Is snail-based cosmetics worth all the hype? What are the benefits of snail mucin in skincare? We’ve put together a quick guide to help you find the best snail product for your skin.
If you’re familiar with Asian skincare, especially Korean and Japanese beauty products, you’re likely to have crossed paths with snail-based face care products that star in serums and sheet masks to pricy fading creams.
Applying snail excrete slime on your face might sound icky, but it has been one of the cornerstone ingredients of the Korean beauty world for years, as it's greatly praised for its anti-aging and skin repairing benefits.
We’re here to cover some useful information and tips about topical snail mucin in beauty products so that you'll be able to find the best ones for your skin type and needs.
What is snail mucin?
Snail mucin has many different names that it is called; snail secretion filtrate and excrete slime—it’s thick and slimy mucus that is naturally produced and used by snails to protect themselves against bacteria, infection, UV-rays, and drying out of their tissue.
Many of the components of the nutrients in snail mucus can also be absorbed by our skin, providing us with these magical functions and the same benefits.
Snail secretion is packed with the perfect balance of skin-beneficial nutrients such as hyaluronic acid, proteins, antioxidants, allantoin, elastic, collagen, antimicrobials, copper peptides, and glycolic acid—all well-known beauty enhancers which are excellent in healing, hydrating, and skin regenerating the skin.
The history of snail-based skincare products
The use of snail slime has a very long history. It was reportedly used as a topical treatment as far back as ancient Greece, where the famous "father of medicine" Hippocrates prescribed crushed snails to treat skin inflammation.
When it comes to making snail mucin-based creams, it all started with Chilean farmers trading escargots for the French food market.
While working, they not only noticed the visible improvement in their hands, which looked softer and smoother, but also that wounds appeared to heal faster and without scarring.
Today, South Korea is leading a new beauty trend in snail products that have arrived in the U.S. and European markets.
With the strong growth in global demand for snail care products, mainstream cosmetic companies are also launching anti-aging products that have the same benefits of snail mucus for the skin.
They have developed a synthetic ingredient (named ‘cone snail venom’) that mimics the effects of snail mucin. You can find it in Peter Thomas Roth Un-Wrinkle Fast-Acting Serum or RéVive Intensite Line Erasing Serum.
How is snail mucin harvested?
When it comes to snail-related products, there are a few frequently asked questions like "How is snail mucin extracted?" or “is snail essence or cream cruelty-free?”.
The answers to these questions vary, as each manufacturer has its own methods for extracting snail slime, but the one thing they all have in common these days is that they provide good environmental conditions for the snails.
The quality of the slime itself, according to research, depends on how well they can feed, treat and rest in a comfortable habitat.
Some cosmetic companies harvest the slime by placing the nocturnal snails over a mesh met in a darkened room for 30 minutes at a time. Or leaving them in a place where they can move around on an uneven surface. The snails will crawl around and naturally leave mucus in their trail, with no other external stress..
After that, they return to their natural habitat to rest. Once the snail mucus is collected, it is pasteurized to remove all impurities and then processed to stabilize it so it can be used for cosmetic purposes.
What are the benefits of snail slime in skin care?
Think of snail mucin as a superpower - it can be used for a variety of skin issues, from repairing skin damage and preventing signs of aging to soothing redness and fading acne scars.
Many beauty enthusiasts have touted a snail essence or serum as the holy grail against aging skin for a more youthful, clearer and softer complexion.
- Improving wound healing and tissue repair
- Reducing redness and irritation
- Fading hyperpigmentation
- Fighting off the growth of acne-causing bacteria
- Improving skin texture and even out skin tone
- Improving hydration
- Reducing the activity of free radicals
- Improving collagen and elasticity production
- Smoothing fine lines and wrinkles
What components in the snail slime benefit to your skin and how?
Hyaluronic acid is a molecule made up of sugars that the body naturally produces on its own to maintain the moisture content of your skin.
As we age, however, our skin loses its ability to hold onto water, so adding hyaluronic acid to your skincare routine is a great way to mitigate water loss and replenish moisture into your skin.
Hyaluronic acid is a moisture-binding ingredient that has the ability to bind 1000 times its weight in water, making it a key factor in maintaining skin moisture.
