Snail 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?
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. But, 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 Peptides – encourages 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.
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:
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 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 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.
There 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
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?