The world of skincare is filled with bizarre trends and buzzwords that promise the skin of your dreams through ingredients like placenta or your own menstrual blood. So it wasn’t a surprise when nobody batted an eyelid at snail slime, or snail mucin, gaining popularity as one of the most effective and powerful skincare ingredients of all.
In case you haven’t stumbled upon the million Instagram Reels with beauty experts hailing snail mucin as the messiah of skincare, you should know that the icky substance snails secrete to protect their skins can actually do wonders for your skin.
Intrigued? We were too. That’s why we decided to investigate further and see if it’s really all that.
Everything to know about snail mucin in skincare
What is snail mucin?
As we mentioned before, snail mucin is the slimy secretion that snails naturally produce to protect their skin. Like most things good in skincare and beauty, the ingredients powers were first identified by the Korean beauty world.
“Snail Mucin was discovered as a beneficial extract in skin care decades ago,” says Mumbai-based dermatologist and founder of Ra Skin & Aesthetics Dr Rashmi Shetty, “However, it has been re-gaining popularity due to its increased use in Korean beauty trends. Snail mucin is essentially the snail’s secretion, which is commonly referred to as Snail Secretion Filtrate (SSF) in most skincare products. It comprises a mix of proteins, enzymes, hyaluronic acid, glycolic acid, peptides, and more.”
What are the benefits of using snail mucin?
Snail mucin is a powerhouse of skincare benefits, like hydration, keeping the skin barrier intact, and collagen production.
“Additionally, it also stimulates collagen production, thus slowing down the ageing process,” says Dr Shetty, “This can be attributed to the glycolic acid found in its composition. Being rich in peptides, snail mucin also enhances the skin’s ability to repair and regenerate.”
Not only this, but snail mucin also has anti-bacterial properties. “It can aid in treating acne & appearance of scarring. Snail mucin also contains enzymes which gently exfoliate the skin, and eliminate dead skin cells, thus revealing radiant & glowing skin.”
Who should use snail mucin for skincare?
While snail mucin can be used for all skin types, it’s especially beneficial for people with dry skin. However, Dr Shetty cautions, you should do a patch test or consult a dermatologist before including it in your everyday routine.
When should you use snail mucin?
According to the dermatologist, the reparative nature of snail mucin means that it would work best at night. But it truly depends on your skincare goal. “If you are using it as an anti-ageing ingredient, then a serum, twice a day, would be more appropriate as it allows deeper and faster penetration into the skin.”
How should you use snail mucin in your skincare routine?
“The right way to use snail mucin depends on the result you hope to achieve or the concern you are looking to treat,” says Dr Shetty, “It is used as an ingredient in serums & creams and often paired with antioxidants such as Vitamin C, retinol & other moisturizing ingredients.” One thing to remember is that snail mucin works better if applied to damp skin, as opposed to directly putting it on dry skin.
Dr Shetty also asserts the importance of know the authenticity of the snail mucin present in your skincare product. “The minute a particular ingredient or product starts trending, every company jumps on the bandwagon trying to formulate it. However, this is an ingredient that is not easy to acquire. Therefore, the authenticity/source of the ingredient needs to be ensured.”