K-Beauty – My Love Affair with Snail Mucus

For those that have known me for a very long time, you would know that I have had acne since I was in primary school. Over the years and as my body has changed, my acne has changed too. At the moment, I have cystic acne around period time and quite clogged pores which are impossible to stay on top of. I have quite dry and sensitive skin as well. But for the last couple of years, I have found an ingredient, that has changed my life; snail mucus. Oh yes, the mucus and secretion of snails!

**It is important to note that although I recommend snail mucus, you may not experience the same results I have because you will have different skin to me. If you are serious about your skin issues, see a dermatologist. I am not qualified to diagnose your skin and products work differently for different people **

Whilst living in Dublin, I fell into the KBeauty rabbit hole and have never really crawled out of it. I have been using Kbeauty for over 5 years and have no intention of stopping. I was first attracted to all the super cute products and packaging but the more I looked into it, the more I found amazing products that actually did wonders for my skin. For my top ten kbeauty recommendations, go here. However, it was when I took a chance on a $5 tube of snail mucus that my skin care got turned upside down.

I tried out the Mizon Snail Recovery Gel on a whim thinking that I’ve tried almost everything I could think of to calm my acne, I might as well try the secretion from a snail. Oh, and it was $5 so even if it didn’t work I could use it as a moisturizer. Shut the front door! I used the gel in the mornings after I cleansed my face. After a month, people kept commenting how clear and glowy my skin was. This was a feat in itself as I was writing my Master’s Thesis which was very stressful. Even my mum commented whilst skyping that my foundation looked really good and natural…I wasn’t wearing foundation. I knew I was onto something good so I looked into snail mucin as an ingredient and found it had been used for hundreds of years.

But what about animal welfare? There’s no denying this is not a product for vegans but from extensive research, large Korean Beauty brands such as Etude House, Mizon and Cosrx, all promote ethical treatment of their snails. The snail slime is harvested when the nocturnal snails crawl around a mesh net for half an hour before it is transferred back to it’s natural habitat to rest. Companies insist that the snails are never harmed or overworked, they are kept clean and well looked after. Their slime is collected and pasteurized before it is added to skin care. I hope this clears your mind to in case you feel bad for your garden buddies, I know I did (even when they ate all my flowers).

Benefits of Snail Mucin:

-Most snail mucin contains ingredients such as glycoproteins, hyaluronic acid and glycolic acid which all aid in water retention in the skin and have many benefits.

-Snail mucin seals in moisture and allows active ingredients in your skincare to penetrate the skin preventing dryness and making the skin look dewy and plump.

-Snail mucin also has anti-aging potentials (and helps improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles), antioxidants, is able to stimulate collagen production and help with skin healing (from scar and wounds).

My Top Snail Mucin Products

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Mizon Snail Recovery Gel Cream; The one that started it all for me. This gel absorbs really quickly into the skin, isn’t sticky or heavy and can be used as a sleeping mask and a hair mask. It’s also on the cheaper side of the scale so it’s a great introduction.

Cosrx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence; this clear gel spread over the skin really easily and is a thin, liquidy consistency. I use this when my skin needs a bit more of a boost and I make sure to put some on before a short flight.

Missha Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Skin Treatment: This gel can get a little sticky if you apply too much or if you haven’t let your other products sink in fully. For those living in the US, it’s available at Target.

Benton Snail Bee High Content Sheet Mask; I love me a sheet mask and snail ones are always great. This sheet mask also contains bee venom which helps with plumping and making the skin look smoother and well rested.

Things to Remember:

Skincare and it’s effect varies greatly on the person using it, so what may work for me may not work for someone else.

Although a product may advertise itself as a snail based product, always check the ingredients and read the label. Try to get the highest concentration of mucus you can to see what percentage (or PPM part per million) snail filtrate is in the product.

Remember this is based on an animal by-product; the quality of the mucus varies greatly on environmental factors surrounding the snail such as what it eats, how the mucus is extracted and the humidity in the environment. This makes potency levels unclear so keep that in mind.

Do not think, “oh, I will just find a garden snail and let it crawl on my face’! No! Do not turn snails into a DIY at home mask. Your friendly garden snails will be covered in bacteria, be unsanitary and you have no control of the condition of the creature.

So, what do you think? Will you try some snail products in the future? Or have you already tried some? Tell me what you think!

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