Snail secretion filtrate might sound icky, but it’s a skincare ingredient you should get on your radar. Snail slime has a host of skin benefits to all skin types, which is why it has become so ubiquitous in beauty products – especially Korean ones.
I am practically allergic to fad skincare ingredients, so it took me a long time to succumb to the beauty that is snail mucin. I mean, it sounds absurd, doesn’t it? It always seems like the various skincare brands are trying to outdo each other with the strange, exotic, or downright gross-sounding ingredients they’ll put in their beauty products, from snake venom to placenta. With such an oversaturated market, it’s no surprise that they’ll try to get the market’s attention by any means necessary.
This is why I’m only paying attention to snail slime now that it has been around long enough to prove itself a worthy addition to your skincare routine. In this article, I cover all the important details about snail mucin for skin – what snail slime is and how it is produced, how it works and which skin types it is best for.
In this article:
- What Is Snail Secretion Filtrate and How Is It Produced?
- History of Using Snail Slime in Skin Care
- What Is Snail Slime Good for?
- How to Use Skincare Products with Snail Secretion Filtrate
What Is Snail Secretion Filtrate and How Is It Produced?
So you know how a trail of slime is formed as snails make their way, especially on a solid surface like the road – they leave behind a trail of a shiny liquid. Well, that’s exactly what we’re talking about here.
Since snails have such soft, porous bodies, they can become dry easily. The purpose of the slime they secrete is to keep their bodies healthy and hydrated, as well as to slow down friction so they have an easier time moving.
The snail slime used in skin care comes from farmed snails. Different snail farmers and cosmetic industry suppliers use different methods, although in all of them a key part of the process is to stimulate the snails so they overproduce slime. This can be done by placing them on a net and then agitating it or by spraying them with a salt-solution that isn’t so strong as to harm them.
The extraction process does put the snails under some stress, but how much stress it truly causes is debated, and it certainly doesn’t kill them. As such, skincare products with snail secretion filtrate are not appropriate for vegans, although vegetarians might feel okay using them.
After the snail slime is extracted, it goes through a sanitization process where all impurities are removed, and at that point it is ready to be formulated with!
Of course, the process of using snail mucin for beauty used to be quite different, and certainly less elegant.
History of Using Snail Slime in Skin Care
According to Snail Cream Shop, there is evidence that snail slime has been used in skin care as far back as in ancient Greece, with Hippocrates recommending it for skin inflammation, and others suggesting it as a treatment for burns and small wounds.
In Southern Italy, snails were apparently consumed to treat stomach inflammation. I won’t lie, I’m a little grossed out writing this, but hey, history is history!
What Is Snail Slime Good for?
Nowadays the topical uses of snail slime haven’t really changed all that much, although we understand the science behind it a little better. The main components of snail mucin are humectant sugar molecules, soothing allantoin, collagen, elastin, glycolic acid, hyaluronic acid, and a few more beneficial chemicals.
Snail slime is phenomenal for treating all kinds of concerns related to sensitivity and dehydration because of all of the skin-soothing and hydrating components in it. Redness, irritation, and inflammation all seem to disappear more quickly with its use. Even those with rosacea can feel safe using snail mucin!
Snail secretion filtrate’s ability to reduce redness and irritation means that it’s also great for acne. Many people report that putting skincare products with snail secretion on a breakout helps it become smaller and heal faster.
Those with dry and dehydrated skin will greatly benefit from the complex blend of humectants in snail secretions. Snail mucin is able to seriously attract moisture to the skin and keep its water content high. This makes the skin feel softer and smoother. Those with aging skin will immediately notice their skin look plumper, healthier, and brighter, and fine lines will be much less visible.
How to Use Skincare Products with Snail Secretion Filtrate
Since most skincare products with snail secretion filtrate are all about hydrating the skin, they are best used somewhere in the beginning or middle of the skincare routine, between pH-dependant actives, like vitamin C and glycolic acid, and occlusive creams.
If you like a long, multi-step Asian beauty routine, then you can use a snail serum or essence as you would any other hydrating product, after actives, and before any products that have a thicker texture. Snail secretions are great in the morning or at night, and can be used twice a day without any worries.
If you already have a perfect daily skincare routine, and don’t feel the need to add a new product, you can still enjoy snail slime as a one-off, or as a pick-me-up every once in a while. Sheet masks saturated with snail secretion filtrate are easy to find (I even recommend one).
Snail slime masks can be used as often as you like – apply them to the cleansed skin, let them sit for 20-30 minutes, and then remove them. You don’t have to cleanse the skin after using a sheet mask – just layer the rest of your skincare products over it.
Would you give snail mucin a try? If you already have, how did you like it? Let us know!
Photos via Sephora, Ulta