Snail slime beauty products are all the rage now. But, what do you think about those living mollusks crawling all over your face. Even some though they were regarded as pests, snails seem to be perfect for skin beauty and youth, therefore the spa in Tokyo offers the “snail facial” to its clients. Before you turn away in disgust, it’s important that you know that snail mucin is best known for its anti-aging properties. Also, the snails used in the facials are a special breed of African snails.
The use of snail slime for beauty dates back to ancient Greece, where famous physician Hippocrates reportedly prescribed crushed snails and sour milk to cure inflammation. The use of snail creams started recently when Chilean farmers who handled snails for the French market noticed their skin was visibly smoother.
Snail slime (or its cosmetic name, snail filtrate) is packed with nutrients such as hyaluronic acid, glycoprotein, proteoglycans, and antimicrobial and copper peptides, all of which are commonly used in beauty products and proven to be beneficial for the skin. These elements help to protect the snail’s skin from damage, infection, dryness and UV rays.
The spa which launched a live snail facial is located in the Ebisu district of Toky. The live snails are the central part of a 60-minute treatment called the Celebrity Escargot Course, costing £161 (Y24,150), which starts with faces being washed before the molluscs are gently placed on the cheeks and forehead and allowed to move around as they please. This is followed by a series of massages, masks and electrical pulse machines using creams infused with snail mucus to ensure that the live secretions fully penetrate the skin.