Would you shell out for a slimy snail facial?
As they slowly crawl about the garden, slimy snails can be an unsightly and an unwanted thing to see to say the very least. However, a 'snail facial' (yes, you read that correctly!), could actually offer anti-aging benefits for your skin, according to those offering this bizarre new procedure. Having live snails slowly inching their way around your face may sound the stuff nightmares are made of, but this practice is being used as a beauty treatment in Japan. Beginning today, the Clinical Salon health spa in the Ebisu district of Tokyo, is offering the snail facial for those brave enough to endure five minutes of snails being let free on the cheeks and forehead to randomly move around as they see fit. This is part of a 60-minute treatment called the Celebrity Escargot Course. The treatment will set you back a whopping £161 (Y24,150), but the secreted snail mucus is said to contain several proteins, antioxidants and hyaluronic acid, which can apparently stave off dry skin, remove dead skin and minimise inflammation. The hour-long therapy begins with the face being washed prior to the molluscs being placed on cheeks and the forehead. A series of massages comes next, followed by the use of masks, electrical pulse machines and creams containing snail mucus; all to make sure the live secretions infiltrate the skin. Yoko Miniami, sales manager at Tokyo's Clinical Salon which offers the treatment, said: “This salon is the only place in Japan where you can try a live snail facial. Snail slime can help the recovery of skin cells on the face, so we expect the snail facial to help heal damaged skin.” Tokyo is probably a little too far to travel for Brits who have overdone the sunbathing during the recent hot weather - which is still continuing in the UK - but Miniami says the snail facial could help those with the after-effects of sun damage. She commented: “We are interested in the fact that snails have a function that can help heal skin damaged by ultraviolet rays.” During the last two years in Japan and South Korea, snail face creams, serums and masks have become popular for many people looking to reduce wrinkles and have better skin. This is on top of other ‘out there’ treatments such as nightingale faeces facials and live fish pedicures. These ‘alternative’ skin treatments are not for everybody however and may only appeal to a small percentage of those who wish to have younger looking skin. Proven and popular treatments for acne and wrinkles include Differin Gel, Differin Cream and Epiduo Gel. They are available today from Medical Specialists Pharmacy with or without a prescription. If you are a little squirmish, they could prove a much better option than slithery snails being let loose onto your face!