Venture into the world of Korean skincare and you will quickly encountering myriad products touting snail mucin as a key ingredient. Yes, that shimmery oozey stuff secreted by snails…yes, THAT.
American K-Beauty guru “Fiddy Snails” (aka @crazysnaillady of Fifty Shades of Snail) has an informative and fun post on matter of snail mucin -what it does, how it is collected (humanely), and why the K-Beauty industry loves it so very much- over on her blog: see A Very Snaily Megapost…
As “Fiddy Snails” says it
What does that protective goo do, though? The research into snail mucin’s effects as a topical skin treatment isn’t extensive, but as I’ve said before, a lack of research does not demonstrate a lack of effectiveness, and the research that does exist is promising. Snail secretion is humectant, emollient, antimicrobial, antioxidant-rich, and contains collagen, elastin, and cell communication-facilitating glycoproteins, among other skin-friendly components. It may have wound healing abilities and shows promise for the repair of photoaged skin (snail is the star of my post-sun skincare routine) and atrophic acne scarring. At minimum, therefore, snail slime is a lovely natural moisturizer. It may also have long-term anti-aging and skin-smoothing benefits. Also, if you prefer your skincare to come from nature with as few intervening stops in the lab as possible before it hits your face, snail mucin fits those criteria very well.
( Overall, the post is simultaneously informative and hilarious – love her. Total girl-crush.)
My own first snail encounter happened sometime last year. I bought a toner from a K-beauty online retailer…and they sent a sample of a Missha BB cream…and then I ordered that Missha BB cream, and that came with a sample of their Super Aqua Cell Renewal Snail Essential Moisturizer… (behold! the marketing power of the complementary k-beauty sample…)
…and I wrinkled my brow. Because: SNAILS?
So I did finally manage to break the vicious cycle of sample adoption as I did not fall immediately in LOVE-love with the product and I did not feel inclined to purchase a full-sized bottle of snail mucin. And though it didn’t upset my skin in anyway, I can’t say I’ve felt any passionate urges run out and try every snail product on the market.
But if you are going to insist on exploring Korean skincare products, at some point you’re going to have to ask yourself (paraphrasing Fiddy…):
Am I willing to smear purified snail goo on my face?
Or do I find the idea totally repulsive?
I think I’m still on the fence.
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