Chulalongkorn University and the Thailand Research Fund discovered the species in the tropical rainforest of Kra Island in the Gulf of Thailand, where it feeds on algae and lichens covering the bark of trees.
Its mucilage has free radical antioxidants and is anti-inflammatory and rich in protein - ideal properties for skin care products.
Professor Somsak Panha, head of the department’s animal systematics research unit has studied snails for 30 years, and reckons that Thailand has about 1,000-1,500 snail species which can benefit the beauty industry.
Thailand's snail species could be a skin care formulator's dream
Earlier in the year, the University's researchers held a press conference to introduce the discovery of the Siamese snail breed which they also claimed contains 'numerous cosmetic benefits'.
The Siamese snail, which is known in its scientific name as Hemiplecta distincta, contains elastin, alantonin, hyaluronic acid, glycolic acid, and anti-oxidants.
According to the professor, the cosmetic properties discovered in this snail is "30 times better quality compared to snails from other countries."
Demand for snail slime in cosmetics
Snail extract was discovered to be good for the skin after a group of snail farmers in Asia reported they had smoother hands after tending to snails a few years back.
It had previously been known to help burn wounds in certain instances and was primarily used as an unfounded alternative to commercial topical care.
With that new found discovery, came a new segment and many cosmetic brands hurried to incorporate the ingredient in topical skin care and cosmetics.
In addition to anti-ageing, snail extract is thought to be an effective treatment for acne and acne scars. This is attributed to its unique enzymes that rearrange acne tissue both healing wounds at their source and improving appearance.
What distinguishes it from acne medications is that it moisturises the skin unlike traditional acids, which tend to leave skin feeling dry and flaky despite their effectiveness.