It is likely that many of you may have already heard of this bizarre trend in anti-ageing skincare, and it is even more likely that the majority of you were repulsed when you found out – but studies have shown that extracts from the slime secreted by snails, commonly used to repair their own shells, has unique properties which make it a fantastic combatant of wrinkles, scarring and other signs of premature ageing.
Although retailers such as Holland & Barrett have been selling Snail Face Gel, a product which contains said extracts, for years, these creams are now no longer the exclusive domain of health care companies, but an increasingly sought-after cosmetic product. The snail-based remedies provide antioxidants, moisturising hyaluronic acid and UV-fighting qualities, making them some of the most effective anti-ageing treatments out there.
Ancient Greeks used to use snails’ secretions to treat skin inflammations, but Colombian laboratory workers rediscovered the trick in 2006, when they noticed that their hands were left plump and smooth after handling the creatures. This realisation soon sparked the current fashion, which is beginning to gain some serious traction in the UK.
In order to produce the slime, the snails are subjected to “safe, mechanical stress.” The slime is then extracted and filtered until it is deemed suitable for cosmetic use.
Popular products that currently harness the healing powers of snail slime include Gutto Snail Cream (£18.98), Babaria Anti-Ageing Nourishing Gel (&15.95) and the aforementioned Holland & Barrett exclusive De Tuinen Snail Face Gel (£21.49).