This helps diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, keeping skin firm and toned and leaving a plump and supple complexion.
Glycolic acid can penetrate deepest into the skin due to its tiny molecular size and is known as one of the most potent alpha hydroxy acids.
This acid features the benefits of AHA, removing dead skin cells, smoothing skin texture and reducing the signs of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles.
(If you want to learn more about exfoliating acids, check out our blog post What are the benefits of AHA BHA PHA and how do they differ?)
Allantoin is a non-irritating ingredient used in cosmetics as a skin conditioning, soothing and protective agent.
Allantoin is found in a variety of plants, including comfrey, chamomile, sugar beets and wheat sprouts. It can also be made in the lab from uric acid, and these extracts are toxin-free and just as effective as the naturally occurring ones.
Along with Cica, Centalla Asaiatica and Madecassoside, Allantoin is one of the leading ingredients in the Korean beauty trend that soothes and relaxes the skin. The great thing about this humectant agent is that it is so gentle that it can be used on all skin types, including sensitive skin.
This moisturizing compound has healing and keratolytic properties. Keratolytic means that it helps exfoliate excess skin cells and keratin. This increases the skin’s hydration, softens skin texture, and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It is best for those with dry, itchy, flaky skin with a rough texture or dull complexion.
One thing to note: Allantoin is often used in scar creams with silicone and other emollients to amplify results. However, avoid combining it with exfoliants such as AHA or BHA, as this could trigger a negative reaction or excessive irritation.
Peptides in skin care really are more than just hype and it’s true that as we begin to age, collagen breaks down and the body starts producing less collagen, leading to the wrinkles we all associate with aging.
Polypeptides are small compounds composed of short-chain amino acids that serve as the building blocks of proteins such as collagen, elastin, and keratin.
In other words, collagen forms the foundation and thickness of the skin, and small building blocks are formed from amino acids that are tiny proteins called peptides.
Peptides boost collagen production, repair damaged cells, minimize fine lines and give the skin a more youthful appearance.
This magical ingredient can be found in serums, face masks and moisturizers and can be used for all skin types, including sensitive, acne-prone and dry skin.
An antimicrobial agent can prevent the growth of or destroy microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
This is especially beneficial for those who suffer from acne, as one of the causes of this skin problem is an overgrowth of p-acnes bacteria. In addition, antibacterial agents can help the wound healing process by preventing infections.
Antioxidants protect the skin from damage by neutralizing free radicals and allowing the skin to repair itself. They include naturally occurring vitamins and minerals, green tea, and many fresh and healthy foods.
Some antioxidants can also stimulate collagen production, brighten skin tone, soothe irritation, reduce pigmentation and fine lines and wrinkles.
13 Best Snail Mucin Skincare Products for Glowing Skin
Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence
With two potent ingredients from Korean beauty secrets, snail secretion filtrate and bee venom, this skin essence helps to transform the appearance of your skin, leaving it more hydrated, nourished and smooth.
This highly concentrated essence helps to brighten skin tone, repair damaged skin and reduce hyperpigmentation.
This nourishing face care product has been tested under dermatological control and is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin and problematic skin. If you're a fan of sheet masks, you'll also love Benton Snail Bee High Content Mask Pack.
❤️ Shop Now Benton Snail Bee Essence
Cosrx Advanced Snail 92 All in one Cream
A repairing cream that helps refine skin texture, improve uneven skin tone and boost a healthy glow for a younger-looking complexion.
Fortified with 92% snail mucus and marine collagen, it fights the signs of aging and intensely replenish moisture and nourishment to the skin without leaving it greasy.
This multifunctional face cream works well against dark spots and pigmentation. Suitable for all skin types.
❤️ Shop Now Cosrx Advanced Snail 92 All-In-One Cream
Seoul Ceuticals Korean Skin Care Snail Repair Cream
This Korean snail cream is highly-reviewed on Amazon and packed with 97.5% high potency snail mucin along with highly nourishing ingredients like vitamin E, jojoba oil and shea butter.
This natural facial moisturizer promotes the formation of collagen and elastin, protects the skin from free radical damage and moisturizes the skin.
