Latest skincare fad: Live snails?

July 25, 2013

Are snail facials going to catch on?
Are snail facials going to catch on?

There seems to be a never-ending supply of news stories about bizarre new beauty fads. Not too long ago, people were touting the rejuvenating power of bee-sting venom, and if that creeped you out, just wait till you hear what is going on at a spa in Japan. According to The Telegraph, individuals in downtown Tokyo looking to make their skin glow can visit a spa that offers a truly one-of-a-kind experience: snail facials.

A slimy experience
Yes, we're talking about those creepy-crawly, slimy little creatures you see after rainstorms in the summer. Many people find them repulsive, but according to Yoko Minami, sales manager at Clinical Salon, live snails can make a big impact on skin quality.

"This salon is the only place in Japan where you can try a live snail facial," Minami told the news source. "Snail slime can help the recovery of skin cells on the face, so we expect the snail facial to help heal damaged skin."

The treatment, known as the Celebrity Escargot Course, lasts for an hour and costs just over $200. During that time, five snails, which are fed organic foods, will be placed on your face and allowed to crawl around. An attendant is there to lift and replace the creatures should they come too close to your mouth, eyes or nose. Afterward, you receive several facial massages and masks, and you'll also have a cream applied to your face. Can you guess what the secret ingredient in that cream is? If you guessed snail mucus, you're right.

A more conventional option
If the idea of letting slimy snails crawl all over your face isn't enticing, don't worry, there are plenty of other options for facial rejuvenation that have a much lower "ick factor." For example, microdermabrasion is a procedure that helps reduce fine lines, age spots and acne scars on the face, according to the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. This cosmetic procedure carries virtually no side effects, has no recovery time and requires no anesthesia.

ASAPS also recommends a chemical peel, another non-surgical procedure that is used to remove wrinkles and blemishes on the skin. You can opt for a light chemical peel or deep chemical peel, depending on the depth or darkness of the wrinkles and spots you want to treat.


The mission of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) includes medical education, public education and patient advocacy. Plastic Surgery News Briefs are summaries of current stories found through various news and magazine outlets that relate to or mention plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures. The views expressed in these news articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ASAPS, but are merely published as an educational service to our members and the general public. For additional information on these subjects and other plastic surgery related topics, please go to www.surgery.org

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About ASAPS
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world’s leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body.  ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; active members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and non-surgical aesthetic procedures. International active members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.

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