Snail slime: 10 questions to ask oneself before choosing!

Snail slime is by now a well-known raw material both in cosmetics and beyond. But what questions should buyers ask themselves in order to understand which one is the best and how to make the most of its potential?

Here is what we should ask ourselves.

1) Are there different types of snail slime?

There are different types depending on the type of snail chosen for extraction. Depending on this choice, we obtain a slime that is more or less rich in active ingredients (allantoin, collagen, glycolic acid, proteins). The best species is undoubtedly  Helix Aspersa Müller. So when choosing snail slime products, always ask the species of snail used.

Read also: Snail slime: what is it used for?

2) How is it extracted?

The method of extraction plays a key role, too. There are basically two extraction methods today, manual or mechanical. Mechanical extraction partly simulates manual extraction.

The manual extraction of snail slime is carried out simply by stimulating the snail's 'foot'. Feeling 'touched', the snail secretes the slime, which is then collected. This is a completely harmless procedure that does not cause the the death of the snail.

This is the method that, out of love for animals, we use for Nuvò Cosmetic snail slime.

Unlike manual extraction, mechanical extraction usually takes place by rubbing: the snail is sprayed with a mildly irritating substance and then moved back and forth inside a container. About 10 kg of snails are generally used for each treatment.

As you can well imagine, the use of machines would instead damage the snails (often irreparably). 

3) Does extraction cause damage to the snail?

With regard to the manual extraction of snail slime (the method we use at Nuvò),  the answer is no: the extraction of snail slime does not cause death if carried out by experienced personnel.

Extraction can only take place for a limited time, after which the snail must be rinsed and put to rest so that it can recover its strength.

lumaca riposa dopo estrazione bava di chiocciola

With regard to mechanical extraction, especially with the use of machinery, snails may instead suffer damage and trauma and even die.

Read also: Snail slime: how is it extracted?

4) What are the possible applications of snail slime?

It is used as a coadjuvant for anti-ageing, moisturising, anti-wrinkle, soothing, stretch mark and anti-spot products.

However, it should be pointed out that the action of  snail slime against spots is limited, as the amount of glycolic acid contained in it is not sufficient to reduce the spot to a significant degree.

5) Can it be used at all ages?

Yes, snail slime can be used at all ages. In very young children, we always recommend consulting a paediatrician., as with any cosmetic or raw material.

6) Can I use it directly by extracting the secretion of snails I have in my garden?

Theoretically, you could also use the slime from the snails you find in your garden, but there are some critical points.

You should use it immediately as, if not immediately subjected to a filtration process through specific machinery and if no preservatives were added to stabilise and maintain it over time, you could risk using an ineffective substance.

Furthermore, you would not know from which type of snail the secretion comes, unless you are a snail expert.

7) Is there any evidence of its effectiveness?

Snail slime is mainly used in cosmetic products such as creams or serums due to its high film-forming and regenerating capacity. To make sure that it is really effective, one should try to get  information about:

  • Percentage of snail slime contained;
  • Certifications of efficacy;
  • Skin tolerability tests;
  • Production method;
  • Presence of other active ingredients that may act as coadjuvants in solving the problem.

Also read: Spots on the face: causes, treatments and prevention 

8) Will it be suitable for my skin type?

Snail slime creams can be used on all skin types, by both men and women. However, a clarification needs to be made. The sensation you perceive on your face after applying a product may vary depending on your skin type. For example, the drier the skin is, the greater the perceived 'tightening effect' will be.

Companies usually produce different types of snail slime face serums  and creams depending on the feeling you want to perceive on your face and on your skin type (dry, combination, oily, dehydrated). Always ask an expert for advice before buying.

10) What shall I do if I find white residues in pure slime?

bava di lumaca pura


When you buy a package of pure snail slime (remember that in the INCI you will always find the mandatory preservative used to maintain the product over time), it may sometimes happen to find white residues at the bottom.

These residues are nothing but mucopolysaccharides that have aggregated and are therefore visible, something like pulp deposits at the bottom of a fruit juice.

The product is by no means to be thrown away! Simply shake the bottle.

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