Northern Ireland

Monaghan man using slime from one million snails for new beauty products

Kieran Corley launched Bragan Skincare, which is using snail slime in its products
Kieran Corley launched Bragan Skincare, which is using snail slime in its products Kieran Corley launched Bragan Skincare, which is using snail slime in its products

A Co Monaghan man is changing the face of Irish skincare with a new beauty range based on slime from snails.

Kieran Corley is tapping into the new worldwide beauty trend by using the slime from the estimated one million snails on his farm.

Korean beauty trends have recently put snails on the skincare map, with celebrities such as actresses Jennifer Anniston, Katie Holmes, and Jessica Alba, among those who are fans.

The snail slime, or mucin, is the lubricating mucus secreted by a snail as it moves, which hydrates the mollusc's sensitive skin and protects it from damage, inflammation and infection.

Its inclusion in skincare production has reportedly had promising results in the complexion of users skin, as well as in the treatment of psoriasis, eczema and acne and for restless leg syndrome and arthritis.

Now Mr Corley's company, Bragan Skincare, is aiming to spread the benefits of this special ingredient across Ireland.

“Snails produce mucin for three reasons – movement, adhesion, and healing," said Mr Corley.

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“The function of movement is of interest to us because part of the role of mucin is to create an antibacterial layer between the snail and the ground.

“Additionally, a snail will produce mucin if it is damaged in any way, and its healing properties make it a great addition to a skincare routine.

"An average mature snail will weigh 12 grams and this means that a snail will produce about one gram of mucin per year.

"It's slower work but the quality of the product and the quality of life for the snails are much better.

"I'm a huge David Attenborough fanatic and have always been interested in animal husbandry and animal welfare.

“I'm close to nature and I feel I grow closer with it as I grow older, so I try to care of the snails in the best way that I can.”

Bragan Skincare is named after the nearby Bragan mountain
Bragan Skincare is named after the nearby Bragan mountain Bragan Skincare is named after the nearby Bragan mountain

Mr Corley said he became interested in the idea of farming snails for escargot after hearing an interview about the topic on the radio. 

He had just sold his heating controls company in 2018 and was looking for a new project.

He abandoned the notion of eating the snails and began developing what would later become Bragan Skincare, which is named after the nearby Bragan mountain.

Mr Corley approached a number of pharmaceutical companies in Cork, but found he was priced out of the market.

"They agreed to work with me, but said that I would need to match their €5 million, which I simply could not afford," he said.

"I spent a long time searching but eventually teamed up with an experienced Italian company and we brought my EU registered and certified products to market for the first time in July 2022.

“I’m overwhelmed by the reception so far and people have even started to refer to me as ‘the snail man’, which I take as a great compliment."

Next week, he will be exhibiting his products at Gifted, the Contemporary Craft and Design Fair at the RDS in Dublin.

“We are exhibiting at Gifted for the first time this year, and I’m very excited to see how the 35,000 visitors react to the unusual active ingredient in our products," he added.