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Is Snail Mucin a Breakthrough Skincare Savior?

Discover why skincare aficionados are flocking to this trending ingredient, and learn about 6 effective products.


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For many people, snails and skincare are two things that do not seem to go hand in hand. But snails—and more specifically the slimy trail they leave behind called snail mucin—have long been used by many cultures to improve the skin.

Immunocologie’s Karen Ballou says she came across snail mucin when studying different cultural skin-repair ingredients. “What I found is it has been used in the Asian cultures for centuries and is packed with nutrients such as hyaluronic acid, glycoprotein enzymes, antimicrobial and copper peptides, and proteoglycans, which are all very good for skin rejuvenation and repair and natural collagen stimulation,” she says “In studying ingredients for skin repair, snail mucin made sense given the nature of my formulations, which are made with the most effective, clean, naturally sourced ingredients that will repair and transform the skin.” 

According to Carolyn Wehner, director of marketing for Biopelle, scientists observed that the Cryptomphalus aspersa snail produces a secretion called SCA that protects and repairs its own skin from burns and injury in under 48 hours. “This amazing healing power was first shown to be clinically effective on humans with cases of radiation dermatitis following the Chernobyl disaster in 1986, whereby the burn victims experienced rapid recovery with the Cryptomphalus aspersa snail secretion,” she says. “This finding led scientists to harness the restorative properties of the snail secretion for anti-aging skincare benefits through SCA Biorepair Technology, found exclusively in Biopelle Tensage skincare products.” 

Snail Mucin: Safe and Effective for Humans

For many, the thought of snails and skin immediately generates a rather unpalatable vision of slimy snails plopped on one’s face in the ultimate bizarre spa service. But snail mucin in skincare is rather scientific when it comes to extraction and formulation. Wehner says SCA, for example, is refined to pharmacological standards as a pure, contamination-free, biologically active fluid.

Plus, the benefits just can’t be beat. “Snail mucin is effective, because it is an all-in-one ingredient that provides nutrients, offers anti-inflammatory properties, and is an antioxidant,” says Ballou. “It stimulates collagen production for cell regeneration, and it repairs the skin’s barrier, or microbiome, function while protecting it from outside environmental elements. Most importantly, it regenerates cells for younger-looking skin while offering soothing properties that help with inflammation.”  

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Snail Mucin: Safe for Snails

Those who prioritize cruelty-free skincare products need not eschew snail mucin products. In fact, several brands harvest the ingredient ethically and humanely. Ballou says the snails used to formulate products for Immunocologie, Helix pomatia, are farmed, not caught in the wild, and are kept in comfortable, stress-free environments so that they produce healthy secretions. “They roam over a mess net, and when left alone, they leave behind a trail of mucin,” she says. “For snails to produce the best mucin, they should be well rested and comfortable.”

Biopelle’s snails are equally pampered. According to Wehner, they live in a snail sanctuary in the northern coast of Spain where they feed on a diet of lettuce and carrots. A non-harmful, patented process stimulates the excretion process, after which it is refined and purified. 

The combination of clean, cruelty free, and effective results have made snail mucin skincare products a no brainer for more and more consumers, not just the K-beauty afficionados who have made it a wildly popular ingredient in that realm. After all, as Ballou says, snail mucin “simply creates beautifully renewed, rejuvenated, glowing skin.” 

Ready to give snail mucin a spin? Check out the following products: 

Benton Snail Bee Ultimate Serum ($27)

Snail mucin and bee venom come together in this serum to provide a variety of complexion-boosting benefits. The base of the serum is snail secretion filtrate that’s been fermented by yeast derived from grapes. It works to repair skin, clear acne scars, and treat hyperpigmentation while the bee venom calms the skin and targets breakouts. Tea tree and camellia sinensis leaf water offer additional soothing and acne-fighting benefits, while niacinamide and adenosine brighten and fight wrinkles.

Biopelle Tensage Intensive Serum 40 ($136)

The core ingredient in this powerful serum is the brand’s proprietary Tensage Growth Factor, which is derived non-harmfully from the Cryptomphalus aspersa snail. It quickly improves skin’s texture, tone, and luminosity; visibly improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles; reduces the visible signs of photodamage; and helps to shorten healing time and optimize procedural results.

COSRX Advanced Snail Mucin Power Sheet Mask ($25)

This sheet mask is drenched with COSRX’s bestselling Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence to deliver rich hydration and nourishment to repair damaged skin. The lightweight texture of high-concentration snail mucin is paired with a premium natural-derived cellulose sheet to create a perfect face-hugging fit that allows the rich formula to be effectively absorbed into skin.

Eskafill The All In One Youth Set ($149)

This all-in-one kit uses allantoin, the natural compound within snail mucin, to repair and regenerate new skin by boosting collagen and elastin production. Allantoin is the substance that repairs the snail’s shell when it accidentally becomes chipped or split. As such, its healing properties help to heal cuts, soften scar tissue, fight infections, repair sun damage, regenerate skin cells, and make skin look younger, tighter, and brighter.

Immunocologie Super 7 Elixir Serum ($195)

One of the main ingredients in this serum is ethically sourced snail mucin, which is packed with hyaluronic acid and antimicrobial peptides that stimulate collagen and elastin production to counteract the visible signs of aging. Other healing ingredients include hibiscus esculentus fruit extract and desert date seed oil.

Peach & Lily Peach Slices Snail Rescue Intensive Wash-Off Mask ($16.99)

This unique “snail jelly” mask is made with 95 percent snail mucin and healing cica (centella asiatica) infused with birch juice and licorice, which help skin feel instantly refreshed and calm upon application. Ideal for all skin types, this intensive treatment clears skin and targets dark spots, blemishes, pores, and dullness to reveal radiant, hydrated, clear skin.

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About The Author

Julie is the co-founder of Well Defined and a longtime influencer and advocate in the wellness world. Along with her work at Well Defined, she is an executive recruiter and marketing specialist for Hutchinson Consulting. She is also a consultant and content strategist for numerous wellness brands. She is the former editor-in-chief and publisher of American Spa and was named a 2019 Folio Top Woman in Media in the Industry Trailblazers category and a 2018 winner of ISPA’s Innovate Award. She is also a seasoned journalist, specializing in spa, travel, health, fitness, wellness, sustainability, and beauty. She has been published in Departures,, E! Online,, Insider’s Guide to Spas, Luxury Travel Advisor, Marin Magazine, Ocean Home, Smart Meetings, Spa Asia, and Travel Agent.