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WATCH: One Man Bravely Tries the Hot-in-Japan Snail Facial

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Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

It was a phenomenon so icky yet fascinating that the entire news world sat up in attention. We're referring to the snail facial, a procedure that sounds exactly like what it is: snails crawling around and depositing their slime on your face. The beauty industry has never shied away from unconventional ingredients and treatments—remember the bird poop facial and the fish pedicure?—but something about the snail facial was particularly compelling (in a horrifying way).

Born in Japan, the treatment seeks to capitalize on the hyaluronic acid, elastin and other compounds contained in snail mucus. This mixture of buzzed-about skin-improvers has proved so alluring for beauty companies that they're actually farming and harvesting snail secretions for new products. But does it work? How does it feel? Our intrepid reporter Joshua David Stein set out to uncover the truth—as only he can—in the video, above.
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