Petitfee Gold and Snail Eye Patch
These hydrogel under-eye patches help revitalize tired, puffy eyes and make skin look firmer, healthier and more radiant. Gold and snail slime extract quickly penetrate the skin to help brighten, soothe and hydrate the eye area.
This versatile eye mask can be used on all skin types to improve the appearance of eye bags, dark circles, fine lines and dehydrated skin.
❤️ Shop Now Petitfee Gold and Snail Under-Eye Patch
Benton Snail Bee Ultimate Serum
A concentrated and lightweight serum that nourishes, brightens, soothes and repairs with skin-loving ingredients—fermented snail mucin/saccharomyces, bee venom, and tea tree leaf water.
This multi-care face serum is suitable for all skin types and is especially great for those who want a more even skin tone, clear acne scars or more moisture and elasticity.
❤️ Shop Now Benton Snail Bee Ultimate Serum
Mizon Black Snail All In One Cream
A great mixture of 90% black snail mucus filtrate from Africa and more than 20 kinds of black plants, this moisturizer helps to improve the overall skin concerns, such as uneven skin tone, loosened pores, blemishes, acne scars.
Featuring adenosine reduces the appearance of wrinkles by energizing the skin surface, while niacinamide aids in brightening the complexion.
Benton Snail Bee High Content Steam Cream
Formulated with the star active ingredient, snail secretion filtrate, which hydrates the skin, improves its elasticity and repairs damaged skin. Bee venom promotes collagen production, aids in cell regeneration and soothes irritated skin.
This moisturizer uses a high-temperature steam method to ensure a safer formulation and maximize the benefits of the product. It is suitable for all skin types, especially those with sensitive skin or troubled skin.
❤️ Shop Now Benton Snail Bee Steam Cream
Cosrx Advanced Snail Peptide Eye Cream
If you like our best-selling Cosrx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence, you might want to check this product out.
This nourishing eye cream is one of the latest additions to the leading K-beauty brand's lineup and is designed to visibly brighten and decongest the eye area and reduce the appearance of dark circles and fine lines.
Enriched with 80% snail mucus and five types of peptides and niacinamide to boost collagen production and provide an instant moisturizing and plumping effect.
❤️ Shop Now for Cosrx Snail Peptide Eye Cream
Missha Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Cream
With 70% snail slime and botanical stem cell extract, this formula leaves skin feeling super hydrated, rejuvenated and re-energized without feeling greasy
It also contains Baobab tree extract and deep sea water to support skin's natural defenses and improve firmness of the skin with all-day hydration.
Benton Snail Bee Ultimate Eye Cream
This multi-solution eye cream packs a punch with anti-aging ingredients that hydrate, nourish and brighten the delicate skin around the eyes.
With snail mucus, yeast ferment, adenosine, niacinamide, 7-hyaluronic acids and two other fermented ingredients, it helps improve skin elasticity and radiance while reducing the appearance of wrinkles, dark circles and eye bags.
This slightly acidic formula is very rich in moisture and nutrients and applies smoothly without feeling sticky or greasy.
❤️ Shop Now for Benton Snail Bee Eye Cream
Elensilia Escargot Original Repair Cream
This anti-aging cream is filled with 80 percent snail mucus, which has an amazing effect on damaged and dehydrated skin, while promoting skin elasticity.
Thanks to its skin regenerating properties, it helps improve weakened skin barriers, rough patches and a dull complexion.
TonyMoly Timeless Ferment Snail Cream
Enriched with 70% gold fermented snail mucus from snails who have been fed gold-infused green tea to maximize the skin care benefits over time.
It is formulated as an ampoule gel and emulsion cream with anti-aging and restorative and nourishing features. For amplifying your skincare benefits, you can use it with TonyMoly Timeless Ferment Snail Eye Cream.
Yeouth Day / Night Cream
This is another product you may have crossed paths on Amazon. This day and night cream provides optimal hydration and restores natural vibrance to dry, dull skin
It features an excellent antioxidant-rich composition of snail extract, hyaluronic acid, green tea and peptides. This clever formula helps fight the most stubborn signs of aging, including wrinkles, crow's feet, age spots and loss of elasticity and firmness.
Need to know how long can one use Snail face serum
Interesting. I have started keeping snails and intend to go into intensive snail farming in order to produce snail slime
I am in Cameroon
I want to purchase your products