From bee venom to snails, some women (and Simon Cowell) will use ANYTHING to banish their wrinkles

You want me to put WHAT on my face? From bee venom to snails, some women (and Simon Cowell) will use ANYTHING to banish their wrinkles 

  • New beauty treatment in Japan uses snails to deliver antioxidants to the skin
  • It is one of many strange facials currently available on the market
  • The Mail sorts the science from the fiction to find out which treatments work

Are there any lengths we won’t go to in an effort to defy the visible effects of age? The answer is no,  if the latest slimy trend in Japan is anything to go by. 
Earlier this month it was reported that people there are forking out £165 for a facial treatment where live snails are applied to the skin. 
Medical experts claim the sticky gel snails produce contains antioxidants that help the skin retain moisture, and remove dead cells. 
In fact, this freaky facial is far from the most bizarre – but do any of them work? We spoke to the experts to find out.


FACIAL: Live snails slither across the face, delivering antioxidants to the skin. The garden variety are not recommended due to contaminants. This facial is available only in Japan but you can buy snail gel in the  UK (Dr Organic Snail Gel, 50ml, £19.99,

CELEB DEVOTEES: Actress Katie Holmes is said to use the gel.

FARCE OR FACT: Chilean snail farmers noticed they had very smooth hands, and this sparked a skincare revolution. A study released this year showed that daily application of products containing snail slime improved fine lines. A 2007 clinical trial using snail gel on rats showed it was excellent for wound-healing.

EXPERT: Cosmetic doctor Dr Mervyn Patterson at Woodford Medical says: ‘The slimy mucus will have a moisturising effect.’


FACIAL: VIP Stem Cell Facial,  £180, Stem cells are extracted from the placentas and umbilical cords of herds of sheep in New Zealand. The cells are flash-frozen and made into serums, which are applied as a face mask in combination with microdermabrasion, a glycolic peel and red-light therapy.

CELEB DEVOTEES: Simon Cowell and Kim Kardashian.

FARCE OR FACT: Clinical trials are under way – initial results apparently show ‘remarkable improvement in wrinkles and age spots’.

EXPERT: ‘When the placenta emerges from the sheep, it is full of stem cells,’ says Darren McKeown, a cosmetic doctor. ‘But by the time the cells have been processed, they are dead.’ Dr Patterson adds: ‘The glycolic peel will benefit skin tone.’


FACIAL: Harmony Clear Lift, from £125, Light – using a Pixel Q-Switch laser – is transformed into acoustic soundwaves as it hits the dermis (the lower layer of skin) to stimulate firmness.

CELEB DEVOTEES: It’s too new even for A-listers.

FARCE OR FACT: Photoacoustics is the formation of sound-waves following pulsed light absorption in a solid object. In trials the laser has proved its efficacy in skin rejuvenation, and has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

EXPERT: ‘This is a take on the  well-known method of wounding an area in order to stimulate healing and, as such, it may be effective,’ says Dr Patterson.


FACIAL: Rodial Freeze Treatment, £55, Rodial Glamoxy products contain Syn-ake – a neuropeptide which gives a mild freezing effect on wrinkles. This replicates the effect that real snake venom would have.

CELEB DEVOTEES: Gwyneth Paltrow, Cheryl Cole, Kylie Minogue and Sienna Miller.

FARCE OR FACT: Neuropeptides were originally hailed as a viable Botox alternative. Trials conducted by Rodial showed that after just  90 seconds, wrinkles were less noticeable, and there was a 52 per cent reduction within 28 days.

EXPERT: ‘There is some effect, especially in high concentrations,’ says Dr McKeown. ‘But it will be very small compared with Botox.’


FACIAL: The Active Reverse Facial at The Sanctuary Spa, £90, 0845  521 4567 or £175 with Nichola Joss, Developed by celebrity facialist Nichola Joss, this procedure incorporates a massage within the mouth, working on muscles inside the upper lip, cheek and jaw area. It encourages circulation, lifts the face, works on muscle tone and temporarily reduces fine lines and wrinkles.

CELEB DEVOTEES: Keira Knightley and Kate Moss.

FARCE OR FACT: Studies show that sports massages increase blood flow in muscle capillaries, therefore aiding muscle repair. The International Journal Of Neuroscience showed that massages increased serotonin, the ‘feel-good’ hormone.

