Snail Mucin Is Trending—Here's How It Can Seriously Improve Your Skin

Glowing Skin from Snail Mucin Skincare



In the world of skincare, there are a few hero ingredients that brands and consumers keep coming back to. These include hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, vitamin C, and retinol. Each one of these ingredients is highly effective when formulated correctly and offers a multitude of benefits. There's one more, though, and it's trending in a major way. For some people, it's overtaking other hero ingredients due to its hydrating, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory benefits. In fact, it strengthens and supports the skin's natural barrier so well that dryness and irritation become a thing of the past. 

We're talking about snail mucin—you know, the gel-like mucus secreted by actual snails. It might sound shocking to the uninitiated, but it's been used for decades (if not longer) in Korea. Before that, we can trace its origin in skincare back to Ancient Greece. Ahead, learn everything you need to know about this skincare ingredient.

Glowing Skin



What is snail mucin?

Jodi LoGerfo, DNP, is a nurse practitioner specializing in dermatology. She says snails produce mucin proteins in their mucous for a variety of biological functions, including microbial protection, traction, and lubrication. "Mucins are glycosylated proteins that are secreted by animals for adhesion, hydration, and lubrication, among other functions," she explains.

As we mentioned before, it's essentially the gel-like mucus secreted by a snail. You know, the stuff that makes them look and feel all slick and shiny. We know this might not sound like something you want to put on your face, but the benefits are no joke, and people have been using it for millennia. "The interest in the mucus slime trails left by snails and slugs dates back to Ancient Greece, where they used the mucus for its potential to decrease inflammation and the signs of aging," LoGerfo says. 

Bright, Healthy Skin



What are the benefits of snail mucin?

Brendan Camp, MD, is a double board-certified dermatologist at MDCS Dermatology in New York. He says snail mucin offers myriad benefits to the skin, although the most foundational one is hydration. "Snail mucin is a hydrating skincare ingredient because of its high content of hyaluronic acid," he says. "Hyaluronic acid is an effective hydrating agent because it is able to attract and retain water in the skin. Snail mucin also possesses anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties."

LoGerfo agrees, adding that it has wound-healing and anti-tumor properties, which are "probably due to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory attributes." Still, though, we don't know the extent to which snail mucin can benefit the skin. LoGerfo says it hasn't been studied much up to this point. "Its full potential remains to be seen," she adds. 

For now, we know it offers hydration, antioxidants, and an anti-inflammatory effect. As Camp puts it, "Snail mucin can improve the appearance of skin by increasing the ability of the skin to retain moisture. Improved moisture reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, improves the 'bounce' of skin, and provides a healthy, youthful appearance." There you have it. 

Snail Mucin Benefits



What skin type is best suited for snail mucin?

Snail mucin is suitable for all skin types, but LoGerfo says it would probably benefit dry skin the most. Camp agrees. "Snail mucin can be used by all skin types, though it may benefit dehydrated skin most," he says. "It pairs well with skincare ingredients that can potentially cause skin dryness, such as retinoids and alpha and beta hydroxy acids."

Both experts say it can be used every day, but as with any new skincare ingredient or product, it's a good idea to patch-test it first. "Snail mucin products can be used once or twice a day," Camp says. "It is best to reference the directions included on each individual product. While most snail mucin products are well tolerated, it is a good idea to do a test spot, especially if you have a history of sensitive skin." 

Shop the Best Snail Mucin Skincare Products

This snail mucin product is perhaps the most recognizable one. It contains 96% snail mucin to aid in skin repair, hydration, brightness, and tone. 

"To treat dark spots, blemishes, pores, and dullness, this face mask contains 95% snail mucin and cica infused with birch juice and licorice," Camp says. 

LoGerfo also recommends a Peach Slices product, but this time, it's a serum that contains 95% snail mucin concentrate to clarify congested skin and smooth texture. 

If you want a moisturizer that will deeply hydrate and plump your skin, this is it. It's formulated with snail mucin filtrate as well as plant extracts like centella asiatica, raspberry extract, AHAs, and mugwort extract. 

These snail mucin–infused eye patches will keep the eye area soft, smooth, hydrated, and plump. In other words, we'll be using these to fend off fine lines and wrinkles. 

Thanks to snail mucin filtrate, real 24-karat gold, and a blend of botanical extracts, this gel moisturizer will deeply hydrate the skin and boost its glow. 

This cream contains coenzyme NAD+, which is responsible for energy and DNA repair in our cells, as well as snail mucin, probiotics, and chamomile. 

These snail mucin–infused sheet masks are perfect for packing in your carry-on while traveling or just getting a quick hit of hydration at home. 

This handy face mist is ultra-hydrating thanks to its snail mucin content. It also has botanical extracts and niacinamide for extra skin-soothing ability. 

A snail mucin toner deeply hydrates the skin without feeling heavy or contributing to clogged pores. In fact, this one prevents clogged pores from ever forming in the first place. 

This serum will hydrate and plump even acne- and irritation-prone skin thanks to a combination of snail mucin, hyaluronic acid, and centella asiatica. 

Snail mucin can also benefit dry, chapped lips. This supercharged lip balm hydrates the lips while protecting them with SPF 13.