Well Being

Please Do Not Light Your Face On Fire, No Matter What The Anti-Aging Benefits May Be

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I consider myself to be fairly open-minded when it comes to using unconventional beauty products and procedures. I regularly use a sea salt scrub with vodka in it on my face, I I use produce as makeup on occasion and my favorite face mask is made of charcoal (though I also love my chocolate cupcake one). However, when it comes to something called a “fire spa facial,” well…I think I'll have to pass. Because it sounds terrifying.

What, you ask, is a fire facial? If only it could be something simple (and safer) like using a melting massage candle to smooth warm oil onto the skin, or an esthetician using ash from a fire to do — well, whatever it is that ash might do for skin.

But no. No, they light your goddamn face on fire.

Apparently, there's this growing trend in China of Huǒ liáo or “fire treatment.” (I AM NOT KIDDING, DO NOT CLICK THAT LINK UNLESS YOU WANT TO NOT SLEEP TONIGHT.) According to MSN:

Allegedly, this ritual is a widely practiced form of alternative therapy. It involves soaking a towel in alcohol and a “secret elixir” and placing it on a “problem area” such as the face, legs, back and neck. Next, the esthetician sets the towel on fire for several seconds before extinguishing it with another cloth. Doesn’t sound the least bit stressful, right?
Proponents claim this dangerous treatment works beauty superpowers on ailments like dull skin, the common cold and obesity.

Um yeah, I think I'll combat my dull skin, illnesses and weight issues in other ways (like, say, to the drugstore where I'll buy an exfoliant, the doctor where I'll get antibiotics and the gym).

My biggest issue with this treatment isn't that I think there aren't certain individuals skilled enough to perform it without harming those involved. Besides this conceptually bothering me because I hate fire and skin as a combination, I am extremely nervous about this idea spreading (pun not really intended…okay, maybe a little) to spas and parlors that are just looking to spice up their menu of services despite not being fully qualified or trained in the treatment. If that happens, I guarantee we will see clients being injured, possibly even permanently scarred.

Do you know why the photo above is some awkwardly photoshopped woman with flaming hair and not a real shot of a woman with her face on fire at a spa? It's because there are no stock photos of that happening. There are stock photos of everything that goes on in the world. If I search “smiling fruit,” I receive 57,164 photos of dancing apples and bananas in sombreros. If I search “angry monkey,” I get 451 pissed off primates. There are no stock photos of a fire spa facial because it is not even the slightest bit normal and would never pop into anybody's head to actually do.

So please, people, do not light your faces on fire. But I guess if I cannot stop you and you decide to anyway, do take some photos documenting it and send them to us so we will have them in the unfortunate need for fire facial stock photos at a future date.

P.S. Here is a video that Huffington Post found of this terrifying treatment:

Photo: Shutterstock