In recent years, the popularity of snail mucin in skincare products has grown dramatically. Snail slime in skincare? Yes! You may be wondering what exactly is snail mucin, how it is used, and why anyone would even consider applying it to their skin.
Today, in addition to determining what snail mucin is, we’ll look at how it is produced, why it is so popular, and discuss 12 of the best snail mucin skincare products on the market.
What is Snail Mucin?
Known by more than one name, snail mucin is also called snail secretion filtrate and the somewhat less appealing snail slime. As the name snail secretion filtrate implies, snail mucin is the thick secretion, or mucus, of a snail. This slimy secretion is produced by snails when they become stressed or agitated.
Where the magic happens is in the ingredients in snail mucin. Snail mucus is rich in substances that are beneficial to the skin. Some of these compounds include:
- HYALURONIC ACID: An all-star hydrator that has the capacity to retain large amounts of water, thereby plumping the skin and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Provides a smoother texture to the skin and increases moisture.
- COPPER PEPTIDES: Contains antioxidant properties to reduce inflammation, promote cell turnover, and support collagen and elastin production. Copper peptides can even help with acne by balancing bacteria levels.
- GLYCOPROTEINS: Molecules of proteins attached to carbohydrates that help support collagen formation, hydrate and strengthen the skin barrier.
- GLYCOLIC ACID: An alpha hydroxy acid that deeply exfoliates dead skin cells and helps to unclog pores, revealing smoother, skin with a more even skin tone and better clarity.
What Are the Benefits of Snail Mucin?
Snail mucin is known for its reparative properties, its antimicrobial properties, its ability to hydrate the skin and help active ingredients penetrate better. It also supports wound healing and can help to reduce inflammation and hyperpigmentation. This can benefit those with acne and acne scars.
It also has anti-aging benefits. It contains antioxidant enzymes in the form of superoxide dismutase and glutathione s-transferase. Antioxidants benefit the skin by protecting it from environmental aggressors, including free radical damage from UV rays. Snail mucin also supports collagen production in the skin.
This 14-week study demonstrated that snail mucin helped to improve texture and fine lines in patients with photodamage.
Snail Mucin in Skincare Products
In recent years, snail mucin has become a very popular ingredient in skincare products. Snail mucin’s introduction to skincare dates back to the 1980s. Snail breeders from Chile noticed that their hands were particularly soft after handling the snails. This led to the production of a popular snail cream.
Korean skincare and K-beauty (Korean beauty) brands, known for their innovative use of ingredients in skincare, have incorporated snail mucin into many of their products. Thanks to its documented benefits and effectiveness, snail mucin in skincare products have started to branch out to the rest of the skincare industry.
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The Best Snail Mucin Skincare Products
Whether you are looking for the best snail mucin serum or the best snail mucin cream, this list of the 12 best snail mucin products has your skincare routine covered from start to finish:
1. Mizon Snail Repairing Foam Cleanser
Mizon Snail Repairing Foam Cleanser cleanses skin with a rich lather and snail secretion filtrate, Camellia sinensis leaf (green tea) extract, and additional plant extracts to calm and soothe the skin with their anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial benefits.
This foaming snail mucin cleanser easily removes dirt, makeup, excess sebum, and dead skin cells leaving skin feeling clean, soft, and smooth.
The cleanser is concentrated, so you only need a small amount for your entire face. It cleans your face without leaving it tight or stripped. It also helps to soothe and calm acne-prone skin.
See my post on the best Korean foam cleansers for more effective Korean cleansers.
2. Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence
Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence acts as an all-in-one product for skin issues. This essence is chock full of good for your skin ingredients. Snail secretion filtrate hydrates, helps improve skin elasticity, and prevents skin damage.
This formula also contains soothing and anti-aging ingredients. Melittin and apamine, ingredients found in bee venom, protect and soothe the skin. Niacinamide, a form of vitamin B3, is a multi-benefit ingredient that brightens, balances oil production to help minimize blemishes, and has anti-aging benefits. Aloe barbadensis leaf juice calms and moisturizes the skin.
This fragrance-free essence is formulated with a pH similar to that of healthy skin. This essence is lightweight and sinks into the skin quickly. It has a gel-like texture that leaves no stickiness or greasiness. For all-in-one performance, layer this essence 2 to 3 times for supercharged moisture.
This essence is ideal for wrinkles, dullness, and acne-prone skin.
NOTE: Benton describes itself as the original “clean beauty” brand since they have excluded harmful ingredients since 2011, and their products are formulated with naturally derived ingredients and Ecocert preservatives.
What is An Essence?
An essence is a skincare product similar to a serum that contains active ingredients to help your other skincare products work better. Traditionally, essences are less concentrated and often thinner in consistency than serums. Depending on the formula, essences may have unique benefits, including brightening, hydrating or anti-aging.
NOTE: If you are wondering what step of your skincare routine should include an essence, it should be based on the thickness of the product. The general rule is to apply skincare products from thinnest to thickest consistency.
3. COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence
COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence is formulated with 96% snail secretion filtrate, hydrating sodium hyaluronate (the salt form of hyaluronic acid), and arginine, an amino acid that has antioxidant properties and supports skin elasticity.
