Snail slime is becoming quite popular in many skincare products due to Chilean farmers reported to having smoother skin on their hands after handling snails for the French market. The extract is supposed to be quite effective in the treatment of acne and hyper-pigmentation. So what’s the problem?
I was recently browsing /r/skincareaddiction on Reddit and came across this post written by /u/valiantdistraction. Valiantdistraction links to two studies and an article talking about the cross-reactivity of snail allergies and allergies to dust mites.
The Snail Science
Upon further research, I have stumbled upon more studies/sources to read about the link between allergic reactions of snail to that of dust mites; here, here and here. It’s important to note that these studies are mostly testing the ingestion of snail, that’s not to say your skin won’t also react, especially if you’re applying product to broken skin.
Even though 31% doesn’t seem like a relatively large number, I personally think it’s still high enough to take precaution. There are such a large number of people allergic to dust mites, so perhaps take notice before you try any products for the first time.
Don’t throw away your snail products, just be aware of the risk before you try anything new. If you have a severe allergic reaction to dust mites then you may want to consider carefully patch testing any new products containing snail slime before you put them on your face (and be careful with escargot!). I am not saying that this is a cause for concern, but it may also explain why snail slime is a holy grail ingredient for some skincare enthusiasts and a nightmare for others.