Snail Slime In Skin Care: It Isn't As Gross As It Sounds

Yes, it is a good idea to put snail slime on your face
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Publish date:
January 12, 2015
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glycolic acid, Korean beauty, missha, skin care, sheet masks, snail slime, banila co.

Snails are probably pretty low on the list of things you want to put on your face (this article about snail-slime spa treatments is pretty horrifying). On the other hand, the goo snails excrete is purported to be great for your skin.

Fortunately, there is a non-gross solution, thanks to the beauty geniuses in South Korea, who are fueling a boom in skin care products made with snail slime--more appealingly called snail extract or snail mucin.

The slime snails secrete--which contains elastin, glycolic acid, and proteins--helps heal the nicks and scrapes they inevitably get during their travels. Scientists collect the goo, dehydrate it into a powder, and add it to various skin care products. A study published in the Journal of Drugs and Dermatology last year found that applying products containing topical snail gel daily could significantly reduce wrinkles and fine lines.

I tried three products containing snail slime: a primer, a skin cream, and a sheet mask. Read on to find out if I’ll be adding this goo to my regular routine.

Missha Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Hydro Gel Mask

Containing snail slime extract and moisturizing baobab extract, this two-piece sheet mask is very gooey on both sides. Peeling the plastic off was challenging because everything was so slippery, but the mask stuck well to my skin once applied.

The packaging suggests wearing the mask for 20-40 minutes. I opted for the full recommended time and when I took the mask off my skin had absorbed its contents well. (The instructions say to rub in any remaining product, but I didn’t need to.) I had a nice dewy look for the rest of the day, and my skin felt noticeably softer the next morning. I’d happily add this to my routine once a week, particularly in the winter when I could use a moisture boost.

Missha Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Cream


The first thing I noticed about this Missha cream--other than the shiny box--was the texture. I really like a light texture for face creams, and that’s the case here: it’s nearly transparent and gel-like, so it absorbs really quickly and doesn’t leave your skin feeling heavy or coated. It also contains an impressive 70-percent snail mucin. After a few days of using the cream in the morning and at night, my skin does feel a bit softer. Whereas heavier face creams can leave me oilier or with new pimples, I am happy to report that didn't happen with this cream. I will continue using it to see if I notice a difference in my skin’s tone and texture over time. However, I do have one minor complaint: The cream’s noticeable flowery smell isn’t really my jam.

Banila Co. Prime Primer Classic Matte

I’ll confess, I don’t often use primer. I usually wear a BB cream and I feel like that both takes care of the priming and doesn’t require much of a base layer.

This primer from Banila Co. has a very light texture and was easily applied and absorbed. It didn’t feel heavy and it had a welcome mattifying effect. I sometimes find that primers can be too mattifying and sort of feel like you’ve covered your face in powder, but that wasn’t a problem here. It also didn’t have a strong smell, which was a plus for me. My BB cream did seem to apply more easily post-primer, as did my concealer, but I didn’t notice a huge difference in my makeup’s wear during the day. Then again, it was fairly light to begin with.

There are enough snail-cream products out there to have the ingredient in your entire skin care routine. Here are a few others:

Mizon Snail Cushion Foam CleanserTony Moly Intense Care Snail Eye MaskBenton Aloe BHA Skin Toner

  • So, are you set to slather your face with snail slime?
  • What weird beauty ingredient do you swear by?
  • Have any predictions for the hot skin care ingredient of 2015?