Education, Trends, Wellness / Self-Care

What is snail mucin and why is it good for your Skin?

Sounds gross, but has many benefits.

words by: Natasha Marsh
Apr 9, 2022

Whether it’s an ingredient, TikTok hack, or urgent ritual you need to add to your routine, there is always something weird trending in skin care. The latest trend is snail mucin, aka snail secretion filtrate. The substance that’s excreted from snails is used in skincare formulas of top moisturizers, serums, and creams all over social media.


Yes, it’s a popular K-beauty skin ingredient, but should you try it? What exactly is it? And does it work? If you want to know more about snail mucin before trying yet another TikTok trend, keep reading. Below is a break down for all you need to know.


What is snail mucin?

Similar to slugging, another popular K-beauty skincare trend that involves covering your face with a thin layer of occlusive moisturize to repair the skin barrier, snail mucin incorporates actual snails. Essentially, it’s a think fluid with slimy texture that comes out of a snail when it is agitated.


Similar to how a skunk releases a grotesque odor when it feels like it might be harmed, snails release this fluid (snail mucin) as a means to protect itself. We must note that because it comes from snails, this ingredient is not vegan. If you are looking for vegan-friendly alternative, you can try ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, sodium hyaluronate, glycoproteins, or hydrolyzed glycosaminoglycans for similar effects.


What are the benefits of snail mucin for skin?

This brings us to the benefits. Snail mucin is still new on the research scene, with few scientific studies being done on it. However, it does have elements that are known to benefit the skin. For example it has zinc, manganese, allantoin, hyaluronic acid, and antioxidants in it. These things of course, are all known to hydrate, plump, soothe, and build collagen for the skin.


Snail mucin in skincare products are used for anti-aging purposes like improving wrinkles, fine lines, and skin texture, as well as hydrating moisture-lacking skin, and inflammation. It’s a small, but mighty ingredient.


You might be leaping to invest, and you wouldn’t be wrong, but if having a ton of data to back up anecdotal evidence is important to you, you won’t find that with snail mucin, as it’s fairly new on the scene. Sure, TikTok might convince you with the insane before-and-after photos, testimonials, and claims, but with the limited research, you might want to do your own investigation before attempted use.


Is snail mucin different from other ingredients?

As mentioned before, there are loads of other ingredients, like hyaluronic acid, that are good alternatives if you don’t want to use it. Known to bind moisture, hydrate, and plump the skin, hyaluronic acid will do the exact same things, and has been studied at great length for credible claims.


However, if you’d like to invest in snail mucin out of curiosity or testimonials, you will find that it pairs well with most skincare products. You can layer it, and it actually plays nicely with Vitamin C, retinoids and other actives. Like always, patch test it before fully committing.


And if you’re wondering, here’s a guide to whether or not you can use Vitamin C and retinol together.


Photo via COSRX