Japan's slimy new beauty treatment

SARAH MACKENZIE
Last updated 15:49 15/07/2013
Snail facial
Reuters

SNAIL FACIAL: The latest insane beauty craze said to be an 'elixir of youth.'

Snail facial
Reuters
SLIMY TRAILS: During the treatment, the snails are allowed to roam free over your face.

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Crazy beauty treatments are on the rise thanks to those with more money than sense, and an all-out obsession with maintaining a crease-free complexion: I’m looking at you Kim K.

But how far would you go to achieve beautiful, glowing skin?

Well, the humble garden snail - yes, the slimy gastropod seen as a delicacy in France - is the latest ‘thing’ in beauty.

Live snails, hailed as an elixir for youthful, beautiful skin, take centre stage in a 'snail facial' launching in Tokyo.

According to a Telegraph reporter, snails are placed directly onto the faces of reclining clients, leaving trails of mucus slime in their wake.

The secreted mucus is key to the facial, as it reportedly contains a beauty-boosting cocktail of proteins, anti-oxidants and hyaluronic acid, which help skin retain moisture, reduce inflammation and remove dead skin.

''Snail slime can help the recovery of skin cells on the face, so we expect the snail facial to help heal damaged skin,'' said Yoko Minami, sales manager at Clinical Salon, the flagship outlet of the Japanese spa operator, Ci:z.Labo.

The salon is presently home to five snails, kept in a small clear container where they are fed organic vegetables, including carrots, Japanese greens, spinach and Swiss chard.

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Spa staff said that the snails were bought from an organic snail breeder in Japan and are fed organically to ensure they are clean and healthy before being placed on faces.

Organically fed snails? Props to the person whose job it is to prepare those ‘meals’... just how small would the pieces of carrot have to be?!

For approximately $270, the 60-minute treatment, called the ‘Celebrity Escargot Course’ (because a little bit of Franglais always makes something unpleasant that much more appealing) includes a face wash, followed by the release of multiple snails on the cheeks and forehead.

The snails are allowed to move around as they please, snail lip balm anyone?

And then comes the finale. Creams infused with snail mucus are lathered onto the skin using a series of massages, masks and electrical pulse machines to ensure the live secretions fully penetrate the pores.

Apologies for the use of the words mucus and secretions in the same sentence, but hey, it’s all in the name of beauty.

Apparently snail-infused face creams, serums and masks have surged in popularity in Japan and South Korea in the past couple of years.

Both regions are already famed for such unusual beauty fads as nightingale faeces facials and live fish pedicures, but you never know, snail slime beauty treatments may become the new norm.

Just the thought is making me shudder.

- Stuff

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