Could 'escargot' facials have a knock on effect on cosmetic demand?

By Michelle Yeomans

- Last updated on GMT

A new treatment at beauty salon 'Ci:z.Labo' in Tokyo
A new treatment at beauty salon 'Ci:z.Labo' in Tokyo

Related tags Cosmetics

A Tokyo spa specializing in ‘celeb escargot’ facials is offering consumers access to a higher concentration of snail mucus which may see cosmetic products with smaller amounts of the extract left on the shelf.

The benefit of snail mucus is nothing new to the cosmetics industry. In fact products containing the substance have seen high demand in recent years.

However, this facial could spark a new trend on the region which could see consumers opting for these treatments instead of cosmetics featuring lower concentrations of the extract.

The treatments available at the Tokyo based ‘Ci:z.Labo’ salon is two fold, the first includes live snails placed on the cheeks and forehead for up to five minutes for 10,500 yen (US$100), and the other where beauticians spread slime across the face for 60 minutes for 24,150 yen (US$240).

Although Asian consumers are favouring the slimy elixir for its anti-ageing and skin-rejuvenating properties, perhaps with these prices the facials will remain a 'luxury investment' for some rather than with those purchasing every day products featuring the ingredient.

Slime based cosmetics

Snail slime has been a coveted, if surprising, ingredient in beauty products for years. The mucus contains collagen, glycolic acid and antibiotics and that it can regenerate skin cells and heal cuts.

Cosmetics featuring the extract have been sold in Asia since the mid-90s. The craze may have moved to Europe in 2006 when Chilean farmers noticed that their skins became smoother after handling snails for the French food market.

Trend now taking off in Europe..

In fact a French farmer recently revealed that he has created what is probably Europe’s first industrial scale snail mucus plant to supply French cosmetics manufacturers with slime.

Louis-Marie Guedon claims to have developed a secret technique to harvest snail mucus and plans to produce 15 tonnes of the substance every year.

The Charente-Maritime resident has already secured three contracts with cosmetics labs for clients who have already ordered three tonnes of mucus.

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