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Back in high school, I remember some of my classmates revolting against the thought of being near a snail. It seems now more than ever, snails have become all the rage in the skincare community. Even snail eggs are starting to replace caviar if you can believe it. Yes, snails eggs are a thing. This feels a lot similar to how civet poop makes the best coffee in the world, or so I’ve heard.
Despite seemingly gross, people are coming to terms with all the benefits over its ick factor. The use of snail slime is used considerably in the Korean beauty world. You’ll find it as an ingredient in a lot of anti-aging products and many more. So I did my research to see what it was all about. Here’s what I learned:
History of Snails
The history of people and snails goes all the way back to ancient Greece and the Middle Ages. They used crushed snail shells as part of their medicine and was widely known to help with bowel movement. Even the ancient Romans were said to have let the snails roam freely on their faces because of the noticeable lessening of wrinkles.
Snail slime for cosmetic use made its comeback around the eighties when a group of Chilean workers who handled snails noticed how smooth and soft their hands became after being in contact with their secretions. It underwent further studies and then later marked safe for facial use leading to the first-ever snail cream Elicina in Chile.
However, an Italian company spent a good 9 years developing a machine specifically for extracting that precious gastropod goo. Prior to this, snail slime collection often led to the snail’s death. Snail slime vastly grew when it entered the Korean beauty world and now people all over are just mad with snail fever.
What is Snail Mucin?
Snail mucin, also widely known as snail mucus or slime (whichever you prefer) is an external bodily secretion released by snails and mollusks alike. Snails will secrete this slime for one of four reasons: in order to move, out of pleasure, out of agitation or when they’ve incurred an injury. Although scientists have observed that they release the most slime out of pleasure than anything else, so a happy snail is a productive snail!
The Cryptomphalus Aspersa or the Helix Aspersa (the European breed) is otherwise known to you as the common garden snail from which the slime is extracted. The snail mucin consists of ingredients like glycoproteins, hyaluronic acid, and glycolic acid, all of which have notable effects on the skin.
These nutrient-rich properties present in the slime make for a great addition to your skincare routine. The main component of the slime, Chondroitin sulfate, was revealed to be able to make headway in treating liver diseases, chronic fatigue, inflammation of the kidneys just to name a few.
What Are the Benefits of Using It On Your Skin?
Let’s talk about what snail mucin can do for you. Before you decide to pick up the first garden snail you see and put it on your face in the hopes of looking 5 years younger, let me stop you right there. The snail byproduct is collected very meticulously by breeders.
Once they’ve extracted enough from a batch, they proceed to remove impurities from the raw snail slime, dehydrated, rehydrated with other minerals and nutrients. It is deemed safe to use on your face and then packaged accordingly.
Fountain of Youth For Aging Skin
Clinical studies have shown the ingredients found in the snail filtrate can treat aging skin, irritated surfaces and even burns with no adverse effects as far and as wide as it has been used in recent years. In fact, they’ve shown significant improvement in the treated areas. This wonderful commodity almost acts like the fabled fountain of youth for wrinkles.
A host of added beneficial factors include the tightening of the epidermis, more even skin tone, freshly hydrated skin, and calming of redness (rosacea) encourage the production of collagen amongst other things. Dermatologists are declaring it the next best thing. It’s no wonder that cosmetic companies use snail mucin regularly in their beauty products and skincare lines.
Pain and Skin Hassle-Free
Snail facials are nothing new but not too long ago, the first modern snail facial is said to have originated from Japan. A lot of beauty enthusiasts and influencers swear by their positive effects on the skin. This process is completely pain-free and the only thing you’ll feel is probably a little tickle here and there.
Cut Down on Expensive Diamond Facial Peel
It involves having snails put directly on top of your face and letting them do their thing, just like the ancient Romans did. Forget the diamond peel, just get a snail facial.
Spas, plastic surgeons, and dermatological clinics are coming up with their own versions of snail facials, face creams, and treatments. Other popular facials include partnering snail mucin with microblading in order for the slime to penetrate the skin more.
Where Can You Get It?
From what you’ve just read, your next question might be where can I get some? Luckily for you, they are readily available in stores worldwide and come in a variety of forms from packets to bottles to creams packed with snail essence. They seem to be most prominent in Korean beauty stores, which are just popping up everywhere outside of South Korea.
I think it’s your safest bet on finding products that contain snail mucin for cosmetic use. No need to look for them in exotic specialty stores in that seedy part of town you never like venturing out to.
In this digital age, it’s even easier to find a whole slew of them online. Among the popular cosmetic brands include Cosrx, SMD Cosmetics, Mizon, Tony Moly and Benton, for instance. Many of these brands also offer their products in their respective online stores.
How to Add Snail Mucin into Your Skincare Routine?
Having a skincare routine is essential for the upkeep of your skin quality. There’s no denying that there are a million ways to go about it like the famous 10 Step Korean Skincare Regimen. For best results, consistency is key. You don’t need a 10-skincare product lineup though. You can partner snail essence with other products but best to save the mucin as the last thing you put on your face before going to bed.
In a Nutshell
The skincare industry’s current obsession with snail mucin doesn’t look like a passing trend certainly here to stay, as the practice has been around for a couple of hundred years. Snail mucin has quickly made its way out of our dinner plates and into many present-day skincare products. The once annoying garden pest and appetizing delicacy is now a celebrated facial companion as well. You can kiss your wrinkles goodbye and say hello snail slime.