Did you know that it was in the 1980s that the potential of snail secretions was first noticed by breeders in Chile, who marvelled at how soft their hands became after handling the molluscs. The first cream containing snail mucin was produced in Chile, but in recent years it has boomed as an ingredient in Korean and American beauty products, and snail mucin face masks can cost upwards of $300.
Over the past three years, Thai farmers and opportunistic locals have begun keeping the creatures they once desperately tried to rid themselves of, as snail slime has become worth more than gold and the global slime industry has boomed to be worth an estimated $314m.
There are now 85 snail farms in the Thai province of Nakhon Nayok, two hours east of Bangkok, collectively producing as much as 600 litres of mucin per month. The species bred for slime is the Achatina snail, known better as the African giant snail.
Their mucin contains ingredients like glycoproteins, hyaluronic acid, and glycolic acid, and the snail creams and serums are sold with the promise of stimulating collagen, slowing the onset of wrinkles and healing acne and reducing scar tissue, though dermatologists are divided on the benefits.
Source: The Guardian