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Snail facials gaining popularity: What price beauty?

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
Snail facials the next skin care craze?

A ridiculously expensive skin care treatment uses live snails to give clients a facial. The claim is that the treatment is moisturizing and exfoliating.

The cost to have snails crawl around your face and deposit slime is around $250.

The treatment was experienced first-hand at Ci:z.Labo in Tokyo by a Telegraph reporter who described the treatment after snails slithered around her face leaving their sticky mucous on her face and neck.

But she said it was also surprisingly relaxing and felt cool, though "scary".

TIP: Since there is no proof live snails will make you beautiful, maybe an alert entrepreneur might market the treatment as a non-drug approach for stress relief.

According to Ci:z.Labo, Tokyo, they only book one treatment a day. There are only 5 snails who live the 'high life' dining on organic carrots, Japanese mustard spinach, and Swiss chard in a temperature controlled environment.

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The Wall Street Journal reports the spa live snail facials are booked for the next week.

Of the five snails, three are top performers for their 'mucous producing' ability. Snails apparently secrete more mucous when they are stressed. Lying in a chair getting goose-bumps is enough to stimulate a snail's mucous production for a better facial experience it might seem.

The sales pitch for the high priced live snail facials is that there are enzymes in the critters' mucous - protease, allantoin, and mucin that help remove dead skin.

"This salon is the only place in Japan where you can try a live snail facial," said Yoko Minami, sales manager at Clinical Salon, the flagship outlet of Ci:z.Labo, a nationwide spa operator and affiliate of Japan's biggest medical cosmetics company, according to the Telegraph.

But if you don't relish the idea of a snail crawling on your face, you can buy snail cream, serum or other products that claim to reverse UV skin damage - though there is no real scientific evidence saying that is true.

At home snail facials are not recommended for several reasons, once of which is risk for infection. Your garden variety snail won't do the same job.

As for the snails - the attendant at Ci:z.Labo says they were raised from birth and have been kept very clean so as not to leave clients with perhaps acne. If you are looking for a new beauty treatment, try live snails. We are not sure eating escargot is of any benefit, though beautiful skin does start from the inside out.