Snail Facial : A cool way to nourish that thirsty skin

escarglowSnail mucus, snail secretions, snail slime, or snail trails, no matter what you call it, that gooey stuff that snails drag around, is the new hottest skincare treatment around. Ya, think it’s a gimmick? Well you won’t after reading this article!

What is the Deal with Snails?

snail facial

The use of snail secretions on the skin has been going on since Hippocrates. He would crush up those cute little snails (that make’s me sad) and mix them up with sour milk as a cure for skin inflammation (sad and nauseated).

But the snails he used aren’t necessarily the same sort of snails that we’re talking about. Ours are very special happy snails that are indigineous to Chile and are called the Helix Aspersa Muller Snail (and no sour milk is required).

The Science Behind Snail Mucus

Well that’s 5 words I NEVER thought I’d say. And this isn’t just a gimmick. There’s actual science to back up the efficacy of snail mucus in the use of skincare. Back in the 1980’s, a family in Santiago, Chile, opened a snail farm with the intention of exporting them to France (gotta love ya some escargot).

After a time, the farmer noticed that his hands, and the hands of others who were in frequent contact with the snails, healed faster from minor cuts and abrasions, and were softer and more youthful looking than before. This prompted research at the University of Chile, as well as at several independent labs, and what they found was surprising.

This certain breed of snail, the Chilean Helix Aspersa Muller Snail, contained key elements needed to maintain youthful skin. (There are others, such as the Cryptomphalus Aspersa, but not all snail goo has these properties, so don’t go chopping up your backyard shelled friends. That would be mean).

Skin Saving Elements in Snail Mucus

Antioxidants – Glutathione, CoQ 10, Carotenoids, Flavenol are all found in the Helix Aspersa and all help in DNA repair, which revives your skin.

Allantoin – a natural moisturizer and skin protectant.

Collagen & Elastin – the very important stuff that keeps our skin tight instead of saggy and crepey.

Copper Peptidesencourages collagen synthesis and stimulates tissue regeneration.

Protein – the building block for our skin, important for maintaining a healthy, youthful glow.

Glycolic Acid – an excellent exfoliant which removes your dead skin cells, helping your fresh skin to shine through and new cells to regenerate.

*I’ve put a few clinical research articles at the end of this post so you don’t have to take my word for it!

Think of this. We use all of those elements on our skin on a daily basis, but mostly in a synthetic form. It turns out the snail mucus has it all and in NATURAL form! That’s big. So what do we do with this information?

Types of Snail Facials

There are a many variations of snail facials around, starting with the original live snail facial and ending at a chick in your hair salon rubbing a bottle of serum supposedly containing snail mucus on your face and charging you $100. Today we’re going to talk about the best two ways to get a snail facial..

Live Snail Facial

This is definitely one of my bucket list items (I’m easy to please). The reason why it’s on my list, and not my appointment on Monday, is that you can only find them in Japan, France, Thailand and maybe elsewhere, but it hasn’t caught on in the U.S..

During the facial, cute little snails simply crawl over your face, leaving the slime behind. Check it out in the video below.

This looks completely amazing to me. And don’t worry about the snails. Salons tend to care for them as they would for their own pets, feeding them veggies, like carrots, and Swiss chard. The cost is said to be the equivalent of about $250 per hour, if you can get yourself there!

However, there is a treatment in a place nearby that isn’t as exotic, but I’d argue at least as effective.

EscarGlow Facial

Matthew R. Schulman, M.D. takes the live snail facial to another level with the treatment protocol he coined as the ‘EscarGlow’. During this treatment, products rich in snail secretions are applied in lieu of the actual snail and coupled with a microneedling treatment which makes the mucus up to 84% more potent than if you were to take it home and apply it yourself. Here’s how it goes down:

Dermapen Microneedling Device

Dermapen Microneedling Device

First,  your skin is cleaned. Then a liberal amount of hyaluronic acid is applied to the treatment area. Using the Dermapen, the skin is then microneedled. Immediately thereafter, the snail secretions serum is introduced, enabling it to penetrate deeper than if you simply applied to your skin.

After the treatment you are sent home with Biopelle Tensage Intensive Serum 40 10 Ampoules to apply for the days following.

This isn’t a cheap process ladies. It runs at $1,050 for 3 treatments and they give you 10 of the Biopelle Tensage Intensive Serum 40 10 Ampoules. Or, you can also, buy 6 treatments for $2000 and get 20 Biopelle Tensage Intensive Serum 40 Ampoules to take home with you.

The ’40’ in the Biopelle is the strength of the serum. Immediately after the microneedling they will put ’15’ strength on you because it’s never prudent to introduce a super potent strength of anything immediately after a microneedling.

beautyblackbook heartThere are plenty of offices that offer microneedling with snail mucus serum, but may call it something else and not the ‘EscarGlow’, as that is just a phrase trademarked by one doctor in NYC.

Happy Snails Make Happy Skin

Happy Facial Snails

Happy Facial Snails

So you know, these skin saving snails, aren’t harmed at all during the harvesting of their slime for use in products like the ones mentioned above.

As a matter of fact they are probably pretty content, munching on veggies, having sex and just chilling, while technicians scrape up their snail trails as they mosey along meeting up with their friends down the block.

Sounds like a pretty cool existence actually, right?

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Research Data:

– A multi-center, double-blind, split-face placebo-controlled study to evaluate the effects of filtrate of the Secretion of the Cryptomphalus Aspersa (SCA) on photoaged skin 

– Clinical Trials Confirm Vast Implications For Beauty & Skin Care of Snail Secretions

– Molecular basis for the regenerative properties of a secretion of the mollusk Cryptomphalus aspersa.

– The effects of filtrate of the secretion of the Cryptomphalus aspersa on photoaged skin.

– The efficacy of Helix aspersa Müller extract in the healing of partial thickness burns: A novel treatment for open burn management protocols

– A secretion of the mollusc Cryptomphalus aspersa promotes proliferation, migration and survival of keratinocytes and dermal fibroblasts in vitro.