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.
If you're a big fan and follower of K-Beauty (Korean beauty), you've probably seen products made with snail secretion filtrate. Although it's not glamorous, snail mucin is a popular skin care ingredient in Korean cosmetics—it's commonly found in serums, essences, moisturizers, and sheet masks.
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.
5 Best Snail Mucin Products for Radiant Skin
Benton Snail Bee High Content Serum
Infused with nutrient-rich yeast and fermented snail extract, bee venom hydrates, soothes, brightens and strengthens skin while providing long-lasting hydration without leaving a greasy residue.
Bee venom increases blood circulation, which gently plumps and firms the skin. It plays an important role in improving skin fine lines and wrinkles and is used in the cosmetic industry as an anti-wrinkle agent.
A powerful blend of healing ingredients, niacinamide, green tea and tea tree extract, have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties, so it is ideal for calming irritation, redness and acne. For best results, use it with Benton Snail Bee Essence and/or Snail Bee Steam Cream.
❤️ Shop Now Benton Snail Bee Ultimate Serum
iUnik Black Snail Restore Serum
An anti-aging and repairing serum containing 70% highly nutritious black snail to promote the appearance of skin elasticity and natural cell regeneration.
Formulated with 5 black superfood extracts (black rice, black bean, black sesame, eggplant, sea tangle) to preserve skin's youthfulness with powerful antioxidant effects, while 10% Centella Asiatica leaf water helps calm and repair skin.
Cosrx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence
A lightweight yet moisturizing formula consists of 96% all-natural snail secretion filtrate that soothes skin and heals skin damage, transforming dry, depleted skin into a soft, supple complexion.
This highly concentrated essence improves overall skin radiance by targeting dullness and brightening skin while keeping a smooth, healthy texture. For best results, use it with Cosrx Snail Peptide Eye Cream.
❤️ Shop Now Cosrx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence
Tonymoly Intense Care 24K Gold Snail Hydro Gel Mask
The luxurious combination of 24K gold, snail mucus, EGF (epidermal growth factor) and ginseng extracts gives the skin a royal treatment, providing intense hydration, vitality and resilience for a beautiful, smooth complexion.
This unique facial mask also contains plant collagen and hyaluronic acid, designed to hydrate, soften, repair and give you a radiant glow.
Mizon Snail Repair Eye Cream
It is a sister product to the innovative cosmetic brand's all-in-one snail repair cream, which has sold millions across Asia thanks to its highly effective ingredients.
The product contains 80% snail secretion filtrate that helps diminish the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, eye bags, and revitalizes the delicate skin around the eyes.