Snail cream is a natural skin care product made from snail mucous, the liquid they secrete to climb along walls without falling. The medicinal and cosmetic effects of snail mucous on human skin have long been recognized, and snail cream is popular among some women as a miracle cream that works well against wrinkles, acne, stretch marks and other conditions.
Recently, one woman in China was so impressed by the effectiveness of snail cream that she decided to cut the middle man and let living snails spread their mucous around her body directly. However, this romance was short lived: within a week of using the snails, they began to mysteriously die off.
The woman figured that because snail mucous is the main component in snail cream putting living snails on her skin would have the same beneficial effects. Furthermore, with the market price in China for snails being roughly five snails for 10 yuan (US$1.50), using living snails would be much more economical than buying the cream—even accounting for food to keep them alive and healthy.
The woman gathered her snails and, after cleaning her skin with skin toner, she let the snails go to work on her feet, hands, and face. In order to keep her snails happy and healthy she used only organic vegetables for their feed and had them work in shifts so they didn’t get tired.
About one week in she her noticed her skin was indeed getting softer and cleaner, but the snails had begun to mysteriously die at an alarming rate. Puzzled as to why this would happen after taking such thorough care of them, she panicked and took her snails to the local veterinarian. Sadly, by the time she had arrived most of the snails were already gone.
According to the autopsy, the snails had died from alcohol poisoning. It seems that the alcohol contained in the skin tonic she cleaned her face with had been absorbed into the snails’ systems.
Still, even if you use non-alcoholic skin care products, those considering trying their own mollusk-mask might want to reconsider. As one doctor commented: “though the liquid of snails is recognized as having certain cosmetic effects, there is a chance that actual snails may carry parasites; putting snails directly on your skin is not sanitary.”
Source: 新浪新聞 (Chinese)