I’ve Been Slimed

By Leigh Anne Jasheway
NABBW’s Boomer Humor Expert

According to a recent episode of The Doctors, it is possible to pay hundreds of dollars at a spa for a snail facial. That’s right, a snail facial, during which a white-coated technician places a few of the garden gastropods on your face where they slime their way from chin to cheekbone.

Can you say, “Ick”? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those “easily freaked out by mollusks” type of women. In fact, I have a pretty good relationship with both snails and slugs. I have to. I live in the Pacific Northwest; they were here first and aren’t planning to move anywhere soon. I sometimes enjoy getting up early in the morning and attempting to read slime heiroglyphics on my patio…”For a good time, call 55…” Oops, I guess they ran out of slime. I’ll check in tomorrow.

But I don’t want them crawling on my face. We all have to have our boundaries and apparently that’s where I draw the line. I also won’t eat them, but that’s not because they’re icky, it’s because I’m a vegetarian. And yes, that does mean I have to fight them for the produce in my back yard every summer, but I find if I blare a little talk radio for an hour (during which I go far, far away), most of them scamper away from the garden until the next morning.

Besides, I have my own natural anti-aging facial regimen: I smear organic peanut butter on my face and go outside and let the squirrels lick it off. It works wonders – primarily because when you’re walking around with peanut butter and squirrels on your face no one can see your crows’ feet.

Apparently snail slime is filled with things that are good for aging skin. These include collagen, elastin, and glycolic acid. You may recognize these words from the label on the fancy schmancy face cream you have in the medicine cabinet. Well, you would if you’d put on your reading classes.

The good news is that now you don’t have to let the little critters tickle your temples in order to get the benefits because you can buy a cream that is 80% snail slime! As an animal rights activist, I’m hoping they harvest the slime in humane ways, but for the life of me I can’t think of what those might be. Do they train snails to only slime in certain parts of a laboratory like one might train a dog to do his business only in certain parts of the yard? (I say one might because I’ve never been able to train any of my dogs to do that. They consider the entire yard to be theirs. Of course, they’ve also trained me to get up at 5 a.m. every morning to feed them breakfast, so I may not be a good case study.)

The snail cream (who would have thought that would be a good marketing angle?) does not use your average everyday garden snail. The type I have thousands of, including those that were in my neighbor’s yard until she tossed them over the fence yesterday. No, they only use Chilean snails. According to some of the online information for Elicina, the cream in question, “Chile started farming the Chilean earth snail (Helix Aspersa Muller snail) for the French export market [and workers] noticed how their wounds would heal quickly, older scars were diminished and how soft their hands were after farming snails all day.”

How does one farm snails? Are miniature herding dogs used?

The info goes on to say that the originators of this cream, the Bascuñán family, “has patented the process of milking the Chilean earth snail of its secretion, so no snails are harmed during the process; the snails are a renewable natural resource.”

I feel much better now. I don’t believe any creature should be injured for human vanity and am happy the snail cream makers feel the same way. Nonetheless, I won’t be buying the cream. A 1.3 oz. jar is $25.00. I have a coupon for 15 oz. of peanut butter for $1.25 and my dogs have treed another squirrel, so I’m good to go.

Leigh Anne Jasheway, M.P.H. is a stress management and humor expert who helps women and men manage stress, embrace change, and become healthier by learning to lighten up. She speaks at 50-60 conferences and workshops every year and has been a national Speaking of Women’s Health and Healthy Woman keynoter. She’s a member of the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor (AATH). Learn more about her at her website. Leigh Anne’s new book,Confessions of a Semi-Natural Woman (a collection of 99 of her funniest humor columns from the past ten’ish years – including the one that won the Erma Bombeck Humor Writing Competition – is now available at www.accidentalcomic.com) She also has  a new blog. Of if she says,  If you go there and like what you see, you can subscribe by clicking the subscribe button (who knew?)”

Leigh Anne Jasheway, M.P.H. is a stress management and humor expert who helps women and men manage stress, embrace change, and become healthier by learning to lighten up. She speaks at 50-60 conferences and workshops every year and has been a national Speaking of Women's Health and Healthy Woman keynoter. She's a member of the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor (AATH)