Other than skincare ferments, there probably isn’t a skincare ingredient that might wrinkle your nose more than snail secretion filtrate - aka, snail slime. Snail slime isn’t anything new in the K-Beauty world, where it’s basically a cult-classic skincare product and just as commonplace as Hyaluronic Acid or Vitamin C. But this surprising ingredient has a whole load of benefits for your skin!
We don’t blame you for being a little wary of anything that comes from snails - but we’re also sure that once you know exactly what this skincare ingredient can do for your skin, it’ll be a skincare favourite of yours too. Here’s our guide to snail mucin and what it can do for your skin.
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What is Snail Mucin?
Let’s clear up exactly what snail mucin is in the first place. It has a couple of different names that all technically refer to the same thing: snail slime, snail secretions, and snail secretion filtrate. The last is the most accurate one to describe what actually goes in skincare, as it’s snail slime with any unwanted particles filtered out.
What makes snail mucin effective is a unique mixture of molecules that help snails heal after injury and of course, provide a comfortable snail trail for them to get around on.
You’ve probably already heard of most of these, too - so truly, they’re nothing super new or shocking to your skin. They just come all packaged up in a unique mix and texture thanks to snail mucin!
- Glycolic Acid
- Copper peptides
- Glycoproteins (Achacin)
- Hyaluronic Acid
These different molecules come together in a skincare ingredient that has a whole load of benefits for your skin - so don’t overlook snail mucin any longer!
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How is Snail Mucin Collected?
This is the biggest question that most people have when it comes to where exactly snail mucin comes from - how is it actually, er, harvested from the snail? Luckily, extracting snail mucin doesn’t involve too much stress on the snail’s part.
At snail farms, these purpose-bred, clean snails crawl on a surface that makes mucin collection easy. They don't just grab any old snails out of your garden and to be honest, we don't recommend you do that either. Some places use glass, mesh, or other unique designs to gather snail mucin as easily as possible without stressing or harming the snails. Phew!
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Benefits of Snail Mucin
So, now that we’ve established that skin-hydrating snail mucin is harvested without harm to the snail, here are 6 major reasons why it’s such a beloved skincare ingredient.
1) Reduces the Look of Fine Lines & Wrinkles
One crucial study looking into the benefits of snail secretion filtrate for skin found that there was a “significant degree of improvement” in wrinkles caused by sun damage. It’s thought that the naturally occurring growth factors in snail mucin are able to help skin regenerate collagen stores, firming skin and reducing the look of fine lines and wrinkles.
2) Fades Hyperpigmentation for Even-Toned Skin
If you’ve got some pesky dark spots you want to fade, snail mucin might be your new favourite skincare ingredient. Studies have found that snail mucin is effective at pausing excess melanogenesis - that’s the process of skin producing melanin, the pigment responsible for skin colour. By halting excess melanin formation, snail mucin effectively fades fades hyperpigmentation for flawless, even-toned skin.
3) Reduces Breakouts
Snail mucin is also an effective antibacterial, meaning it can ward off breakouts and pimples! It’s also noted to have wound-healing benefits, which helps your skin bounce back faster from breakouts and heal with minimal scarring. One source of snail mucin’s antibacterial power has been identified - achacin, a glycoprotein found in snail mucin is an effective antibacterial.
4) Acts as a Humectant on Skin
Humectant skincare ingredients are crucial for ensuring your skin and acid mantle work as they should. Thanks to natural levels of hyaluronic acid, snail mucin is able to attract water into the skin, plumping it full of hydration and temporarily filling out fine lines and wrinkles.
5) Soothes Sensitive, Irritated Skin
One major component of snail mucin is something called allantoin - a molecule that helps to inhibit inflammation in skin, soothing irritation and reducing redness. It’s thought that a combination of snail mucin’s allantoin levels and ability to boost skin’s wound healing abilities can reduce irritation for healthier, stronger skin.
If you’re still trying to create your perfect skincare routine (with or without snail mucin) try our skincare quiz!