Snail gel is facial beauty product that contains the mucus of snails which has been found to have superior healing properties and is therefore believed to improve the texture and appearance of skin. It contains natural substances that are well known to be beneficial to skin. Snails are farmed in order to collect the mucus, renamed “snail extract.” This extract is widely manufactured as a gel that can be applied to the face as part of a normal beauty routine.
Helix Aspersa is the Latin name for the breed of snail used in French cuisine. Recently however, this snail has been bred especially for its mucus because of its touted healing properties. The mucus was discovered in Chile by Chilean snail farmers, farming snails for the French food market. It was found to heal workers’ cuts and scrapes much faster than the normal healing process.
Snails produce a sticky slime that enables them to slide along, even on the roughest surface, with a relative ease. This slime or mucus decreases the amount of friction the snail experiences when traveling along. Snail mucus is also utilized by the snail to repair its own shell upon cracking or breaking. A doctor living in the region in Chile discovered that the snail farmers were experiencing the phenomenon, and began to study the snail mucus.
The mucus was found to be rich in glycolic acid, collagen, vitamins A, C and E, and elastane. Each of these ingredients is already well known to contribute to healthy skin and is manufactured into many beauty products on the market. Seeing the market potential in this new slimy discovery, the doctor began to develop a beauty product that contains snail mucus. The mucus was soon renamed “snail extract” and put into snail gel facial products.
Farming companies, having learned of the mucus and its marvelous properties, began to harvest the mucus themselves and market it globally. In 2007 the first snail extract beauty product was successfully launched. Many consumers, having tried and tested the snail gel, swear by its ability to produce a flawless complexion.
Purchased in plastic pots, snail gel can be used two to three times daily on the face, to support the skin’s natural elasticity. Satisfied users report soft and silky complexions. There are also claims that snail gel also smooths wrinkles, lessens the appearance of acne and scars, and rejuvenates the appearance of skin overall.
Snail farmers say that the snails are not harmed during the farming process and are kept safely in an environment very similar to their natural environment. Mucus is extracted carefully without any harm being done to the snails. Some animal rights protesters disagree, and believe that the process does in fact harm the snails and puts them under great stress.