Snails aren’t just cute (or creepy) garden pests. They make secretions that have been used for skin care for centuries. Snail skincare has been gaining popularity for years, but when looking for snail products, you should see past the primary ingredient. Some snail skincare is better than others, ranging from the types of snails used, the types of secretions and even the mode in which it is harvested.
Snails have been used for their healing and moisturizing properties for centuries, starting with the ancient Greeks. Hippocrates reportedly prescribed crushed snail and sour milk to clear up skin inflammation. In the 1980s Chilean snail farmers, who raised the delicacies to be served by French chefs, said they found their hands were softer when they came in contact with snail mucus.
European scientists observed that a specific breed of snail, the Cryptomphalus aspersa, produced a secretion to protect itself from burns and extreme radiation. The secretion contained growth factors and antioxidants, allowing the snail to repair its skin from injury in less than 48 hours. This amazing healing power was first shown to be clinically effective on humans with cases of radiation dermatitis following the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. The burn victims experienced rapid recovery with C. aspersa snail secretion.
“Snail mucin has been used to facilitate healing for many years, with reports of efficacy dating back to radiation burns on the skin from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster,” said Dr. Joel Cohen of Denver, Colorado.
“[These] secretions have been found to be very rich in specific growth factors,” Cohen said. “These growth factors can help activate cells and pathways to facilitate healing. They can also help turn-on lethargic cells called fibroblasts that produce collagen and structural support for the skin.”
Not All Snail Secretions Are Created Equal
Snail-boasting beauty products may be on the rise, however, the ingredients and efficacy of these products vary. While snail secretion contains nutrients that provide skincare benefits, not all snail secretion yields growth factor benefits.
Most snail creams and serums are formulated with snail secretion filtrate from the helix aspersa snail. This secretion is produced by movement and contains hyaluronic acid for hydration benefits. Tensage Growth Factor uses snail secretion filtrate in SCA Biorepair Technology from the Cryptomphalus aspersa snail. This secretion is produced for protection and healing. It is the only known secretion clinically proven to contain natural growth factors and deliver reparative benefits to the skin.
C. Aspersa Snail vs. Other Snails
The Cryptomphalus aspersa snail is a gastropod mollusk whose ancestors date back to the Cambrian period when life was only possible in the sea. During the evolution of the C. aspersa (a process that took over 500 million years), the species developed its secretion as a defense system in response to severe environmental insults such as cold, heat and radiation. Other common snail skincare products use the more common garden snail, the Helix apersa. While there are some skin benefits for H. aspersa secretions, they don’t compare to C. aspersa.
|How Snails Stack Up|
|Type of Snail||C. Aspersa||Helix aspersa (common garden snail)|
|Type of Secretion||Produced for protection & healing||Produced for movement|
|Key Ingredient||Growth factors, antioxidants, hyaluronic acid||Hyaluronic acid|
|Benefits||Contains growth factor benefits that help repair damage to the skin and restore radiance||Moisturization|
|Scientific Research||Clinically proven, dermatologist-tested & trusted||Lacks clinical evidence|
Can Snail Skincare Be Cruelty-Free?
While all snail skincare differs, at Biopelle, snail skincare is cruelty-free. SCA Biorepair Technology (derived from snail secretion) and CellPro™ Technology (derived from snail eggs) are safely collected in a non-harmful, patented process. The secretion is obtained by gently hand rotating the snails to stimulate the excretion process. The secretion is then refined and purified to pharmacological standards. Snails return to their sanctuary for several weeks before the next rotation. The eggs are collected from the sanctuary then carefully rinsed and refined to produce CellPro™ Technology.
Best-Selling Snail Skincare Products
If you’re interested in introducing snail skincare into your routine, there are a number of places to start. SCA Biorepair Technology is featured in our Tensage Growth Factor line. It contains secretions from the C. Aspersa and is clinically proven to promote growth factor benefits and improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Some top-performing products include:
- Tensage Intensive Serum 40 — a powerful boosted treatment to jumpstart your skincare routine. See improved skin in as little as 24 hours.
- Tensage Daily Serum — Tensage Daily Serum is a lightweight, oil-free formula that makes a great addition to any skincare regimen and can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, improve skin luminosity and generally help with anti-aging.
- Tensage Advanced Cream Moisturizer — A richly textured moisturizing cream with growth factor benefits as well as Vitamin E to help address signs of aging and skin damage.
For even more benefits of snails, this time from their eggs instead of mucin, consider CellPro(™) Technology. CellPro Technology naturally helps support stem cells to help reverse visible signs of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles. CellPro Technology has the ability to help support the activity of stem cells in your own body to produce new, healthy skin cells and can be found in:
- Tensage Stem Cell Cream — A nourishing night cream ideal for mature skin that also contains antioxidants, firming agents, retinol and emollients to help combat multiple signs of aging and nourish the skin.
- Tensage Stem Cell Eye Cream — A rich eye cream that contains CellPro Technology in addition to caffeine and retinol to help replenish skin cells and combat multiple signs of aging around the eyes.