Everybody has to start someplace. Years before Rihanna became an A-list performer and the founder of Fenty Beauty, Robyn Fenty sold clothes in a street stall

Like many of today’s celebrities, some cosmetic superstars came from surprising origins. Read on to find out what popsicles have to do with CoolSculpting, and why dental implants owe a debt to rabbits.



Botox started as a treatment for crossed eyes. A Canadian opthamologist noticed her eye spasm patients were losing their frown lines. Together with her husband, a dermatologist, she published a paper in 1992. Five years later, Botox demand was so high that U.S. supply temporarily ran out.

Today, Botox treats frown lines, crow’s feet, forehead wrinkles, severe underarm sweating, and migraines. And it seems like they keep finding new uses for it all the time.


Latisse originated as the glaucoma treatment Lumigan. Patients using this eye drop began to grow the kind of lashes you only see in mascara commercials. The manufacturer ran clinical trials on using Lumigan’s active ingredient for cosmetic purposes, and now we can all get longer, fuller, darker lashes — with a doctor’s prescription.


Rogaine, also known as minoxidil, got its start as a blood pressure medication. A woman taking it started to grow hair all over her body, and it made her doctors take another look. Almost immediately, they saw its potential to treat baldness

The doctors told the drug’s manufacturer, Upjohn, and the company filed a patent for that use. Unfortunately, they weren’t included in the patent, or in the royalties, until years later when they reached a settlement with the manufacturer. While one doctor still didn’t get his name on the patent, he said, as quoted by the New York Times, “I’d be much more upset if they took my name off the royalties.”


Kids sucking on a summertime treat inspired today’s hottest fat-reduction treatment. Two doctors noticed that children who were frequent popsicle suckers lost fat in their cheeks. “Why not apply the idea to other body parts?” they thought.

Two years later, CoolSculpting was FDA-cleared.


Ultherapy was originally developed to treat liver cancer in the late 1990s. About a decade later, the first study showed it was successful at lifting brows. It’s now used for skin-tightening on the brow, neck, under the chin, and chest. 

Dental implants

Modern dental implants came from an experiment on rabbits. In 1952, a Swedish doctor implanted titanium in bunnies to study bone healing. When the experiment was done, he tried to remove the expensive metal from the rabbits — the key word being tried. The bones were effectively fused to the metal. Today if you lose a tooth, you’ll likely be given a titanium implant.

Microcurrent facials

In the 1800s, microcurrent facials were used to treat damaged tissue and muscles. Then a doctor noticed his patient with facial paralysis had smoother, younger-looking skin. Today, this treatment is available from doctors and medspas, although many doctors point to a lack of scientific studies about whether it really works.

Ready to contact a doctor to learn more? Find one near you.