Beauty, Cambodia, Expat, lifestyle, Phnom Penh

Time for Slime.

Here you go, Phnom Penher’s trapped inside your homes due to the masses of people cramming the streets for Water Festival! If you’re brave (or haven’t stocked up on the essentials…) maybe slide over to your closest beauty shop or pharmacy and try to track down a snail mucous mask. Yeees. From WUPP!‘s November issue, Highlight & Gloss. unnamed Or read on: “We’re all familiar with the little gooey terrestrial pulmonate gastropod molluscs that find their way into our gardens and sometimes plates: snails. While they may wreak havoc on your plants, they can be a delicious treat to eat in all their buttery goodness- but who would have thought that the slime from these creatures would be used for cosmetic reasons when so many shirk from their slow, viscous nature? There are plenty of what many would consider odd beauty treatments: bee venom injections, mud baths, bird poop facials- but most excitingly enough for me, snail masks or snail mucous creams and serums are now becoming hot in the market. Is it just another trend with little benefit to lend or does the slime excreted from these land beasties really do wonders for the face? Korea has been boasting the wonders of snail slime for ages now, as they usually are the first to introduce innovative beauty trends and even Dr. Jart who was the frontrunner in the BB cream movement in the United States has a line of snail mucin products. In Tokyo, there are even live snail facials where snails promenade around the client’s face leaving a fresh trail of mucin with the facialists making sure the snails steered clear of the eyes and mouth. The ancient Greeks have touted snail mucin for their healing properties, but recently in Chile snail farmers found that their smooth hands and quickly healing cuts may have something to do with the critters they were handling daily. Promoted for it’s ability to reduce hyperpigmentation, sun damage, and even light scarring- snail slime may take a slow entry into the market, but if it does work wonders it might just end up getting pushed to the top of many a beauty shelf. The mucuous that a snail produces is used to heal its soft, gelatinous body from cuts and scrapes on its big squishy foot (yes, that’s what it’s body is) as it leisurely glides across branches, rocks, and everything in between. Made up of proteins, elastin, and glycolic acids- the slime is a natural anti-inflammatory and regenerative. If the poor snail’s big body-foot is constantly getting barraged with foreign objects, the slime must be doing something to repair. I tried it out for myself with a mask purchased in Bangkok (although I have seen them available in Phnom Penh to see what the fuss is about. After a bit of research on how to use this cute little package full of snail slime, I found that I should apply at night, sleep in it, and then rinse off in the morning. The idea of sliming up my sheets with snail mucin was less than sexy so I ended up slathering it on in the morning and letting it rest for several hours while watching reruns of trash tv before rinsing off. The scent was light and actually a bit refreshing, nothing like dirt or what I had expected. There was a bit of mild tingling when first applied (with my facial brush, but could be easily slathered on with the fingers) but soon subsided. After four days in the sun at the beach, my skin was in need of some tender loving care and after rinsing off, my parched skin felt smooth with dry patches gone and a plumpness that only a beauty mask can deliver. So if you’re taking a snail’s pace about trying out mucin based products, I say get to the finish line and cross with replenished skin. Regardless, you’ll always be way hotter than a snail.”

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