The power of snail mucin was first recognized by Chilean snail farmers who noticed that their hands were visibly smoother and cuts seemed to heal quicker after handling snails. Korean cosmetic companies caught wind of this unique discovery, formulated it for skincare and people in Korea went kinda crazy over it.
These days, I recommend snail cream to people with dry skin types and those that want to reduce fine lines and redness (especially from acne scarring). Here’s why:
Snail mucin is not the oozy gooey slime that you may think it is. It’s an extract packed with nutrients such as hyaluronic acid, glycoprotein enzymes, antimicrobial and copper peptides, and proteoglycans, all ingredients commonly used in beauty products and proven to be beneficial to the skin. These ingredients have been seen to stimulate the formation of collagen and elastin (i.e. anti-aging), repair damaged skin, and restore hydration. Here is a study that was recently done on snail mucin.
Today, the mucin is collected by harmlessly agitating the snails so they excrete the thick fluid, meant to protect themselves. As odd as this sounds, humans secrete oils to protect our skin too (hi, sebum!).
One of my favorite snail products is the Missha Cell Renew Snail Cream, because it contains 70% snail extract. It also is a really, light gel texture that immediately feels cooling and absorbs easily. The cream’s fresh cucumber scent is sweet and subtle. The packaging is sturdy, and the cream comes in a pretty golden jar—although in a perfect world, this would come with a hygienic pump.
I love light, gel-textured creams because they don’t clog your pores easily.
So why’d I curate this particular snail cream? I applied the cream at night after toner (purposely without essence!). After 3 weeks of consistent use, I noticed my skin was softer, more supple and moisturized. It even helped reduce redness! At that time, I was also dealing with some redness from a bad arm wax and I applied it there too as a kind of spot treatment, just for the hell of it. It was actually surprising how quickly the redness subsided.
I’m already starting to see more people in the U.S. obsessed with snail skincare. No surprise to me, because if it’s trending in Korea today, it’s trending here tomorrow.