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We’ve experienced innumerable skincare fads in the past several years. From extravagant 7-step routines to skincare fasting, skin cycling, and various gadgets, it can be hard to keep up with the latest trends.
Along with various products and regimens, there’s always a new “better” skincare ingredient that promises to do more than the last. Some ingredients fade away as quickly as they appear (much like dark spots with a good vitamin C serum). Others have more staying power—hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, and retinol probably aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
But the newest “fad” actually has its origins in Ancient Greece. And now, in 2022, snail mucin has made a resurgence as a skincare ingredient. And yes, it’s exactly what you’re thinking.
What Is Snail Mucin?
Snail mucin is an ingredient that re-entered the mainstream in Korean skincare in the early 2000s. But way, way before that, ancient Greeks knew of the healing and moisturizing properties of snail slime and used it to reduce inflammation. Yup, that trail of slime excreted by those cute little garden dwellers can now be found in toners, serums, and moisturizers.
If you’re a little weirded out, you’re not alone. It’s not an ingredient that sounds very appealing, but you can add it to a growing list of unusual skincare—bird poop, algae, and ambergris, anyone? Regardless of its gross-out factor, snail mucin has been hyped up for good reason.
The Skin Benefits Of Snail Mucin
We love a product that is a multi-tasker, which is why we love the many skin benefits of snail mucin. As the ancient Greeks discovered, the moisturizing and healing properties of snail mucin makes it great for dry, irritated skin.
What’s more, snail mucin has been found to be an effective anti-aging ingredient. Research has shown that not only does snail mucin keep skin hydrated and glowing by preventing water loss, but it can also aid in collagen restoration.
One 2015 study found that participants who used a face cream containing 80% snail mucin showed “statistically significant differences between baseline and 4 weeks after applying the cream in terms of wrinkles, skin elasticity, dermal density, and skin tightening.”
If you’re curious to give this ancient healing potion a try, check out some of our favorite picks.
If you’re looking to incorporate snail mucin into your routine, the COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence is a great place to start for any skin type. Use this serum on damp skin after cleansing and toning (be sure to finish with a moisturizer) to target signs of aging like wrinkles, dryness, and dehydrated skin.
Reviews claim that it’s safe for sensitive skin, and one reviewer called it “literal magic.” This serum has gone viral on TikTok and even my editor vouches for its ability to fade dark spots.
The COSRX Advanced Snail Radiance Dual Essence contains 74.3% snail mucin and 5% niacinamide. Simply blend these two powerhouse essences together and press them onto the skin to address issues like dullness, dryness, and uneven skin texture.
As we’ve mentioned, snail mucin is ultra-hydrating, which makes it a no-brainer for those with dry skin. The Peach Slices Snail Rescue All-in-One Moisturizer is an ultra-lightweight moisturizer that contains 95% snail mucin. Additional ingredients include other Korean skincare favorites: cica, which calms redness and irritation, and birch juice, which brightens and evens out skin tone.
Great for acne-prone skin, this Peach Slices Snail Rescue Blemish Busting Toner brightens dark spots, deeply hydrates, and repairs the skin. Formulated with hyaluronic acid and cica along with snail mucin, this toner will have your skin looking bright and clear in no time.