Let's Talk About Snail Mucin
Snail filtrate\mucin has been making waves in the skincare world and has even crept into your local sephora in the past decade! But what IS it, and how does it work?
I admit I was initially skeptical of all things snail because A. It sounded like spreading mucus on my face, which I’m not a fan of. And B. It contains an animal ingredient, and I wasn’t sure what the implications of that was (aka “is it cruelty free?”)
But after Peach and Lily sent me some k-beauty products to try, I was determined to give snail mucin a shot! First off, let’s address the elephant in the room.
WHAT ACTUALLY IS SNAIL FILTRATE?
Snail slime aka mucin is secreted by these little mollusks to protect their exposed bottoms against cuts, bacteria, and UV rays. The mucin contains a combination of elastin, antimicrobials, copper peptides, hyaluronic acid, and glycolic acid. Snail filtrate is supposed to be good for: cystic acne, scarring, hydration, and glow.
Two things to keep in mind:
1. The way the slime is processed is not universal, thus the formulation of the slime may not be the same across products.
2. There is also nothing unique to snail mucin that you cannot get anywhere else. The glycolic acid content is said to help your cells produce collagen and elastin, which even out skin tone and smooth its surface. But any product with glycolic acid can do the same.
LET’S GET TO THE REVIEWS:
Mizon’s All in One Snail Cream: The texture of the cream is light and dewy, it's not watery at all. Perfect for my dried out skin, I need a lot less than I initially thought! Since this cream spreads so well, the size of a blueberry could easily cover your whole face, chin, neck, etc! It acts like a fantastic moisturizer and definitely gives me some hydrated glow. The texture is unreal, even if this did absolutely nothing for the skin it would be my FAVORITE moisturizer ever. Smooth, creamy, luxurious, hydrating. Dry skin types are going to fall in love with this cream.
Mizon’s Snail Repair Intensive Ampoule: I got far more benefit from the cream than the ampoule to be honest. That said, this is a wonderfully light product that feels like any other water based serum. Absorbs instantly and doesn't sting. Great for layering! I didn't see any reduction in psoriasis or my hormonal acne. The bottle is gorgeous so I will definitely be using this up. Probably not going to purchase it again though.
Both the ampoule and the cream are fragrance free! They're also silicone free which makes them ideal for layering.
Overall these may not be the miracle products they are often marketed to be, but the cream is definitely worth every penny. In fact, I already have already ordered 2 more jars! The main issue I have with snail mucin is that the slime is not consistently concentrated and therefore benefits may depend on the type of snail and amount excreted. You can find the same key nutrients of snail slime, like hyaluronic acid, glycoprotein enzymes and peptides, in other products. Why buy snail slime when you could just buy a more concentrated glycolic acid or peptide product?
Well, for one snail slime is a lot gentler, it boasts anywhere between 95-98% water content. That also means it's less effective, but it's can be a good starting point for sensitive skin users. Limited research suggests moderate success of snail slime in improving skin. In one small study, California researchers prescribed snail essence creams to 25 participants with skin damage and found that it improved eye wrinkles and skin texture after 12 weeks. That study dealt with slime from the same type of snail whose mucin is available in products like Mizon’s, but it was NOT a large clinical trial.
So, is it worth the hype? For hydration, yes! I'm an extremely dehydrated, dry skin type (that means I'm lacking in both oil and water) so for me these products had wonderful moisturizing benefits. They are not guaranteed to "cure" wrinkles nor do they "fix" acne scars, but they can be a helpful part of your skincare routine. For those with serious skin issues, I recommend getting some more concentrated glycolic acids, peptides, etc under the advice of your dermatologist. Snail mucin is wonderful, but it isn't concentrated enough for serious skin issues, at least by itself. That said, if you use it WITH other actives you will probably get great results! I'm loving the snail cream, it really boosts the efficacy of my other skincare products.