- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Snails might be the envy of our hectic world. They’re never in a rush to go anywhere, and they produce a powerfully protective barrier to smooth out their path in life.

The good news for the beauty world is that it can benefit from snails’ natural protection, which is effective at hydrating and improving the texture of skin and diminishing the appearance of wrinkles and scars.

Snail mucin, also called snail secretion filtrate (SSF) and protexilan, was first used by ancient Greeks to heal skin. It was rediscovered when Chilean farmers who handled snails found their hands were unusually soft. Once word reached the influential Korean beauty scene, the government subsidized research and development and the demand for snail mucin in skin care exploded around the world.

Zoom into the part of the world that exports supermodels and cultivates beautiful people like nowhere else: Brazil. “Brazilians are known to have unique beauty routines and exhibit stunning natural beauty,” said Wilson Chueire, managing partner of Brazilian Skin (spelled BRZLNSKIN) a skinceutical line that uses natural resources from the Amazon rainforest for anti-aging, renovation, repair and cleansing.

As exotic (or icky) as it sounds, snail mucin contains ingredients that are common and some not so common in skin care products: proteins for nourishment, a smooth texture and luminosity; collagen and elastin to keep skin firm and plump; vitamins A, C and E to stimulate collagen synthesis and skin renewal; alpha hydroxy acid that has exfoliation properties; mucopolysaccharides that hydrate and protect the skin from external aggravators and irritants; and proteolitic enzymes, which help balance the breakdown of proteins and peptides.

That’s a lot of production from a little mullosk. Mr. Chueire assured The Washington Times in an email interview that no snails are harmed in the production of mucin. “The snail mucin cruelty-free extraction process is carried out after submitting the mullosks to mild stress conditions for a short period of time. SSF is their ‘defense’ liquid,” he explained.

One of Brazilian Skin’s most popular products using snail mucin is Bratoxin skin-tightening serum, part of the three-step Brazilian Facelift Kit along with a deep-wrinkle filler and a restorative overnight face mask. This method is intended to replace or delay invasive measures such as Botox and face-lifts quickly and naturally at only a fraction of the cost.

“When was the last time you clearly saw someone with Botox injections and thought, ‘Wow! She looks so young,’ when realistically it is more like, ‘Wow! She looks unnatural,’ or ‘Wow! She has clearly had work done,’” Mr. Chueire said.

Mr. Chueire grew up in Brazil and saw firsthand the power of natural skin care ingredients. “Brazil has the Amazon rainforest, the largest natural resource in the world with more than 10 million species within it. I grew up watching Brazilians use several extracts and botanicals only found there, and look at the results,” he said, noting a worldwide fascination with Brazilian beauty.

“Some of Brazil’s biggest exports are Brazilian models,” he said. “These are women who, from an early age, develop a methodical yet comprehensive beauty routine that keeps them looking young well into their later adulthood.”

Inspired by the effectiveness of Brazilian home remedies, Mr. Chueire launched his skin care line in 2016 using extracts and botanicals from the Amazon and the research of Dr. Andrea Godoy, a renowned dermatologist in Sao Paulo who is devoted to Amazonian and Ayurvedic medicine.

“We stick to products that have been researched in depth and have shown clinical results,” he said. “We also only use dosages suggested in clinical studies to ensure effectiveness.”

Mr. Chueire also saw a growing demand for natural alternatives to invasive skin care procedures. “These are people who look for the perfect balance of nature and science,” he said. “They strive to achieve natural results and enjoy using ethically, cruelty-free and naturally derived products.”

He emphasized that “finding the right balance of ingredients in one formula is an important part of research and development to guarantee results.” A major part of that balance in Bratoxin, along with a bounty of plant extracts, is snail mucin. Particularly beneficial for photoaged skin, SSF helps plump wrinkles, tighten skin and improve texture almost instantly, and it drastically diminishes fine lines with daily use, according to studies and testimonials.

“We use SSF in Brazilian Skin’s Bratoxin because of the growth factors (chemical messengers) within the mucin, which has been proven to significantly correct coarse periocular and fine facial rhytides,” said Mr. Chueire, using scientific terms for wrinkles.

Medical writer Anoma Ranaweera explained in a post on dermatology library DermNet NZ that growth factors promote the body’s formation of collagen and elastin for firmness and elasticity. As the body ages, it produces these growth factors in lesser amounts. “One approach to support the levels of skin rejuvenation is to regularly use skin care products with a high concentration of stable growth factors,” she said. “Daily use of skin care products containing growth factors is known to help reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and improve skin tone and texture.”

Cosmetic dermatologist Anna Guanche told New York Magazine’s The Strategist that snail mucin seals in moisture and helps active ingredients penetrate the skin. “I actually recommend it over actives such as glycolic acid or retinoids,” she said.

Mr. Chueire offered some additional advice to keep skin looking its best throughout the years. “You can never start taking care of your skin too early,” he said. “It is especially important in childhood to use tons of SPF when out in the sun and daily to protect young, undamaged skin. In your teens, it is definitely important to properly manage oily skin due to hormonal changes, which cause acne and can lead to permanent scarring or irregular skin tones. A light maintenance routine in your 20s with a daily SPF, daily cleanser and moisturizer. Start looking at anti-aging skin care for fine lines and preventive measures for the future. In your 30s, when the first signs of aging tend to appear, a fully comprehensive aging reversal routine is recommended.”

For skin care aficionados, BrazilianSkin.com is full of further information and advice, including a free download of Dr. Godoy’s book “Ageless Brazilian Beauty.”

• Cheryl Danehart can be reached at cdanehart@washingtontimes.com.

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