupboard staple. But should you try it?
8. Scarlett Johansson’s Apple Cider Vinegar Cleanser
Although the powers of apple cider vinegar for your metabolism and microbiome have been vastly overestimated, Scarlett Johansson touted some of its lesser-known properties. “It’s a nice way to treat your skin if you don’t want to use all those harsh chemicals that a dermatologist would recommend,” she told Elle UK.
According to Dylan, apple cider vinegar contains alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) which act like an astringent on your face — tightening and reducing the appearance of pores. “Alone, [apple cider vinegar] could potentially be too acidic for a lot of skin types and potentially cause a bit of irritation,” he says. On the other hand, store-bought toners contain “ingredients that are going to help soothe and calm it as well as having that nice, tightening, astringent benefit too.” So if you have sensitive skin, avoid this $8 grocery-aisle remedy and opt for a store-bought toner instead.
Up next: This timeless beauty has an interesting use for strawberries.
9. Catherine Zeta-Jones’ Strawberry Teeth-Whitener
In an interview with the Daily Mail, Catherine Zeta-Jones revealed some of her favorite remedies for keeping her teeth sparkling white. “The juice or pulp of strawberries contains malic acid, which serves as an astringent and can lighten surface stains,” she says.
Eating a few strawberries after a meal won’t harm you, but it might be best to stop at that. While brushing your teeth with these tart berries might remove plaque accumulation, according to a 2014 study, they don’t contain the chemicals needed to penetrate the surface of your teeth and break down stain molecules, making them ineffective for teeth-whitening. What’s more, strawberries contain a high amount of citric acid, which can actually erode and damage your teeth over time.
Up next: Can Coca-Cola be used as a hair rinse? This model loves it!
10. Suki Waterhouse’s Coca-Cola Hair Wash
You might find a bunch of Coca-Cola laying around Suki Waterhouse’s place, but you won’t necessarily catch her drinking it. The British supermodel and “Insurgent” actress revealed that she uses the sugar-loaded beverage to add volume to her do. “I rinse my hair with Coca-Cola sometimes,” she tells Us Weekly. “I don’t like my hair when it’s washed — it’s fine and limp — but Coca-Cola makes it tousled.”
Sure, you might end up with cool-girl hair if you douse your locks in Coke, but you’ll also strip it of its natural oils, according to hair stylist Joshua Stinnett. “It’s essentially drying the hair out,” he says, leaving you with damaged hair cuticles. For a sugar-free solution to limp hair, avoid conditioning your roots in the shower and focus on your mid-lengths and ends instead. You can also purchase a texturizing sea salt spray from your the drugstore.
What Do YOU Think?
Did any of these wacky beauty habits make you cringe? Do you have any weird beauty habits? Share in the comments section!