The essence targets dullness and irritated, sensitive, and post-breakout skin with snail secretion filtrate’s brightening, hydrating and anti-inflammatory properties.
This Korean essence has the texture of a serum that sinks in quickly and provides soothing hydration and repair and is especially helpful when the skin is dry, red, and irritated. It can even help with discoloration and acne scars. It noticeably hydrates without leaving skin feeling sticky or oily.
Formulated at a pH of 6.5-7.5, this essence is ideal for all skin types, especially dehydrated and acne-prone skin.
This is my pick for best snail essence and best snail serum, as it is an essence that behaves like a serum and is so soothing and reparative.
Related Post: The 12 Best Korean Cleansing Balms and Oils
4. iUNIK Black Snail Restore Serum
iUNIK Black Snail Restore Serum contains 70% black snail secretion filtrate to help skin stay hydrated. Black snails can hibernate for up to 6 months without drying out, so snail secretion filtrate from this type of snail has excellent restorative and reparative benefits.
This serum also contains extracts from 5 black natural foods, including black beans, black rice, black sesame, kelp, and eggplant. These foods contain black anthocyanins with antioxidant benefits to help reduce the signs of aging.
The serum is formulated with Centella asiatica extract to soothe and regenerate skin. It also helps to prevent the formation of acne scars while fading hyperpigmentation. Fermentation-produced bio-polymers help to repair damaged skin and keep crepey skin moisturized while preventing transepidermal water loss.
This serum leaves your skin soft and supple without clogging your pores, making it ideal for combination/oily skin types.
Related Post: iUNIK Centella Calming Gel Cream Review
5. Mizon Snail Repair Intensive Ampoule
Mizon Snail Repair Intensive Ampoule contains over 80% snail secretion filtrate. This is a thick and elastic formula, thanks to the concentration of snail mucin. It is enriched with hyaluronic acid and cacao tree extract to hydrate, improve skin elasticity and reduce redness and inflammation.
According to some, this formula can help reduce the appearance of acne and acne scars. The ampoule contains no artificial coloring, fragrance or parabens.
What is an Ampoule?
An ampoule is an intensive serum that contains higher concentrations of active ingredients. Ampoules are often used as boosters to address a specific issue. You can use them on their own or in addition to serums and essences.
6. COSRX Advanced Snail 92 All in One Cream
COSRX Advanced Snail 92 All in One Cream contains 92% snail mucin and hyaluronic acid to support a healthy skin barrier and skin elasticity while improving hydration levels. It helps to soften skin and reduce redness. It has a rich, slightly gooey texture that feels rich and soothing. It works to plump the skin and aid in healing.
The formula is that of a gel-cream, and it has a very high concentration of snail secretion filtrate. This Korean snail cream is formulated at a pH of 5.5-6.5. It takes some time to absorb, yet it leaves your skin moisturized without feeling sticky.
While it is suitable for all skin types, this snail cream is especially good for dry skin since it is thick and rich (yet still a bit slimy).
This is my pick best best Korean snail cream. For more on this Korean moisturizer, see my complete review.
TIP: You can double the power of snail mucin by using COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence then applying COSRX Advanced Snail 92 All in One Cream.
7. Mizon All In One Snail Repair Cream
Mizon All In One Snail Repair Cream contains a whopping 92% snail secretion filtrate in a super lightweight gel-cream formula. The non-sticky cream is formulated to even out skin tone, reduce the appearance of fine lines and minimize the look of acne scars.
This cream also contains several plant extracts such as Centella asiatica extract for soothing and repair, green tea extract for its antioxidant benefits, purslane extract to protect the skin, raspberry extract to protect from moisture loss, and a variety of peptides for their healing, renewal and anti-aging benefits. Sodium hyaluronate hydrates while glycerin soothes and moisturizes.
Due to the lightweight formula and matte finish that this cream provides, it is an excellent choice for oily skin types, acne-prone skin, and acne scars.
Related Post: The Best Korean Moisturizers for Oily Skin
8. iUNIK Black Snail Restore Cream
iUNIK Black Snail Restore Cream is formulated with 58% black snail extract along with Centella asiatica leaf water and extract to heal, calm, and soothe the skin.
Snail secretion filtrate (snail mucin/snail slime) works to reduce skin fatigue while smoothing rough skin texture and improve skin elasticity for improved firmness. Centella asiatica offers reparative benefits for the skin as it soothes and calms while delivering antioxidant benefits.
Licorice root extact brightens the skin and reduce the look of hyperpigmentation and dark spots while adenosine offers anti-inflammatory and skin barrier repair benefits. Arginine is an amino acid and natural moisturizing factor (NMF) that is a building block of skin-firming collagen.
Sodium hyaluronate (the salt form of hyaluronic acid) hydrates while shea butter, jojoba oil and camellia oil moisturize the skin.
This gentle Korean moisturizer hydrates dry, flaky skin as it heal and soothe skin irritation. The fragrance-free cream is ideal for damaged and sensitive skin in need of repair.
