Get Your Face Covered in Gold -- and Feel Young Again?

Jenny Berman has been fighting to keep her asthma in check for most of her life. She says living in an urban environment has taken a toll on her respiratory system. She also found the medications prescribed to fight her asthma only suppressed her symptoms instead of treating them.

"I felt a very subtle change after six sessions," she says. "My lungs just felt lighter." After a dozen sessions she says she stopped using her inhaler and has not had to use it since.

On the feel-good scale? I felt slightly better than a couch potato, even though all I did was recline on a lounge chair and breathe. The recommended 20 sessions will cost you over $1,100, so be prepared to pay for each and every one of those tiny particles of salt.

To step it up I wanted in on a detox secret favored by Egyptian beauty queen Cleopatra. It's said she slept in a gold mask, believing that gold's natural minerals could work anti-aging magic. Today, an exclusive salon in London is offering a modern take on Cleopatra's secret.

John Tsgaris is a doctor of Chinese medicine who offers what's known as the gold facial. At first, it appears not so dissimilar from the average high-end facial. That impression fades with the first treatment.

Each product and even some of the key tools used in the facial contain some element of gold. After my skin had been prepped and my pores opened (a relaxing experience in and of itself), Tsgaris took out a paper-thin 24-carat-gold mask. He placed it on my skin, smoothing pure gold over my entire face. Next he began gently massaging the gold into my skin.

I could see the gold disappear as, apparently, my facial pores absorbed every inch. Then Tsgaris cleansed my face with a gold-infused lotion. Finally, he revealed something straight out of Star Wars: a Storm Trooper-like mask he plugged in after placing it over my face. The entire front lit up in a bright red light, which he said emitted tiny rays into my pores to brighten my skin.

The effect? Smoother lines and buoyancy that he promised would last for up to three weeks. At $650 a pop, my wallet would not be pleased. But on the feel-good scale: 8.

You can go to even stranger lengths to detox your way back to beauty and good health, from soaking in beer in the Czech Republic to being massaged by slithering snakes in Israel. The last one I tired? A bird poo facial. Yes, bird poo.

It's called the "Uguisu No Fun" facial and the main ingredient is Nightingale droppings. Japanese Geishas are said to have favored this odd element for its skin-whitening and brightening properties. It's relatively cheap, at around $20 a bottle, but it is also very pungent -- and I was loath to get it near my mouth. Which for a facial is difficult.

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