The skin care world can be weird.
If you tell people something will shave years off their face and rid them of their blemishes, chances are they’re going to slather themselves in the stuff.
I mean, Kim K had her face doused in her own blood for the sake of beauty, and Cate Blanchett swears by the “penis facial” her mate Sandra Bullock introduced her to (it uses stem cells from baby foreskins, if you’re wondering).
For that reason, when I heard that using snail slime, or mucin (the gunk that oozes out of the glands of snails to protect their bodies) had become a hugely popular trend…well, I wasn’t exactly shocked.
There have been claims made that snail goop will not only hydrate your skin but that it promotes healing, reduces the appearance of wrinkles and minimises acne scarring. All very excellent things we all want from our skincare products.
Now, some of those declarations have attracted criticism, with experts saying the evidence is minimal, but across the board, it seems the consensus is that this stuff will definitely leave your face looking and feeling smoother.
As skin therapist and nutritional medicine practitioner Fiona Tuck explained to me, the craze has stemmed from some impressive results… they just might not be as life-changing as the rumours suggest:
“Snail facials, snail slime and snail mucin in face masks has become a ‘thing’ in recent years although there is little evidence to support the therapeutic claims being made,” she said.
Tuck went on to share that while the slime does contain “skin-loving” elements like “hyaluronic acid, glycoprotein enzymes and peptides, which help hydrate and regenerate the skin” these elements are also found in other skincare products.
“The ingredients can aid skin hydration and cellular regeneration, thereby plumping up the skin which may minimise the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.”
She stressed, however, that when it comes to pigmentation or scars, it’s important to identify the cause before you can properly treat the condition:
“Antioxidants, tyrosinase inhibitors and skin brightening or lightening treatments in conjunction with professional treatments such as lasers are usually required to target stubborn pigmentation,” she said.
In short: it works, but it’s certainly no miracle elixir.
Armed with a decent idea of what snail goo could do for my face, I bravely decided to go where many people had gone before me and give the product a try.