News

Could snail slime be the next miracle beauty cure?

Could snail slime be the next miracle beauty cure?

Snail slime might be the next big thing in cosmetic fashion. Photo: Reuters

CHAMPAGNOLLES, France (Reuters) – The French have long appreciated snails on a plate with butter and garlic. But one rural snail farmer believes the humble molluscs have more to offer alive than dead.

Louis-Marie Guedon says the mucus secreted by snails are full of collagen, glycolic acid, antibiotics and other compounds that regenerate skin cells and heal cuts.

Guedon, from Champagnolles in the west-central region of Charente-Maritime, believes it could presage a cosmetic revolution and has developed a secret technique to harvest the slime.

He is busy turning the innovation into France’s first industrial-scale snail mucus extraction operation with a target to harvest 15 tonnes of it next year.

“I’ve already been producing the slime for three years, but manually,” said Guedon, 47, who has raised snails for a quarter of a century.

He has secured three supply contracts with local cosmetics labs and a Paris company that mixes cosmetics for some of the biggest names in consumer beauty products.

“This client has already ordered three tons of slime,” Guedon said.

He sells 25 million baby snails a year to snail farmers in France and abroad from a breeding stock of 650,000 garden snails known by their scientific names, Helix Aspersa Minima and Helix Aspersa Maxima.

Guedon preferred not to give details of his industrial slime extraction process. But he said the system, developed by an independent engineer, involved placing the snails in two large containers.

After the mucus is extracted, sensitive filters purify the product, which is then refrigerated. Salt is used, but the snails are not killed.

Guedon’s 130,000 euro ($170,200) investment in the project was partially financed by small business subsidies from the French government and the European Union.

Snail mucus has already cropped up in beauty products sold in Asia and South America, but has yet to catch on in Europe. For the truly adventurous, a spa in Tokyo offers facials using real live snails.

Latest Headlines

in Local

Maine’s Night Coyote Hunt Ends this Weekend

Newsradio WGAN

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) _ Maine's night coyote hunt is coming to a close.

in Local

Dozens of Former Maine Lawmakers Ousted by Defeat or Term Limits Again Seek Spot in Legislature

GENERIC STATE HOUSE 2

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) _ Dozens of former Maine lawmakers who were ousted from the Legislature by defeat or term limits are vying to return to Augusta this year.

in Local

Maine Health Officials say EEE Found in York Pool

MOSQUITO

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) _ The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention says the virus that causes Eastern Equine Encephalitis has been found in a mosquito pool in York.

in Local

Maine Company Recalls 25,192 Pounds of Beef

Newsradio WGAN

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) _ A Maine company is recalling more than 25,000 pounds of beef dating to last November for failure to remove tissues that could potentially allow transmission of mad cow disease.

in Local

Maine Gay Rights PAC Won’t Endorse in Senate Race

Newsradio WGAN

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) _ A leading advocacy group for gay, lesbian and transgender people in Maine will not make an endorsement in this year's U.S. Senate race in the state.