Bioskincare is the latest potion to have faithfully followed the three rules of cosmetic marketing to the gullible: find the most outlandish ingredient you can (but one that allows you to append it 'natural'); provide an origination myth - preferably one that claims it was the result of a happy accident; throw in a scientific report.

We've had snake enzymes, but they are so 2008. And as for bird poop facials... Snail slime is the latest anti-ager. Bioskincare ($58.98) by Biocutis would have us believe that their main cosmetic ingredient -  the secretions produced by land snails of the species helix aspersa müller whenever they are stressed. The stressed out snails secrete a viscous fluid substance to protect, moisturize, repair and renew its skin.

As for the origination myth: Snail harvesters (or farmers, or whatever one does to commercialize snails) in Chile (of all places) found that they had amazingly soft hands. How could that be? Perhaps it was due to being elbow deep in snail slime.....

The science is a bit vague but fairly supportive. There is one study - seemingly independent - that looked at the mollusk, cryptomphalus aspersa (SCA). The study found that it contained antioxidants and stimulated fibroblast proliferation and rearrangement of the actin cytoskeleton.

However, an MIT study implies that the purpose of snail slime is to act as a glue so that snails can climb vertical surfaces and has nothing to do with protecting stressed skin.

Biocutis assures us that no snail is harmed in the harvesting of the slime.