The Japanese SNAIL facial arrives in the UK! Slimy anti-ageing treatment involves letting live molluscs slither across the face
- The facial is now available at a Northamptonshire salon for £50
- Involves having three large snails slither up and down your face
- Their mucus is believed to have powerful anti-ageing properties
- Salon owner Diane Gower says results are 'overwhelming'
- Gower's 60 snails are fed a diet of organic fruit and vegetables
By RUTH STYLES
PUBLISHED: 11:56 EST, 29 August 2013 | UPDATED: 11:58 EST, 29 August 2013
For many of us, snails are nothing more than an unpleasant garden pest. But thanks to a Japanese spa they've become the latest thing in beauty, with the snail slime facial finally arriving on British shores in one East Midlands salon this week.
The treatment, which involves having three of the creatures slither up and down your face, has been added to the menu at the Simply Divine salon in Corby, Northamptonshire by owner Diane Corby.
Gower, with the help of top dermatologist Dr Sunil Chopra, a regular consultant on Channel 4’s Embarrassing Bodies, has a team of fully trained 'snail facialists' who will make sure the creepy crawlies don’t venture too near the nostrils, mouth and eyes.
Gulp: Diane Gower puts the snail slime facial to the test, with the help of three of her salon's resident snails
Pioneering: The treatment was first popularised by a salon in Tokyo and is now in the UK thanks to Diane
According to Gower, the results of the £50 treatment are instant and 'overwhelming' thanks to the highly beneficial proteins contained in snail mucus.
She said: 'It does seem a bit strange at first but the treatment is actually very relaxing and the skin feels marvellous afterwards. Once clients get used to the feel of the snails on their face, they really enjoy the treatment.'
The snail facial was pioneered in Tokyo's Clinical Salon and first became available under the name Celebrity Escargot Course earlier this summer, with the Japanese salon charging £161 for the procedure.
The 60 snails owned by Gower will enjoy a similarly luxurious diet to their Japanese counterparts - unlimited organic fruit and vegetables.
'The snails have been specially farmed for us,' added Gower. 'They’re not the sort you’ll find in the garden. We can tell them apart and we’ve even given them names.
Too close for comfort? Diane looks tense as the snails move around her face and get VERY close to her mouth
Healing: The mucus left behind by the snails is believed to have anti-ageing benefits by proponents
'The snails' well-being is very important to us. Once they have been used on a client we make sure they’re not used again for at least four days. We constantly monitor them.'
Gower has sought advice from snail experts on how to feed and handle the snails and insists that all of her staff are rigorously trained in-house.
After the facial the snails are 'quarantined' - separated from the others so there is no danger of cross contamination and clients are told not to wear any make-up or skin care products with chemicals in them before their facial.
Despite the lack of the usual creams and lotions, Gower says the results are so powerful that the snails could even be used for people with severe skin conditions such as acne.
She said: 'The treatment is completely natural and people have been overwhelmed with the instant results.
Anti-ageing: Snail mucus contains a cocktail of youth-boosting ingredients including hyularonic acid
'So we have clients with skin problems and also quite a few mature ladies who don’t want to use the strong chemicals that can be found in certain anti-ageing products.'
Dr Chopra, who is currently running clinical tests on the efficacy of snail mucus, said: 'Snail mucus contains natural antibiotics and hyaluronic acid which hydrates the skin.
'The theory of the treatment is good, now we want to see all the data. The French have found a way to extract the mucus from snails and put it into skin care products but the live snails should be a lot more effective as its properties aren’t lost over time.
'I’m looking forward to conducting the study and finding out the results.'
Gower added: 'This isn’t just a gimmick. It really works. My spa promotes health and well-being and alternative treatments and this treatment is truly pioneering.'
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