The media has been buzzing about the latest unusual Japanese beauty treatment for the past month, the snail facial.
The 'snail facial' originated in Tokyo, and has been extremely popular there this year. Tokyo-based beauty salon Ci:z Labo
first offered it - and even markets a snail cream.
The trend is spreading - the facial, which requires having snails literally crawl on your face - is now being offered by a salon in the UK - Simply Divine
salon in Corby, Northamptonshire. The salon charges 50 pounds for the service.
The snails' slime is said to remove old skin cells as they crawl around your face for 20 minutes - and rejuvenate the skin underneath.
But - can't you just apply a cream with alpha hydroxy acid - or a scrub - for the same dead-skin sloughing result?
Supporters of the treatment say the snails' slimy mucus
contains beneficial proteins and anti-oxidants that are left on your skin, which will cause an "instant glow."
Some experts are saying it's not a gimmick - and are even about to conduct studies to measure the effectiveness of the treatment. The UK salon mentioned above is currently working with a dermatology clinic to conduct testing, the UK's Mirror
Other skin experts aren't going for it...
Dr. William Stebbins, a dermatology professor at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, told ABC News
in a story reported on July 16, 2013, that the snail "goo" probably won't have any lasting effect on the skin.
Photo: China Daily Asia