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 secretion filtrate. 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 secretion filtrate – what snail slime is and how it is produced, how it works and which skin types it is best for, and as always, I have a list of the best skincare products with snail slime.
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 slime 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 slime 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 slime!
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 slime 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.
The beautiful thing about snail slime products is that they can go into any routine! If you are a minimalist with combination or oily skin, you can simply use a cleanser followed by a snail cream.
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.
The Best Snail Slime Skincare Products
So if this article inspired you to give snail secretion filtrate beauty products a try, below you’ll find the best snail slime skincare products for every skin type and need.
1. CosRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence
The 96 in this product refers to the 96% snail secretion formula. The other ingredients here are hydrators like betaine and hyaluronic acid. Those with severely dry and oily skin alike adore this lightweight, super-hydrating and calming formula that is able to reduce redness from inflamed acne. It is available for sale at Ulta.
2. Mizon All-in-One Snail Repair Cream
This is another skincare product with a generous quantity of snail filtrate (92%). It has a creamy texture, so it can work as a final moisturizer for normal and combination skin types. If you are on the drier side, you might want something more occlusive on top of it. It plumps and brightens the skin, and helps heal breakouts quickly. You can pick it up at Target.
3. Volition Helix AM/PM Eye Gel
This is one of the more occlusive snail slime skincare products, and it also has a smaller quantity of snail secretion filtrate than some other things here. It is a phenomenal eye cream, with a velvety formula that looks beautiful under makeup and helps to blur wrinkles.
It can be worn over an eye gel, or alone. You could even layer it on top of a high-percentage snail essence, to boost its efficacy! This eye product is available for sale at Sephora.
4. Benton Snail Bee High Content Mask
You can’t go wrong with a snail filtrate product from Benton, but I wanted to add a mask to the list of best snail slime skincare products. This is a fun K-beauty mask that, unlike many other masks, doesn’t tend to drip too much, and doesn’t take forever to dry. The formula is beautiful, with lots of snail slime, along with niacinamide and willow bark extract.
This snail slime mask is perfect for almost any skin type, to soothe irritation and redness, hydrate, and prevent premature aging. These ingredients are also great for fortifying acne-prone skin. You can pick up a single mask or a pack of 20 at YesStyle.
5. Dr. Organic Snail Gel Cream
This is a richer snail skincare product that combines snail secretions with botanical oils, to nourish and moisturizer the skin. It has a citrusy fragrance that comes from natural essential oils, and there are also some botanical extracts in there to fight premature aging.
It is a great choice for dry and maturing skin, but if your skin is sensitive it might be a bit much. You can give it a try by buying it from Amazon.
6. Michael Todd Beauty KNU Anti-Aging Face Lift Serum
This is an extreme anti-aging serum fortified with some incredible snail secretion filtrate. It also includes exclusive peptide complexes to firm up the skin, skin-brightening arbutin, and a ton of skin-soothing and protecting natural extracts.
It’s a mighty little snail serum with a light, non-greasy texture, and it’s perfect for anyone who wants a multi-tasker, or wants to avoid the slimy texture of products with very high snail excretion content. It is available for sale through Ulta.
7. Biopelle Tensage Intensive Serum 40
This potent anti-aging serum is hydrating and regenerating, with lots of snail filtrate along with some deeply hydrating and nourishing ingredients. It comes in a pack of 10 ampoules, which might seem little, but visible results are expected within a matter of days. It also contains vitamin C, to give the skin a radiant glow. You can buy a pack through Dermstore.
Would you give snail slime a try? If you already have, how did you like it? Let us know!
Photos via @pibutime, Sephora, Ulta