Rich in antioxidants, not to mention super hydrating, the best snail mucin products rival even the most powerful hyaluronic acids. Below, British Vogue brings you a deep dive into the must-have ingredient – a staple in Korean skincare.
What are the benefits of snail mucin?
The idea of slathering snail excretion all over your face might not initially appeal, but given its manifold benefits you might eventually be persuaded to give it a try. “A tried and tested ingredient in the K-beauty world, snail mucin is naturally made up of properties like glycoproteins, hyaluronic acid and glycolic acid, all of which have long-documented benefits for the skin,” says Julia Marinkovich, UK representative for cult K-beauty brand COSRX. Packed with hyaluronic acid, snail mucin is rich in moisturising properties, which in turn support the skin barrier and help to lock in moisture. Meanwhile, glycolic acid helps to stimulate collagen production that not only works towards diminishing fine lines and wrinkles, but also helps to give the complexion a radiant, youthful glow. “Mucin also contains zinc which is anti-inflammatory and allantoin which soothes irritation. So, all in all, you can expect skin to be softer, more moisturised and glowing with consistent use of snail mucin.”
When should you not use snail mucin?
The great thing about snail mucin is that it is suited to almost all skin types – even those with sensitive skin. However, those with allergies should approach with caution. “Some people allergic to shellfish might also be allergic to snail mucin,” warns cosmetic chemist, Dr Michelle Wong. “But otherwise it’s a versatile ingredient without many restrictions on use.”
Is it okay to use snail mucin everyday?
Yes. In fact, you can use it several times a day, particularly if you are in need of a hydration boost.
Does snail mucin go under moisturiser?
When it comes to layering, it depends on the product. “Snail mucin comes in many forms,” says K-beauty expert, Elisa Lee. “There are eye creams, essences, toners, serums and moisturisers. Just remember that you should apply in order of consistency – from thinnest to thickest.” If you like your snail mucin in an essence, toner or serum then it should indeed go under your moisturiser, but if you have a favourite snail mucin cream, you should use it on top of the moisturiser – or even instead of it.
Do I need hyaluronic acid if I use snail mucin?
It depends on your skin type and how much hydration it needs. “I find that using just snail mucin is enough for a lot of normal or oily skin,” says Jude Chao, author of Skincare for Your Soul. “But for dry or dehydrated skin, especially with a weaker moisture barrier, layering both works great.” You may also want to layer up during the colder months.
Does snail mucin smell bad?
Most people expect snail mucin to smell bad, but thankfully it’s pretty odourless.
Do you put snail mucin on a wet or dry face?
Either is fine. But for optimal results, apply your snail mucin to damp skin after cleansing, to help lock in moisture.
Can you use snail mucin under the eyes?
Yes, in fact, using snail mucin around the eye area can be incredibly beneficial. “I actually love it around the eyes and used a snail cream as my eye cream for years,” says Chao. “The protective and smoothing effects really come in handy with the thinner, more delicate skin there.” If in doubt, opt for a specially-formulated snail mucin eye cream.
What percentage of snail mucin is best?
When it comes to percentage, most experts favour the higher end of the spectrum – over 80%. “We use high concentrations of snail mucin for really transformative and hydrating results,” says Marinkovich. For those who are new to it, you can always start with a lower percentage and build up over time.
Below, Vogue highlights the best snail mucin products for gorgeous skin.
- The Best Snail Mucin Cream: Mizon Snail Repair Cream
- The Best Snail Mucin Mask: Holika Holika Prime Youth Black Snail Repair Hydro Gel Mask
- The Best Snail Mucin Serum: Benton Snail Bee Ultimate Serum
- The Best Snail Mucin For Wrinkles: Beauty of Joseon Revive Serum
- The Best Snail Mucin For Combination Skin: Cosrx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence
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