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 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 slime can also be absorbed into our skin and provide those magical functions and the same benefits to us.
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 known beauty enhancers which are excellent in healing, hydrating, and skin regenerating.
The History of Snail-based Products
The use of snail mucin has a very long history. It reportedly has been first started being used as a topical treatment as far back as ancient Greece, where famous ‘father of medicine’ Hippocrates prescribed crushed snail to treat skin inflammation. When it comes to making snail mucin-based cream, it has all started from Chilean farmers who dealing with escargots for the French food market. They have noticed not only the visible improvement on their hands looked softer and smoother, but also any wounds appeared to heal faster without scarring.
Today, South Korea’s leading a new beauty trend in snail products, which have arrived into the US and European Markets. With the high growth of the global demand for snail skincare products, the mainstream beauty companies are also releasing anti-aging products that have the same skin benefits from snail slime. They have created an ingredient synthetically to mimic the effects, it's called cone snail venom. 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 collected?” or “is snail essence or cream cruelty-free?”. The answers for those vary as each manufacturer has its own methods of snail slime extraction, but these days, what’s the fact that common among them is that providing good environmental conditions for the snails. According to research, the quality of the mucin itself depends on how well they eat, 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 they’re left in a place where they can move over a bumpy surface. Snails crawl around and leave mucin in their trail naturally without other external stress. Afterward, they transfer back to their natural habitat to rest. Once the snail slime is collected, it’s pasteurized to remove all impurities and then processed to stabilize it so that can be used for cosmetic use.
What are the Benefits of Snail Mucin in Skin Care?
Think of the snail mucin as a superpower – it can be used for a variety of skin concerns from repairing skin damage and preventing signs of aging to soothing redness skin and fading acne scars. Many beauty enthusiasts have touted a snail essence or serum as an anti-aging holy grail for experiencing more youthful, clear, soft 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 your own bodies naturally produce to maintain the moisture content of your skin; however, as we age, our skin loses its ability to hold onto water so adding Hyaluronic acid to your skin routine is a great way to help mitigate water-loss and replenish moisture into your skin.
Hyaluronic acid is a moisture-binding ingredient which has its ability to hold 1000 times its weight in water, making it a key factor in retaining skin moisture. This helps diminish the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, keep skin firm and tight, leaving a plump and supple complexion.
Glycolic Acid can penetrate deepest into your skin due to their tiny molecular size and it is known to be one of the most powerful Alpha Hydroxy Acids. This acid features the benefits of AHA, remove dead skin cell, and smoothes skin texture while reducing the signs of aging such as fine lines, wrinkles. If you wish to learn more about exfoliating acids, see 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 protectant agent. Allantoin is found in a variety of plants, like comfrey, chamomile, sugar beet, and wheat sprouts. Also, it can be lab-created from uric acid and these extracts are toxic-free and just as potent as its naturally-occurring ones.
Along with cica, centalla asaiatica, and madecassoside, allantoin is one of K-beauty trend-leading ingredients in skin soothing and calming advantage. One good thing about this is it's gentle enough that can be used for all skin types including sensitive skin.
This moisturizing compound has healing and keratolytic properties. Keratolytic means that it helps in exfoliating excess skin cells and keratin. This increases the skin’s hydration, softens skin texture, and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It’s 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, please avoid combining with exfoliants like AHA, BHA, it could trigger a negative reaction or excess irritation.
Polypeptides are small compounds composed of short-chains amino acids that act as building blocks of proteins such as collagen, elastin, and keratin. In other words, collagen helps provide foundation and thickness of skin and when we start aging, collagen breaks down and small components of amino acids are formed which are tiny proteins known as peptides.
Peptides work to increase collagen production, repair damaged cells, minimize fine lines, giving your skin a more youthful appearance. This ingredient can be included in serums, masks, and moisturizers and it can be used for all skin types, including sensitive, acne-prone, and dry skin.
