Snail slime (scientific name "helix aspersa müller glycoconjugates") has been famous for centuries for its amazing benefits to the skin. It delays the aging process of skin tissues so that skin appears smoother and firmer. But who was the first to learn about these wonderful properties?
Back in the old days, snail slime was used curatively by Ancient Greeks, with Hippocrates reportedly recommending snail mucus as a cure for inflamed skin and Pliny the Elder claiming that snail pulp was "a sovereign remedy to treat pain related to burns, abscesses and other wounds". Whole snails used to be swallowed in southern Italy in order to treat gastritis or ulcers in stomach. In North America a slug syrup (made from alcohol, slugs and sugar) was recommended for people suffering from bronchitis or asthma. Although it might seem disgusting to some people, snails and slugs were used by our ancestors as remedies for different conditions.
In more recent times dr. Rafael Abad Iglesias, a Spanish oncologist, subjected small snail species called Cryptomphalus aspersa to radiation used to treat cancer. While carrying out his research on chromosomal alterations in the 1960s, he observed that the snails secreted a slime-like substance which differed from the one that they usually use to move. Dr. Abad also noticed that the snails had the ability to rapidly cure small wounds on their skin caused by the radiation treatment. Intrigued, he started testing the effects of the snail secretion on humans.
It should not come as a surprise to you, that dr. Abad's research showed that the snail slime helps skin regenerate it's cells and retain moisture, revitalizes and rejuvenates the skin, oxygenates epidermis and also has antioxidant activity against free radicals. His discoveries found to be useful when treating radiation burns victims of the Chernobyl accident (1986).
Around 20 years later after the chromosomal alterations in cancer patients research, in 1980, the potential of snail slime was rediscovered by Chilean family of snail farmers. While handling the snails they noticed that their skin became visibly smoother and any small wounds they had, heeled quicker leaving no scars.
Although the family's primary business goal was to export snails to Europe for gastronomic purpose, they ended up with a renowned cosmetics business exporting to 45 countries worldwide.
The beauty potential of snail slime is huge, and snail-slime based cosmetics are getting more and more popular. Snail secretion cream trend seems to be on its way up not only in Asia (with Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia at the top of the list), but also in the USA and Europe.
Snail Slime has been found to have...