In lieu of a real Fountain of Youth, people will try any number of weird and disgusting concoctions to take a few years off their appearance. One of the latest fads is “snail essence,” better known as snail slime.
The practice of using snail slime (mucin) for skincare dates backs a couple millennia to the ancient Greeks. After centuries of obscurity, Koreans have reintroduced “snail essence” as the latest and greatest skincare trend.
“Snail essence,” whether formulated in masques, moisturizers, serums or makeup, is marketed as a product that moisturizes, improves wrinkles and scars and prevents the development of new lines and wrinkles.
Snail mucin may have some skin health benefits. It does contain known skin-boosting compounds, including:
The problem is that the concentration and potency of these compounds is so “iffy.” Different species of snails will produce different mucin compositions. Muscin is produced when snails are agitated, so environmental factors will also affect slime quality. There is not a solid body of research on snail mucin to identify species of snails or mucin processing protocols to ensure consistent quality and human safety.
We don’t blame you if you don’t want to get on board the snail-slime-as-skincare bandwagon. There’s no guarantee it will produce any noticeable anti-aging effects and, let’s face it, it’s gross. There’s a better, easier way to diminish fine lines, wrinkles and scars—use skincare products with the stuff that’s proven to work, like: