Crazy Skincare Ingredient Alert: Snail Slime

Sounds weird–but it's totally necessary.

By now, most skincare fanatics know that miracle, fix-it-all ingredients don't really exist. In this week’s ingredient breakdown, we're breaking down something that might give you the shivers to think about but is actually a hero ingredient in Korean beauty.

The Ingredient: Snail slime

Also known as: snail secretion, snail secretion filtrate, snail slime extract, mucin, snail mucus filtrate

Quick take: We know that snail slime sounds a bit like something a witch might put in her brew, but it’s actually a powerful ingredient that appears in numerous Korean beauty products thanks to its versatile properties. Jessica Jeong, MISSHA's PR and Marketing Coordinator, explains: “Snail secretion filtrate—the more science-y term for snail slime—offers several benefits: It boosts cell regeneration and functions as an antimicrobial and humectant, all of which are said to mitigate irritation, acne, scarring, and signs of aging. The slime is harvested and filtered several times to ensure potency and purity before being added to skincare products in varying concentrations.”

Claims to fame: There are lots of interesting ingredients to be found in Korean beauty products, but snail slime is a standout ingredient for a reason. Charlotte Cho, Co-founder of Sokoglam and Editor-In-Chief of explains, “Snail mucin is the mucus that is secreted by snails which can be found in many Korean beauty products. The slime is meant to protect these little creatures against cuts, infections, UV rays, and dryness, which is why Koreans found it to be highly effective to incorporate this ingredient into their skincare routine.  Snail mucin is collected harmlessly by agitating the snails, so they excrete the mucus that have rejuvenating properties.”

Fun fact: Cho points out that the benefits of snail slime weren’t actually discovered in Korea. She says, “It was first discovered to be beneficial and effective by Chilean snail farmers when they noticed that their hands were visibly smoother and their cuts were healing quickly after handling snails. The mucin contains nutrients like hyaluronic acid, glycoprotein enzymes, antimicrobial and copper peptides, and proteoglycans that are proven to be beneficial for skin. The combination of these properties lighten acne scars, increase collagen production, and retain moisture.”

Where you can find it:

Indie: Holika Holika Prime Youth Snail Skin ($30.99)

Holika Holika

Grab a cotton pad and apply a bit of this hero treatment to your face. The toner helps to soothe, hydrate, and restore skin. There really isn’t anything that the snail slime, Canadian willow bark, and wild ginseng formula doesn’t do.


SplurgeMISSHA Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Cream ($45)

Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Cream

You’ll want to display the luxurious gold jar front and center in your bathroom, but the actual cream will excite you just as much. Snail slime extract helps to strengthen your skin’s barrier to minimize irritation while baobab tree extract helps to nourish. It’s a winning combination.


SaveTony Moly Intense Care Snail Hydro Gel Mask ($4)

Tony Moly Intense Care Snail Hydro Gel

Masking addicts can get their snail slime fix thanks to Tony Moly’s Snail Hydro Gel Mask. Apply it and you’ll have brighter, nourished skin when you take it off thanks to the snail mucus filtrate-rich formula.

Have you tried any of these products? We're curious to know! Tell us in the comments below.