They put what in the cream?

From cell-eating fish to bird droppings -- nothing's sacred when the desired goal is beauty

In Hollywood, where the quest for skin-deep perfection knows few boundaries, extremes are welcomed and taboos are teased.

"Because of all the exposure to procedures seen on TV, people now view the experience as commonplace as getting a cavity filled. It takes a lot more to capture the imagination," says Dr. Kenneth Beer, clinical dermatology instructor at the University of Miami.

Sure to grab attention is the Geisha Facial at Shizuka New York day spa, during which patrons' faces are coated with nightingale droppings. Sanitized through UV light exposure, the droppings contain guanine, an amino acid used by Japanese geishas for its skin-brightening properties.

For those who prefer fish to fowl, there's the Fish Therapy Treatment at Malaysia's Sampuoton Spa. Clients seeking radiant skin sit immersed in a tank filled with hundreds of tiny garra rufa, or doctor fish, which nibble away the beauty seekers' dead skin cells.

Even durian, the infamous foul-smelling fruit banned from public transportation throughout Southeast Asia, has become a prized beauty ingredient. Scentless concentrations of fatty acids and antioxidants are extracted from the offensive fruit and infused into Dr. Howard Murad's popular Intensive Resurfacing Peel With Durian Cell Reform.

For those choosing the surgical route, being awake during a procedure could be a nightmare. But concerns about general anesthesia complications have spurred Beverly Hills surgeon Dr. Payman Simoni to develop his one-hour Simoni Lift: The fully awake patient undergoes only localized anesthesia, witnesses the procedure and can even speak to the doctor.

Of course, with all the enhancement procedures available today, it's easy to go too far. Ironically, perhaps one of the most extreme procedures involves returning to an un-"done" look.

"A great deal of our practice is devoted to revisional facelift surgery," says Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Brent Moelleken. "Patients who look terribly done after facial surgery can usually be restored to a more normal, youthful appearance."

Now that's revolutionary.
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