Thailand’s bizarre beauty practices that you didn’t know! ??

Slapping facial? Elephant massage? Buffalo-horned lips? Brass coil wraps? Any of these treatments intriguing you to try it?

By Nur Syuhrah


“Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder”, they say. How do you define beauty? Does tall and skinny result in being beautiful? Tons of advocates nowadays are pushing ‘having curves’ as being beautiful. Or it doesn’t matter if you are dark or fair because a fairer skin colour does not only equate to being beautiful. It is all about how one feel inside. Is this true? So many cultures, so many beauty standards and practices. Today, we will discover  a few of Thailand’s bizarre beauty practices.

Slap facial


via AP Archive

Yes, it literally is a facial with slaps. And I mean slap SLAP. You know, like a hard slap across your face? The benefits of this treatment states that it firms and slims the face, reduces wrinkles and minimses pores. The treatment starts out from gentle patting on the cheeks, temple and forehead. The slapping then lasts a few minutes. A visible difference is shown a through a before and after picture that is taken. Dermatologist William Kwan says that any face slapping benefits will only be temporary. It could be resulted through increased blood flow and possible swelling but he don’t see it as a lasting result. Reviews said that clients love it as it is chemical free, non-invasive (needle-less) and it is a natural process.

Snail facial

via The Japan Times

This facial treatment places snails onto your face. Snails will crawl all over your face, leaving their slimy trail and the substance is the serum that will benefit your face. It claims to contain protein, high level of anti-oxidants and results in an instant glow. Dating back to ancient Greece, Hippocrates were known to crush snails and mix it with sour milk to cure skin inflammation. Many creams and lotions are also made from snail’s mucus claiming to soften, whiten and leaving a firming effect on the face. This treatment is available internationally for example in UK, Japan, France, Korea etc. There is an increasing number of facial skincare brands that uses snail mucus in their beauty products. But, to have actual snails on slithering and roaming across your face… Are you up for it?

Elephant massage


via culturecebu

Just lie down on a mat on the floor or lean back on a lounge chair… and an elephant will massage you. How? They use their trunks to slap your back and their feet to prod your arms/back/legs. The massage is suppose to be relaxing just like any other massages. The elephants are ‘trained’ to not exert too much force onto a human. But, how would you feel relaxed with the thought of the elephant stomping and killing you at the back of your head? This ‘training’ created an awareness regarding animal cruelty. This treatment became an instant attraction for tourists and the elephants that are ‘trained’ are usually taken away from their mothers at a very young age. Consequently, they are being put through brutal training procedures. Activists worldwide are urging tourists to boycott this attraction. What is your stand? An experience never to forget or save the elephants?

Krachap lips (buffalo-horned lips)

via Dr Apple cosmetic surgery

Also known as Gull Wing Lip Lift or Under the Nose Lip Lift. Why buffalo horns?? Apparently, it is a trend amongst the Thai females to shape their lips to resemble buffalo horns. To recreate the horns, the upper lip is altered.  The size of the upper lip should be half the size of the lower lip. Thus, the lower lip is the centre of attraction. Having balanced sized lips will disrupt this main attractionKrachap lips are achieved by removing the left and right tissues of the upper lip to create thinner looking lips. Complications such as permanent scars, crooked smiles or disability to close their lips properly arises. Worst, such defects are irreversible. Many plastic surgeons in Thailand disagree to this surgery and even increased the cost to discourage people. Nonetheless, people are still willing to pay for it and it is still one of the highest earning income for plastic surgeons.

Kayan Tribe

via Pinterest

For centuries, the females in the Kayan tribe found in Northern Thailand, are known as the giraffe women. Why? Females as early as 5 years old are to put on brass neck coils. The amount of neck coils increase one per year. This is a tradition of their culture. The long neck represents felinity thus more brass coils are wrapped around the neck, the higher the level of attractiveness. Some people believe that the coils will protect the female in a tiger attack. This tradition has created an interest in tourist groups and the village is open to admission-paid tickets for tourists to admire this uncommon beauty practice. Research show that wearing this brass coils for a long period of time are detrimental to one’s health. Firstly, it pushes down the collarbones  and suppresses the ribcage. Secondly, the pain might spread to the spine and cause maximum discomfort.

Bizarre beauty trends indeed… But, would you try it and give it a go for the sake of experience? Just like the saying goes ” You only live once”. Any other Thailand bizarre beauty trends we missed out? Let us know in the comment section below!