What is it?
Snail slime is a kind of mucus, an external bodily secretion which is produced by snails, gastropod mollusks. Land snails and slugs produce mucus, but so does every other kind of gastropod, from marine, freshwater and terrestrial habitats. The reproductive system of gastropods also produces mucus internally from special glands.
Snail slime is currently used in human cosmetics and it was traditionally used medicinally from Ancient Greece to the Middle Ages internally against gastrointestinal ulcers, applied by placing the snail on the upper chest region and spreading the slime around the rib cage. It was also often used in the form of syrup, to soothe a cough.
Snail slime has also been used by the Bamiléké people of Cameroon to treat burns.
Snail slime is commercially obtained from the common garden snail species Helix aspersa, which produces a secretion rich in proteins of high and low molecular weight hyaluronic acid and antioxidants. The secretion of the snail supposedly has a double function when applied to human skin: on one hand it is claimed to stimulate the formation of collagen, elastin and dermal components that repair the signs of photoaging and, second, is claimed to minimize the damage generated by free radicals that are responsible for premature skin aging.
Snail slime varies in appearance and quality according to the environmental conditions, season, and food sources used by the snails. These factors supposedly determine the quality of the slime and therefore the properties of a product made with it.
LOW MOLECULAR WEIGHT HYALURONIC ACID
The hyaluronic acid used in skincare isn’t all the same. It’s usually divided into different sizes: there’s high molecular weight hyaluronic acid, which has a larger molecular size, and low molecular weight hyaluronic acid, which is formed by chopping it into smaller fragments. “Sodium hyaluronate” usually indicates smaller fragments than “hyaluronic acid”, but even within those names there are a range of molecular sizes. The main significance of the different sizes is that smaller molecules are able to penetrate the skin better than larger molecules, which means that low molecular weight hyaluronic acid can hydrate deeper than high molecular weight hyaluronic acid, which holds onto water at the surface of the skin.
There’s some debate on how low molecular weight hyaluronic acid can act as an inflammatory signal and therefore be harmful, but it’s important to remember that inflammation isn’t always a bad thing. Studies on skin and skin cells have found that low molecular weight hyaluronic acid can improve the skin’s ability to repair itself, its defense against microbial attack and help with conditions like seborrheic dermatitis. Hopefully there’ll be more research into its effects on normal skin too.
DAMASCENA ROSE EXTRACT
Obtained through the fresh petals disttilation. Containing a complex array of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, rose essential oil has excellent emollient properties for moisturizing dry skin; it also offers antiseptic and astringent properties to treat acneic skin, as well as anti-inflammatory properties that help treat redness and inflammation. Rose oil can also help refine skin texture, controlling skin diseases such as psoriasis and atopic dermatitis. A study has even shown that rose essential oil can help heal wounds, as inhaling it inhibits water loss in the skin and lowers the concentration of cortisol (a stress hormone) in the body.
Want more? Rose essential oil also possesses aromatherapy properties that calm and soothe. A recent study showed that rose and lavender oils can help treat anxiety and depression in post-partum women.
Helichrysum is great for those with oily skin. In addition to this, it’s one of the few essential oils that contain “diketones,” which can help reduce the appearance of age spots and discoloration. Helichrysum is touted as the perfect addition to skin care formulations for those with sensitive skin. It’s so gentle that it’s even recommended for children — in fact, it’s often compared to chamomile because of these properties. Of course, like most oils, helichrysum is moisturizing, and will help prevent dryness.One of the most exciting newer discoveries with this oil, however, is its anti-aging property. It’s perfect for helping to make skin look more firm, youthful, and vibrant.
DIRECTION OF USE: Apply daily, morning and evening, on clean skin.