Snail Slime for Skincare? The Science Behind the Trend
A trend in skin care that has been gaining popularity in the media is snail slime. At first glance, the notion of putting snail slime for skincare products sounds a bit bizarre and gross, but there actually is some science behind this trend that I will explain.
The mucus that is secreted by the snail has glycosaminoglycan’s, glycoprotein enzymes, copper, hyaluronic acid, zinc, iron, and other compounds that may regenerate the skin. In cell culture, there is some evidence that it can stimulate collagen.
There are countries in Europe that extract the mucus from the snail and produce it commercially. In some cosmetic lines in Europe they even mix it with some of their products. The extraction of the snail mucus has been used commercially in Europe by at least one French company for the past three years. It is also available in Asia and South America, as well as a facial in Tokyo that uses actual live snails for the service.
The claim is that this will regenerate new skin cells and provide improvement in collagen, wrinkles, and acne scars.
So what does do I think? Even if snail slime had a high enough concentration of these products in it to provide benefit to human skin, it would not penetrate deep enough to make an actual difference.
There are very few products that you can apply topically that penetrate deep enough into the skin to provide actual anti aging benefits. It is possible that this mucus could make the skin superficially feel smoother, but would not provide long-lasting benefits.
My opinion on snail slime for skincare is to stick with what we know scientifically works… antioxidants, exfoliators such as glycolic acid, retinoids that stimulate collagen, growth factors and peptides.
Maybe science will continue to advance and we might know something more about the science of snail slime in the next decade, but until then I’m sticking with the tried and true tested products like Retin-A, TNS essential serum and antioxidants such as vitamin C and E that are all part of my essential skincare routine.
If you have any questions about how to improve the appearance of your skin, call our South Reno dermatology offices any time to set up a consultation.
~ Dr. Jennifer Janiga