It’s not the nicest thought, smearing snail slime over your face, but according to the latest reports, this unusual natural product is being hailed as the latest beauty wonder product, promising to ‘clear acne, reduce scarring and beat wrinkles’. But before you rush out into your garden with your mac and wellies on, the slime has been extensively manufactured with blends of other ingredients, all hopefully to disguise the fact that it is snail slime. Snail slime products have already enjoyed moderate success in countries such as Korea and Africa , but they are now set to become more popular over here and in the US.
It is thought that the idea of using snail slime as a beauty product came about by accident, as snail farmers in Chile noticed that when they handled snails repeatedly for the French market, the skin on their hands healed quickly leaving no scars. These clever Chilean farmers went on the produce their own snail slime beauty product, Elicina, which has now been in business for over 15 years.
Since then, many other beauty companies have exploited these natural healing qualities by extracting the ingredient in snail slime that causes the healing effect. There are two Korean brands of snail slime; Missha launched Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Cream in 2010, and It’s Skin, produces Prestige Cream D’escargot.
It is thought that the compound called Helix Aspersa Müller Glycoconjugates is responsible for the healing effects. This compound is a complex mix of proteins, glycolic acids and elastin that the snail uses to protect itself against potential damage from rocks, twigs, and other rough surfaces; infection, and UV rays.
Snail slime is believed to reduce scarring and uneven pigmentation, sooth and regenerate skin, as well as reducing acne and helping to decrease wrinkles. Snail slime is typically marketed as an acne solution, but more recently it is begin packaged as an anti ageing cream.
Different creams contain different percentages of snail slime, with a good amount being around 70% slime, whilst some products contain as little as 20%. And as such, the prices can vary widely, from around $22.99 to over three times as much. Snail slime products are available at retail outlets such as Sephora. And if the thought of smearing snail slime is still off putting, check out what the experts say, dermatologist Macrene Alexiades-Armenakas, M.D. told Fashionista:
“The extract is renowned for its regenerative properties, and facilitates the restoration of damaged tissue and replenishes moisture in skin. It is also effective in treating acne and scarring.” However not all dermatologists agree. Dr. Elizabeth Tanzi, the co-director of the Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery, said: “There is some speculation that the mucin in these slime creams can be anti-inflammatory and calming; however, there are no respected scientific studies to prove that it actually works. For now, I remain skeptical.”
Perhaps whilst there is still some doubt I might leave it off my beauty shopping list.