Related Post: The Best Korean Moisturizers for Dry Skin
9. Mizon Snail Repair Intensive Toner
Mizon Snail Repair Intensive Toner contains 30% snail mucin filtrate to hydrate, repair, and soothe your skin. This toner is not the typical watery consistency but rather a lightweight clear gel formula.
It also contains soothing glycerin, anti-inflammatory adenosine, and healing panthenol, plus a host of plant extracts. Centella asiatica and purslane extracts offer antioxidant benefits, while willow bark extract has astringent and antiseptic properties and helps to minimize acne and breakouts.
This toner forms a light film on the skin that helps balance oil and moisture in the outer layers of skin without any stickiness. It’s the ideal prep step prior to a snail mucin serum or cream.
Related Post: The Best Korean Toners for All Skin Types
10. COSRX Advanced Snail Peptide Eye Cream
Advanced Snail Peptide Eye Cream contains 72% snail secretion filtrate to hydrate, brighten and reduce puffiness around the eye area while supporting a healthy skin barrier.
This lightweight eye cream also contains niacinamide for additional brightness to help reduce the appearance of dark circles and a five-peptide blend to reduce the appearance of fine lines.
This eye cream is ideal for those in their 20’s or 30’s who are looking for a hydrating and moisturizing eye cream that doesn’t feel heavy or greasy.
Related Post: COSRX Propolis Light Ampoule Review
11. Mizon Black Snail All in One Cream
Mizon Black Snail All in One Cream is formulated with 90% black snail mucin. Black snails are found in Africa, where they survive throughout droughts, so it is believed that they have improved wound-healing ability.
But that’s not all. This cream is jam-packed with active ingredients, including 27 plant extracts (such as garlic, brown sugar, cocoa, and grapefruit), niacinamide, adenosine, Centella asiatica extract, anti-aging peptides, glycerin, and shea butter. With this many ingredients, it is important to note that this may not be the best choice for those with sensitive skin.
This cream has a thicker and richer texture than Mizon’s original All In One Snail Repair Cream. This cream moisturizes and repairs the skin while brightening and helping to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
NOTE: This black snail cream is formulated for those with dry skin and people in their 30s to 50s, whereas Mizon All In One Snail Repair Cream is formulated for those in their 20s to 30s.
12. Skederm Snail Jelly Face Mask Sheet
Skederm Snail Jelly Face Mask Sheet is formulated with 5,000 ppm (parts per million) of snail secretion filtrate. This pack of 10 snail mucin sheet masks is formulated to hydrate and moisturize dry and dull skin.
Each snail jelly mask sheet is covered in an essence snail secretion filtrate, sodium hyaluronate, hydrolyzed collagen, and over 15 plant extracts (including black sesame, licorice, rosemary, and Centella Asiatica).
These masks are drenched in somewhat slimy essence and leave your skin soft, dewy, and bright. The masks lock in hydration, and you can massage any remaining essence into the skin after removing the sheet mask. Excellent for rejuvenating tired and dull skin.
BONUS: COSRX All About Snail Kit
If you are looking for an entire snail mucin skincare routine, Cosrx has you covered with their 4-step COSRX All About Snail Kit. This kit of mini-sized Cosrx snail mucin products addresses moisture loss while improving elasticity with snail secretion filtrate, hyaluronic acid, and niacinamide. Perfect for those with dry skin and pigmentation issues.
This kit includes:
- Advanced Snail Mucin Gel Cleanser: Formulated with 10,000ppm snail secretion filtrate, this gentle foaming cleanser protects the skin barrier without stripping the skin.
- Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence: This high concentration of snail mucin maximizes elasticity and helps to repair the skin.
- Advanced Snail Peptide Eye Cream: Formulated with 72% snail secretion filtrate and 5 peptides to reduce the look of dark circles, wrinkles, and fine lines.
- Advanced Snail 92 All In One Cream: Formulated with 92% snail secretion filtrate to soothe, repair, and moisturize dry and sensitive skin.
How is Snail Mucin Collected and Is Snail Mucin Cruelty-Free?
You may be wondering how snail mucin is collected and if snail mucin is cruelty-free.
When it comes to snail mucin in skincare, cosmetic manufacturing practices vary, but for companies like COSRX, snails involved in producing mucin for their products are allowed to traverse a heated mesh net in a darkened room for approximately 30 minutes. Mucin is left in their wake without applying external stress and without harming the snails.
Keeping the snails comfortable and rested yields the best quality of mucin production. The secretions are then filtered and pasteurized to be added as an ingredient to skincare products.
Final Thoughts On The Best Snail Mucin Products
Incorporating snail mucin and snail skincare products into your skincare routine can help with a wide range of skin care concerns, from dry skin, a weakened skin barrier, and fine lines and wrinkles, to hyperpigmentation, acne, and more.
Try a snail mucin cleanser, essence, serum, mask, or cream to address a specific skincare issue, or use a complete snail mucin routine to treat your skin with the restorative benefits of this all-star ingredient.
Luckily, snail mucin products are readily available online at major retailers like Amazon, Sephora, Ulta, and more. Our favorite snail mucin product? COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence for its hydrating, repairing, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Thanks for reading, and here’s to your good skin health!
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