First there was whale sperm in hair conditioner (and whale vomit in perfume). Then came snake venom in face creams to help with wrinkles. And now there's a facial that seems almost tame in comparison: It uses finely ground iron particles and a magnet to draw out your skin's imperfections and exfoliate. A little odd, but hey, it's not snake venom. Former Tracie Martyn esthetician Ildi Pekar recently added the Iron Mask facial to her treatment menu to revitalize, clean, and firm the skin.
Pekar mashes up iron, black-currant oil, zinc oxide, and beeswax into a gray paste, which is applied to your face. It doesn't dry to feel tight or stiff like clay masks. She then takes a block-shaped magnet and rubs it all around to suck out any excess dirt, oil, and sweat — and the iron. It doesn't hurt, but you do feel a magnetic sensation around the nose, and a slight pins-and-needles feeling. It's surprisingly relaxing, even if it feels like a weird science project. Being skeptics by nature, we had Pekar show us the dead skin and blackheads dangling off the magnet to prove that it isn't just a useless gimmick. Repulsive, yet effective. So much so that extractions were barely needed. We may even do it again.
$200 at Ildi Pekar Skincare (315 Madison Ave., at 42nd St., 26th fl.; 212-682-6080).