Snail Mucin Is So Good for Skin and It’s Dermatologist-Approved

Snail Mucin Is So Good for Skin


It feels as if every other week theres a new "it" skincare ingredient that promises to deliver the complexion of our dreams. At this point, we know theres a lot of misinformation out there and those "it" ingredients might just be very good marketing, but every now and then, one comes to light thats actually so good for the skin that its worthy of a coveted spot in your lineup. The latest ingredient thats been wowing us and dermatologists alike: snail mucin.

While the name may raise some brows, we promise its a legit ingredient that can feel surprisingly nice on the skin. After all, it wouldnt have become one of the most prominent ingredients in K-beauty skincare if it didnt deliver major results while feeling great on the skin. So now that its become popular in the U.S., we knew it was time to do a deep dive into the superstar ingredient.

Below, board-certified dermatologists, Sheel Desai-Solomon and Ted Lain, weigh in on the buzzy ingredient. Since its not as well-studied as many of its other skincare ingredient counterparts, its important to sort out the science from the hype. Keep scrolling to learn more about what snail mucin is, how its sourced, the pros and cons, and how best to use it.

Snail Mucin

  1. Type of Ingredient:Moisturizer and collagen-stimulator.
  2. Main Benefits: It moisturizes the skin, promotes collagen production, and aids in skin healing and regeneration.
  3. Who Should Use It: In general, snail mucin can be used on all skin types, though its hydrating properties make it especially choice for those with dry skin, says Dr. Lain. And unless you’re allergic to the ingredient, it’s generally well-tolerated by most. (Though keep in mind that since it is derived from an animal, vegans may want to take a pass).
  4. How Often Can You Use It: This largely depends on why youre using it (since it does have many benefits) and what type of product youre using. Generally speaking, you can use snail mucin once or twice per day.
  5. Works Well With: It’s often combined with antioxidants and retinol, as well as common skincare staples such as vitamin C, glycolic acid, and other moisturizing ingredients.
  6. Dont Use With:Because research is still limited, its unknown whether or not it interacts poorly with any other ingredients, says Dr. Lain. Right now, theres no evidence that it does.

What Is Snail Mucin?

Simply put, it’s the excretion from a snail, which is why it’s also known and appears on ingredient labels as snail secretion filtrate, or SSF. Snail mucin is naturally created and used by snails as a way for them to protect themselves, says Dr. Desai-Solomon. “It’s a trusted ingredient in the K-beauty world and has become a popular one because it can offer noticeable results,” she adds. Worth noting: This isn’t an excretion that comes out whenever the snail moves, but rather a substance thats excreted when the snail is under stress, points out Dr. Lain (more on the importance of that in a minute).

Benefits of Snail Mucin for Skin

Snail mucin is a mega multitasker, with the ability to do everything from moisturizing to boosting the production of collagen (the protein responsible for strong, youthful skin, to improving wrinkles).1

Moisturizes the skin: According to Dr. Lain, snail mucin contains moisturizing agents that work to repair the barrier function of the skin, both locking out irritants from the environment while also simultaneously locking in moisture.Stimulates collagen production: “Because snail mucin is a stress-induced excretion, its comprised of ingredients meant to repair or protect from injury," Dr. Lain explains. "These include growth factors, which work by triggering the growth of new skin cells and new collagen.” And, as we know, more collagen equals fewer wrinkles and younger-looking skin. Dr. Desai-Solomon adds that it also contains glycolic acid, another known collagen-booster.2 Soothes irritation: Allantoin is another key component in secretion. This ingredient has healing properties that calm irritation, smooth the skin, and stimulate cell regeneration.3 Delivers important vitamins and minerals:Snail mucin is loaded with a list of good-for-your-skin nutrients, including anti-inflammatory zinc and healing manganese. It contains copper peptides, also lauded for their collagen-increasing and wrinkle-decreasing effect.4It also contains vitamins A and E, both of which are great antioxidants.

Side Effects of Using Snail Mucin on Your Skin

“There aren’t any well-documented side effects of snail mucin,” says Dr. Desai-Solomon, though both dermatologists point out that, as with any ingredient, people can be allergic to it. Avoid allergic reactions by testing a small amount of any new product on the inside of your forearm before slathering it all over your face. And if youre using any type of prescription-strength treatments, Dr. Desai-Solomon recommends speaking with your derm before adding any new product to your line-up.

How to Use Snail Mucin

This largely depends on your particular complexion concerns and what you hope to get from the ingredient. According to Dr. Desai-Solomon, many people like using snail mucin for moisturizing purposes, in which case she suggests opting for a night cream, such as COSRXs Advanced Snail 92 All-In-One Cream ($26) that contains it. (Bedtime is a prime opportunity for your skin to reap not only the hydration benefits but also the other restorative and regenerative properties of the ingredient as well). Apply it every evening on clean skin, as the final step in your routine, layered over any other treatment products, such as toners or serums.

If youre looking to use snail mucin as a multi-purpose anti-ager, seek it out in a serum, such as Biopelles Tensage Intensive Serum 40 ($136) as these will have a higher concentration of the ingredient. Apply it morning and night, right after cleansing, and before any other product.


What does snail mucin do for skin?

Snail mucin, found in products such as Cosrx Snail Mucin Essence, is a moisturizer and collagen stimulator that helps the skin in healing and regeneration.1

Is snail mucin good for your face?

Yes, snail mucin is a multifaceted moisturizer with a range of skincare benefits.

Does snail mucin clog pores?

According to Dr. Desai-Solomon, snail mucin does not have any documented side effects. As such, snail mucin is not known to clog pores and should not cause breakouts.

Cosrx Snail Mucin Essence Review: This Miracle Elixir is Key for Hydrated Skin

Article Sources

We takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.

Fabi SG, Cohen JL, Peterson JD, Kiripolsky MG, Goldman MP. The effects of filtrate of the secretion of the cryptomphalus aspersa on photoaged skin. J Drugs Dermatol. 2013;12(4):453-457.

Narda M, Trullas C, Brown A, Piquero-Casals J, Granger C, Fabbrocini G. Glycolic acid adjusted to pH 4 stimulates collagen production and epidermal renewal without affecting levels of proinflammatory TNF-alpha in human skin explants. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2021;20(2):513-521. doi:10.1111/jocd.13570

Savić VLj, Nikolić VD, Arsić IA, et al. Comparative study of the biological activity of allantoin and aqueous extract of the comfrey root. Phytother Res. 2015;29(8):1117-1122. doi:10.1002/ptr.5356

Pickart L, Margolina A. Regenerative and protective actions of the GHK-Cu peptide in the light of t he new gene data. Int J Mol Sci. 2018;19(7):1987. doi:10.3390/ijms19071987

Share your love