Beware of shelling out big bucks for snail slime

LOS ANGELES -- What would you do in the name of beauty? Believe it or not, young glowing skin may involve a common garden visitor - the snail!

This slithering beauty secret has some science behind it - something about snail slime is good for your skin.

But who'd let one slither around their face? For a youthful complexion, skin care enthusiast Maggie Zamora is game.

"That sounds kind of fun!" Zamora said.

If you break down what's in snail excretion, it contains multiple anti-aging properties.

"They excrete things like copper peptides, hyaluronic acid - which is a great moisturizer - anti-microbial peptides and molecules," said Dr. Shirley Chi, dermatologist with Center for Advanced Dermatology.

These are all properties that promote anti-aging and rejuvenation.

"I feel like my skin is sagging a little bit and I have sun spots," Zamora said.

But Chi said the studies have been done in the lab and not on the skin. Therefore, the medical jury is still out.

In the meantime, snail slime has spawned a craze in beauty products. You can find snail trails in masks, eye creams and serums ranging in price from $6 to $600.

The Food and Drug Administration doesn't regulate these products so Chi said it's hard to know if you're getting what you paid for. And some people may find snail mucin irritating.

"We don't really know what concentration is in each product," Chi said. "We don't know what percentage of snail mucin versus just regular moisturizer is in any product, and also it could be allergenic to some people."

So tread lightly when it comes to shelling out big bucks. Chi recommends using aloe gel from an actual plant or you could find a regular garden snail to place on your skin.

It's an inexpensive way to try it.

"If you got something that you want to treat with snail slime, if you got a snail, put it on your face. I dare you!" she said with a laugh.
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