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Snail Mucin Makes It To Makeup

At first blush, a not-particularly-traditional ingredient like snail mucin might seem like a strange one to bottle and sell in large doses. Even if it works, it’s surprising to see isolated and celebrated. But that’s how beauty consumers get to know a new ingredient on a friendly level—when it’s out in front, one-on-one, front and center. After years of familiarity to an Asian market, snail-forward skincare products like Tony Moly’s Pure Eco Snail Gel (90% snail filtrate) are finding their way stateside, with big retailers picking it up for online and real-life distribution.

Still, the snail’s gone further in Korea. Snail filtrate there is like aloe barbadensis juice or extract here—suddenly ubiquitous, often the main ingredient in any cool semi-natural liquid formula, and the go-to ingredient for lightweight moisture. The lowly snail’s come a long way in Korean skincare, and now it’s taking its next steps (or, in snail terms, more like scooches): the long journey into makeup.

Sure, there’s that new conventional wisdom that skincare and makeup are merging. But even as that line is blurred, the distinction still stands. And for an ingredient to go from skincare to makeup, it needs to shine on its own but play well with others (so it will be recognizable on the label and blendable with the other ingredients), and it has to work even in relatively small doses (you might not slather on as much foundation as you would night cream).

Snail filtrate fits snugly in those parameters. And Korean BB and CC creams have been quick to incorporate it. Skin79 Snail Nutrition BB Cream is 45% snail filtrate—the rest is tint, antioxidants, and SPF (curiously, also 45). It’s a take on the brand’s famous Super BB series, but with snail instead of the standard moisturizers.

Missha has caught on too, spinning the popularity of their Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Cream into BB gold. Their Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail BB is cruelty-free (no snails harmed, as ever), has a garden of other natural ingredients like aloe, chamomile, and licorice, and is 42% snail filtrate (I’m telling you, they don’t welch on the snail promise).

If all this seems a little snail-heavy, there’s an option with a lighter touch, and light coverage too. It’s Skin Prestige Creme D’escargot BB contains only 21% snail filtrate, and doesn’t do a whole lot of glistening or sliding—just a thin layer of color with a nice, clean finish. If you’re just dipping your toe into the snail filtrate pond, start here and work your way up. You’ll be swimming in it before you know it (we’ll be looking for it in cream blushes next).

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