The snails leave behind a trail of slime which is said to contain highly beneficial proteins, anti-oxidants, and anti-bacteria
A new skincare craze where SNAILS crawl over your face has reached the UK.
A “snail facial” involves three of them on your face for 20 minutes apparently giving the skin an amazing “instant glow”.
It’s currently all the rage in Tokyo but until now has been unavailable in the UK.
But pioneering spa owner Diane Gower, of the Simply Divine salon in Corby, Northamptonshire, is offering the unorthodox treatment for £50 a pop.
Diane, with the help of top dermatologist Dr Sunil Chopra, a regular consultant on Channel 4’s Embarrassing Bodies, has a team of fully trained “snail facialists” who will make sure the creepy crawlies don’t venture too near the nostrils, mouth and eyes.
As the snails move around the skin they leave behind a trail of mucus which is said to contain highly beneficial proteins, anti-oxidants, and anti-bacteria…and the results are instant and “overwhelming”, according to Ms Gower.
She said: “It does seem a bit strange at first but the treatment is actually very relaxing and the skin feels marvellous afterwards.
“Once clients get used to the feel of the snails on their face, they really enjoy the treatment.”
The snails are bred and farmed locally, fed on organic fruit and vegetables, and she has about 60 in total.
She added: “The snails have been specially farmed for us. They’re not the sort you’ll find in the garden.
“We can tell them apart and we’ve even given them names. The snails’ well-being is very important to us.
“Once they have been used on a client we make sure they’re not used again for at least four days. We constantly monitor them.”
After the facial, the snails are “quarantined” – separated from the others so there is no danger of cross contamination.
Clients are told not to wear any make-up or skin care products with chemicals in them before their facial.
Diane said that the results are so powerful that the snails could be used for people with severe skin conditions such as acne.
She said: “The treatment is completely natural and people have been overwhelmed with the instant results.
“So we have clients with skin problems and also quite a few mature ladies who don’t want to use the strong chemicals that can be found in certain anti-ageing products.”
Diane has been working closely with Dr Chopra, who is also the clinical director of the London Dermatology Clinic, to study the lasting effects of snail facials.
They are working on a number of models on a six-week trial whose skin is being measured and monitored for elasticity and hydration levels.
Dr Chopra said: “We have machines which can measure the elasticity and hydration of the skin, as well as the brown patches and open blood vessels.
“Elasticity and hydration reduce as people get older.
“Snail mucus contains natural antibiotics and hyaluronic acid which hydrates the skin.
“The theory of the treatment is good, now we want to see all the data.
He continued: “The French have found a way to extract the mucus from snails and put it into skin care products but the live snails should be a lot more effective as its properties aren’t lost over time.
“I’m looking forward to conducting the study and finding out the results.”
Diane added: “This isn’t just a gimmick. It really works.
“My spa promote health and well-being and alternative treatments and this treatment is truly pioneering.”