An antimicrobial is an agent that can prevent the growth or destroy microorganisms which include bacteria, virus, and fungi. This is particularly beneficial to those suffering from acne as one of the causes of this skin problem is an overgrowth of the p-acnes bacteria. In addition, antibacterial can aid in the wound healing process by preventing infection.
Antioxidants protect skin from damage by neutralizing free radicals and allow the skin to repair itself. They are naturally occurring vitamins and minerals, green tea, and many fresh and healthy foods. Some antioxidants also can stimulate collagen production, brighten skin tone, soothe irritation, reduce pigmentation and fine lines, and wrinkles.
10 Best Snail Mucin Skincare Products for Glowing Skin
Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence
Formulated with two potent ingredients from the Korean beauty secrets, snail secretion filtrate and bee venom to transform the look of your skin to be more hydrated, nourished, and smoother. This highly concentrated essence helps brighten skin tone, repair damaged skin, and reduce hyperpigmentation.
This nourishing essence is tested under dermatological control and it's great for all skin types including sensitive skin and troubled skin. If you're a sheet mask-lover, you will also love Benton Snail Bee High Content Mask Pack.
❤️ Shop Now for Benton Snail Bee Essence
Cosrx Advanced Snail 92 All in one Cream
A repairing cream that helps refine skin texture, improves uneven skin tone and enhances a healthy glow for a younger-looking complexion. Fortified with 92% snail mucin and marine collagen to fight signs of aging and replenish intense moisture and nourishment to the skin without oiliness. This multi-functional face cream works well on dark spots and hyperpigmentation. Suitable for all skin types.
❤️ Shop Now for 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% potent snail mucin along with highly nourishing ingredients like vitamin E, jojoba oil, and shea butter. This natural face moisturizer helps to promote the formation of collagen and elastin and protects your skin from free radical damage while restoring hydration.
Petitfee Gold & Snail Eye Patch
These hydrogel under-eye patches help revitalize tired, puffy eyes and make your skin firmer, healthier, and with a more glowing look. Gold and snail slime extract penetrate into skin rapidly to help brighten, soothe, hydrate the area under the eyes. This multi-duty eye masks can be used for all skin types for improving the appearance of eye bags, dark circles, fine lines, and dehydrated skin.
❤️ Shop Now for Petitfee Gold and Snail Under-Eye Patch
Mizon Black Snail All In One Cream
A great mixture of 90% of black snail mucus filtrate of Africa and more than 20 kinds of black plants, this moisturizer helps improve the overall skin concerns, like irregular skin tone, loosened pores, blemishes, acne scars. It also features adenosine to decrease the appearance of wrinkles by energizing the skin's surface while niacinamide aids in brightening the complexion.
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 newest addition to the K-beauty leading brand's lineup and designed to visibly brighten, de-puff the eye areas, and diminish the appearance of dark circles and fine lines. Enriched with 80% snail mucin and five types of peptides and niacinamide to boost collagen production, delivering instant hydrating and plumping effects.
❤️ Shop Now for Cosrx Snail Peptide Eye Cream
Missha Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Cream
With 70% of snail slime and botanical stem cell extract, this formula leaves your skin feeling super hydrated, rejuvenated and re-energized without feeling greasy. It also contains baobab tree extract and deep seawater to support increase skin's natural defensive power and improve the firmness of the skin by all-day-long hydration.
Elensilia Escargot Original Repair Cream
This anti-aging cream is filled with 80 percent of snail mucus ingredient which has its ability to do amazing work on damaged and dehydrated skin while promoting skin elasticity. Thanks to its skin regenerating properties, it helps improve weakened skin barriers, rough patches, and dull complexions.
TonyMoly Timeless Ferment Snail Cream
Enriched with 70% gold fermented snail mucus from snails who have been fed gold-infused green tea to maximize your benefits over time. It is formulated as an ampoule gel and emulsion cream with anti-aging properties with 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 one you may have crossed paths with on Amazon. This day and night moisturizer provides optimal hydration and restores natural vibrance to dry, dull skin. It is powered with 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.