EXPERT: ‘The increase in circulation caused by manipulation may give the face a health glow,’ suggests Dr Patterson. ‘There will be a temporary improvement in complexion.’


FACIAL: Heaven’s Bee Sting Facial, from £55, The Bee Venom Mask contains natural antibiotics to heal skin and the venom effect increases blood flow, causing cell renewal and increased collagen production.

CELEB DEVOTEES: The Duchess of Cambridge and Duchess of Cornwall.

FARCE OR FACT: Manuka Doctor, a rival company  to Heaven, has run trials showing that bee venom provides protection against sun damage and has antibacterial properties. It is also used to relieve the symptoms of muscular dystrophy, arthritis and MS.

EXPERT: ‘Bee venom costs about £500,000 a kilo so you couldn’t use much in such a reasonably priced facial,’ says Dr McKeown.


FACIAL: Black Diamond/Venus Freeze Facial at Neville Salon, from £200, Uses Black Diamond 111skin products, developed by surgeon Dr Yannis Alexandris, and based on a compound developed in Russia to offset the ageing effects of space travel on astronauts. It’s applied using a galvanic current, which helps push ingredients into the skin. Then radio frequency is used to stimulate the body’s natural wound repair process.

CELEB DEVOTEES: Cara and Poppy Delevingne.

FARCE OR FACT: Diamonds are being developed in a form known  as nanodiamonds to accurately deliver cancer drugs directly to tumours. It is from these applications that the 111skin Black Diamond range is inspired. Clinical trials have shown a substantial decrease in wrinkle depth and appearance after four weeks.

EXPERT: Dr Patterson says: ‘Radio frequency is likely to be the most effective part of the treatment.’

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They've got looks, talent and wads of cash! Meet the highest earning celebrities under 30... and Lady Gaga tops the pile

They've got looks, talent and wads of cash! Meet the highest earning celebrities under 30... and Lady Gaga tops the pile

It's the list every young gun in showbusiness wants to be on - and it's not the Vanity Fair Oscar Party roll-call.

A placing in the Forbes annual Highest Earning Celebrities Under 30 carries even greater cache than a one-on-one with Harvey Weinstein or Simon Cowell amongst youthful stars.

And coming top of the list this year is 27 year-old Lady Gaga who raked in an eye-watering $80 million between June 2012 and June 2013. 

Made of money: Lady Gaga earned $80 million in the last year... but still doesn't seem to be able to afford a top 

The Born This Way singer hauled in the dollars despite having to cut short a lucrative concert tour after undergoing hip surgery.

She spent weeks in a wheelchair - a gold plated Louis Vuitton one of course.

Musical talent dominated this year's list.

Justin Bieber came second on the annual Forbes list - and he hasn't yet turned twenty

Ranking an admirable second place was teen idol Justin Bieber, 19.

Despite more bad publicity than good over the last 12 months, Bieber isn't quite on the breadline with an annual income of $58 million.

Those teenage girls clearly have some spare money to spend.

Taylor was pipped to first place by musical rivals Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber

And taking third place is the young country music star Taylor Swift. She clearly has more luck with her finances than with her string of disastrous boyfriends.

The 23 year-old You Belong With Me singer, who has dated 1D's Harry Styles amongst others this year, pocketed a cool $55 million.

Her earnings received a boost thanks to her album Red which sold 1.2 million copies in the first week.

It was a good year for singer songwriter Calvin Harris who made $46 million

Barbnados-born beauty Rihanna came in a respectable fifth place in the top earners under 30

Meanwhile Scottish singer songwriter Calvin Harris, 29, has made a fortune after morphing into a global DJ sensation.

He beat 25 year-old Rihanna into fourth place with earnings of $46 million. 

Not bad for a boy who was discovered on MySpace.

Barbadian beauty Ri-Ri came in close behind with $43 million.

 Katy Perry  took sixth  place in the Forbes top ten

Songbird  Adele took seventh place in the Forbes top ten

Songbird Katy Perry took sixth place.

Californian girl Katy, 28, who last month told Vogue how ex husband Russell Brand asked for a divorce by text message, is still a big earner making $39 million.

This whopping paycheck came despite a relatively quiet year. 

