Guide 101: Snail Mucin – Benefits, Side Effects and Usage

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It feels like every other day, we wake up to some “it” skincare ingredient that is a game-changer and promises to deliver the skin of our dreams. One such ingredient that is not new to the beauty landscape but perhaps the Western beauty space: snail mucin

The market is flooded with products that incorporate snail mucin, each claiming to be better than the other; it gets really tough to figure out what the deal is. And thanks to beauty bloggers, the #snailmucin has billions of views on TikTok, and the buzz around it is not going down anytime soon. 

So we braced ourselves and dived deeper into what this slimy mucus had to offer, bringing you the best of the best so that you can make an informed decision about whether this is going to be the “it” skincare ingredient for you or not. 

Below is everything in detail that you need to know about the snail mucin. 

History of Snail Mucin

While the roots of snail-sliming your skin can be traced back to the 400 BC era of Hippocrates, aka the “Father of Medicine, “who recommended using crushed snails for dermatological issues, says Dr. Zion Ko Lamm, a board-certified internal medicine physician and an expert on K-beauty skincare on social media to CNN, the practice of slathering your skin with the snail’s mucus was also popular in Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome for the hydration purposes, later in South Korea and now around the world. 

Thanks to technological advancements, snails no longer need to be crushed to provide humans with their secretion because their mucin is extracted with the utmost care when they’re under stress. As per K-beauty brand COSRX’s research and development team: “Snails are placed over a mesh net in a dark and quiet room. As nocturnal creatures, this provides them with a comfortable space to roam freely about. After about an hour, the snails are transferred back to their homes while the mucin is collected and processed for use”. The net collects the mucin while these snails freely creep around and are later retrieved for use in products. 

While there are extraction processes that could harm snails, a wise approach is to look for the proof of cruelty-free label on the cosmetics or skincare products you purchase. So anyone who was contemplating dropping the idea because of guilt doesn’t have to do it anymore. You can use the mucin, slather it on your face, and get one step closer to the complexion of your dreams. 

Science Behind Snail Mucin

Snail mucin, also known as snail secretion filtrate (SSF), is the lubrication substance secreted by snails. These slimy creatures secrete different mucins for different purposes. The mucin from the snail’s back provides them with a solid footing so they can travel smoothly without slipping, even climbing vertically without falling down. The mucus from the back is good for us and them, as it is rich in hydration and has antimicrobial properties that help ward off the infections and germs. 

On a chemical level, snail mucin is basically a complex mix of organic compounds that includes the following:

Glycoproteins: A type of natural protein, such as collagen and elastin, that help stimulate collagen and elastin production, which are necessary for skin firmness and elasticity.

Allantoin: It is a soothing and anti-inflammatory organic compound that moisturizes the skin, calms irritation, soothes redness and promotes wound healing.

Glycolic acid: A type of exfoliant that helps remove dead skin cells, unclog pores and promote cell turnover for smoother, brighter, healthier skin. 

Hyaluronic acid: A humectant that helps hydrate the skin, making it plump and supple.

Antioxidants: Compounds like vitamin C and vitamin E protect the skin from environmental damage inflicted by free radicals – anti-aging benefits. 

Benefits of Snail Mucin for Skincare

The research on snail mucin is still relevantly new, but there is some evidence that suggests it could promote the following potential benefits for your skincare.


The high content of hyaluronic acid present in the snail mucin helps it hydrate the skin inside out. Hyaluronic acid (HA) helps retain moisture and locks it into your skin, giving you a plumper, supple, smoother skin. It also helps protect the skin barrier, shielding it from external toxins.

Anti-aging Properties

Rich in antioxidants and peptides, snail mucin boosts the production of collagen in your skin, which acts as a shield against premature aging. 


The glycolic acid in it helps remove dead skin cells, paving the way for smoother, brighter, supple, super-soft skin. This also enhances the overall texture of the skin. 

Wound Healing

Snail mucin is an anti-inflammatory powerhouse, thanks to allantoin, the super soothing ingredient that reduces the redness and tones down the irritation. 

Side Effects of Snail Mucin

Rishi Chopra, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist in Boston, tells Forbes Health that “snail mucin has been demonstrated to be very safe, with clinical trials reporting no adverse events associated with its use.”

Most skin types tolerate it well, and it can be used with a variety of ingredients, as it’s used in a wide range of formulations. This suggests that it also combines well with many other forms of skincare ingredients, like glycolic acid, vitamin C, retinol, hyaluronic acid, and more. 

However, some people may experience allergic reactions to snail mucin, so it’s always a good idea to do a patch test on a small section of skin, such as the underside of your arm, to ensure it’s safe to use. People who are allergic to snails, shellfish, or mollusks should consult their healthcare provider first before incorporating snail mucin into your skincare routine. 

Forms of Snail Mucin

The buzzing skincare ingredient has been added to all sorts of formulas, such as: 

  • Snail mucin cream (night creams, repair creams)
  • Snail mucin serum 
  • Snail mucin essence 

Ready to try the slimy mucin for yourself? Shop our favorite snail mucin picks ahead. 

COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence

Smoothing and hydrating, this COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence is a cult classic product that has taken TikTok by the storm. True to its name, it contains 96 percent snail secretion filtrate and sodium hyaluronate (a type of hyaluronic acid) that works like magic on your skin. The lightweight gel-like consistency absorbs readily into your skin, making it soft, supple, and smooth. The best part? It’s well-tolerated by all skin types, so pretty much everyone can use it without any issue.

Cosrx Advanced Snail 92 All-in-One Cream

Another favorite of ours that had to make this list is Advanced Snail 92 All-in-One Cream. Formulated with 92 percent snail secretion filtrate, hyaluronic acid, betaine, and adenosine, this cream acts as a one-man army for smoothing, brightening, hydrating, and rejuvenating the skin. It is highly moisturizing and is good for people who are new to snail mucin, as it’s easier to incorporate into the skincare routine. The consistency is thick but not pore-clogging and dries down to a velvety-matte finish. 

Beauty of Joseon Revive Serum: Ginseng + Snail Mucin

Formulated with 63% ginseng root water, a Korean herbal medicine that deliver  hydration super dose, and 3% snail mucin that helps protect, rejuvenate, and smooth, along with centella asiatica extract (cica) and mushroom extract, this anti-aging Beauty of Joseon Revive Serum with Ginseng + Snail Mucin is everything you could ask for. It is good for hyperpigmentation and helps in reducing the signs of aging. The unique, runny texture of this pick feels like a treat on the skin and is good for all skin types. 

Peach Slices Snail Rescue Intensive Wash-Off Jelly Mask

With 95 percent snail mucin, hyaluronic acid, cica and licorice extract, this Peach Slices Snail Rescue Intensive Wash-Off Mask is a powerhouse of skin health. From post-acne scarring to dullness, hyperpigmentation, and uneven texture, this pick penetrates deeply into the skin and works its magic. The application process is breezy as all you have to do is apply this mask on the clean skin and leave it for 25 minutes before thoroughly rinsing it with water.

Tip: Before using, keep this in the fridge for an hour. And when you fall in love with this, don’t forget to check out the entire Peach Slices Snail Rescue line.

Facetroy Oh My Goodness Rejuvenating Snail Sheet Mask

Infused with snail secretion filtrate, shea butter, and aloe vera, this Facetroy Oh My Goodness Rejuvenating Snail Sheet Mask is a treat for all skin types. Its silk-like, breathable material feels super soft on the skin and delivers all the nutrients directly in just 15-20 minutes. Plus, it’s friendly on the pocket and is free from cruelty and other harsh ingredients. 

Seoul Ceuticals Anti-Aging Snail Repair Cream

This all-in-one Seoul Ceuticals Anti-Aging Snail Repair Cream is loaded with nutrients like shea butter, vitamin E, jojoba oil, organic aloe, and snail mucin, the star ingredient. The hydrating, non-greasy cream glides smoothly onto the skin, leaving a supple finish. Plus, the subtle citrus scent feels amazing and freshens you up. Reviewers loved how it absorbs quickly into the skin and doesn’t irritate, even for people with sensitive skin types.

Mizon Snail Repair Intensive Ampoule

If anti-aging is one of your skin goals, this Mizon Snail Repair Intensive Ampoule has all the ingredients for youthful-looking skin. Formulated with snail mucin, hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, vitamin B5, and adenosine m, this ampoule delivers a super dose of natural nutrients to your skin. The hypoallergenic, unscented formula improves skin elasticity and is one of the best snail-mucin-infused ampoules on the market. 

Mizon 24K Gold and Snail Hydrogel Eye Patches

Treat your eyes with some extra TLC with Mizon 24k Gold and Snail Hydrogel Eye Patches. These water-soluble eye patches are soaked in the rich essence of snail mucin, 24k gold, and adenosine; these eye patches are a one-stop shop for hydrating, soothing, and rejuvenating the under eye skin. With these in your skincare arsenal, tired and puffy eyes stand no chance. 

How to Add Snail Mucin to Your Skincare Routine? 

Since you now know some of the best products available, let’s discuss how you can add this holy grail ingredient to your skincare routine. 

  • If you’re using a cream, take a pea-sized amount in your palms. If it’s the serum or the essence, apply 2-3 drops on a clean, damp face.
  • Use it once or twice daily, and be consistent in seeing the results for at least about four to six weeks 
  • Can be applied in day time or night

Frequently Asked Questions 

Q. What is snail mucin? 

A. Snail mucin is a secretion secreted by snails. 

Q. What does snail mucin do for the skin? 

A. Snail mucin has hydrating, collagen-stimulating, and soothing properties that help the skin heal, brighten, and rejuvenate. 

Q. Is snail mucin good for oily and acne-prone skin?

A. Yes, snail mucin is good for all skin types, including oily to acne-prone skin. It’s non-comedogenic and helps reduce inflammation. 

Q. Is snail mucin safe to use in pregnancy? 

A.  Snail mucin is considered safe for pregnancy use. Yet, it’s still best to consult your healthcare provider first before incorporating it into your beauty routine. 

Q. Can I use snail mucin with other skincare ingredients? 

A. Yes, snail mucin interacts well with other skincare ingredients. You can use it with vitamin C, alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), beta hydroxy acids (BHAs), and retinol to help fight blemishes, clear breakouts, and reduce scarring. 

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