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Snail Slime Moisturizer? The Freaky Facial Only Available in Japan

By on August 3, 2013
It was only last March when Kim Kardashian made headlines for getting a blood facial–but it appears a new face treatment may be taking its place.

Called the snail slime facial, Japan’s newest skincare treatment uses–you guessed it–living snails, which crawl over your face and leave behind a slimy residue.

The treatment, understandably, is wrought with controversy.

“The treatment, an add-on to a so-called “celeb escargot” facial, is only available at the Ci:z.Labo salon in Tokyo for now,” says Melissa Locker of TIME. “During the escargot facial, the client’s face is washed before the mollusks are gently placed on the cheeks and forehead and left to their slimy devices for five minutes. The slithering around is followed by face masks and other beauty treatments.”

How the Snail Slime Facial Works

According to sources, the treatment really works, thanks to the slimy–but nutritious–residue.

Here’s how it works: As the snail crawls over your face, it leaves behind an “essence” rich in antioxidants, hyaluronic acid, and protein, ingredients you’ll typically find in expensive moisturizers.

You can’t debate it isn’t natural either; the snails are fed an organic diet of vegetables to make sure their secretions are 100% natural–if that’s something that worries you.

Manami Takamura, a spokesperson for Ci:z Labo, which currently offers this exclusive treatment, promises it’s great for your skin.

“Slime from snails helps remove old cells, heal the skin after sun burn and moisturize it,” says Takamura.

Customers are reportedly satisfied with it–despite its ouch-worth price tag. A 60 minute snail slime facial will run you 24,150 yen, or $240. To experience an extra five minutes of snails crawling all overyour face, you’ll need to pay an extra $100 as well.

Would You Try This Treatment?

Japan is considered one of the top innovators in anti-aging skincare, but even this seems too far-fetched–but Japanese women are still lining up to gain the benefits of moisturized, healed skin.

But is it really worth it? Research shows that the ingredients in snail slime are good for moisturizing your skin–but so are other skin treatments, such as top moisturizers such as La Mer Moisturizer and MISSHA Super Aqua Moisturizer (which hails from Korea).

And ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and antioxidants can be reaped from products in your local beauty store, though they aren’t always cheap, but guaranteed to be cheaper than this treatment.

“We live in a society where more and more people are turning toward natural treatments and having a snail crawl over your face certainly is one way of getting close to nature,” says Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetics and clinical research at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. “[However] we really do need this type of treatment to go through testing to evaluate whether it truly is effective and even more importantly, to make sure that it’s safe.”

Most experts don’t think it poses a health risk, however.

Readers: Would you try this new controversial treatment? Why or why not?

Sources:
Snail Slime FacialTIME.com
Live Snails Being Used in Japanese FacialsTODAY.com

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