The first of the non-musicians to make the list is the gorgeous Jennifer Lawrence who became Hollywood's darling this year with her Best Actress Oscar winning performance in Silver Linings Playbook.

Jennifer Lawrence is the highest ranking actor in the rich list, propelled by her Oscar-winning performance in Silver Linings Playbook

Her earnings reached $26 million and things are only going to get better for the 22 year-old who can now command millions per movie.

And Londoner Adele, who won an Oscar this year for Best Original Song for Skyfall matched her age with her income this year. The 25 year-old earned $25 million.

Just behind Jennifer is Kristen Stewart, 23, with $22 million.

Twilight's Kristen Stewart made a mint thanks to the Vampire franchise and a starring role in Snow White and the Huntsman

Bring up the rear: Taylor Lautner came tenth at the tender age of 21

While her love life may have gone down the pan this year thanks to a highly publicized affair with married director Rupert Sanders and subsequent break up with Twilight co-star Robert Pattinson, her income remains unaffected.

And finally, Taylor Lautner may look like he has just stepped out of high school but he is yet another Twilight millionaire. The 21 year-old grabs the tenth spot matching Kristen's income with $22 million.

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Obese shop assistant, 22, shamed into losing 10 stone after she sits on garden bench during visit home with new boyfriend - and smashes it to pieces

Obese shop assistant, 22, shamed into losing 10 stone after she sits on garden bench during visit home with new boyfriend - and smashes it to pieces

  • Alexandra Collings, from Treharris, South Wales, broke bench in two
  • Slimmed from 22 stone and size 22 to 12 stone and size 12
  • Lost weight by adopting healthy diet of fresh fruit and joining gym
  • Dumped boyfriend after he tried to tempt her with fattening foods
  • Has new boyfriend and says: 'Now I smile when we sit on a bench in the sun together'
A woman was shamed into losing ten stone after she broke a garden bench she sat on when she took her new boyfriend home for the first time.

Alexandra Collings, 22, was left sitting in a pile of splintered wood after the bench buckled beneath her.
Alexandra, who weighed 22 stone at the time, had taken her new boyfriend home to meet her mother Brenda, 60, when she perched on the bench - and was mortified to feel it crack beneath her and suddenly give way.

The humiliation was enough to encourage Alexandra to embark upon the healthy eating and exercise regime that helped her lose 10 stone.

Super slimmer: Alexandra Collings, 22, lost ten stone stone after she broke a garden bench she sat on when she took her new boyfriend home for the first time
Speaking about the embarrassing incident that spurred her on to lose weight, she said: 'I felt pretty nervous
he was the first boyfriend I had ever introduced my mum to.

'She was out on the patio so I led him out into the garden, holding his hand. I walked over to the garden bench and kicked off my flip flops and plonked myself down.
'There was a massive crack and then I felt the bench collapse - my backside landed to the ground with a thud, my legs sprawled out on the floor.

New figure: Alexandra had just brought her boyfriend home to meet mother Brenda, 60, for the first time when the bench crash led to the crash diet, she decided to go on a healthy diet and embark on a grueling exercise regime; she is now a svelte size 12

'I could feel my cheeks redden and flush with embarrassment. It was mortifying.
'I had scratches sure, but my pride was what hurt the most.'
Alexandra, from Treharris near Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales, was overweight as a teenager and her diet consisted of pork pies, chocolates and sweets.
She said: 'Every day I could feel my size 22 jeans groaning to hold in my bulging belly.
'I worked as a shop assistant and I tried to pretend I didn't care to customers.'
To lose the weight, she joined a local slimming group just days after and started a strict of salads and fresh fruit.

Supportive: She now weighs 12 stone and has a supportive new boyfriend Richard Jones, who loves her just the way she is

Alexandra split from her then boyfriend who refused to support her new healthy lifestyle and kept tempting her with chips and fattening foods.
Alexandra managed to lose a staggering 10 stone over the course of 18 months.
She now weighs 12 stone - just right for her 5ft 9in frame - and has a supportive new boyfriend Richard Jones, 31.
Alexandra said: 'I even bagged myself a gorgeous new man.
'He couldn't believe it when I showed him my "big" pictures.
'But Richard accepted me for who I was completely. Every time we sit on a bench in the sun together I have a big smile on my face.'

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