What's The Snail Deal?

The beauty industry is like a jungle: a self-sustaining ecosystem that is constantly providing life and improving itself. It’s always full of enthusiasts and researchers looking for the next big thing, be it a new miracle exfoliating peel or the physical embodiment of immortality in a jar. New super ingredients are making their way into the spotlight time and time again, and while snail slime is usually not something you’d think of putting on your face, it has been embraced by big cosmetic brands in both Asian and Western worlds. Does putting snail slime really work on your skin? Is it worth the hype? While snails are more conventionally thought of served on a plate with garlic and butter, here’s the real beauty breakdown on what snail mucin does for your skin.

What’s up with snail mucin anyway?
Don’t let the sudden bloom of snail products fool you: the benefits of snail mucin have been around for a long, long time and dates back to ancient Greece. It was even rumored that the father of western medicine, Hippocrates himself prescribed a mix of crushed snails with sour milk to soothe and heal skin inflammations. Fast forward a couple of hundred years, Chilean farmers who were breeding snails for the food market noticed that their hands were softer and smoother after handling the snails (and their slime!). That was the birth of putting snail mucin, or as they say in cosmetology, snail secretion filtrate into beauty products. Creams were the starting point for snail extract in the beauty industry race, and it has now found its way into anything ranging from cleansers to face masks to even makeup products like BB and CC creams across the brand spectrum, particularly in places like Korea, Japan, Southeast Asia and South America. Snails have definitely left their slimy mark on the hearts of beauty lovers everywhere.

Snail mucin benefits
While some spas and salons have used actual live snails in their facial treatments, DIY snail facials using critters from your backyard is not something you should be trying out on your own. Cosmetic grade snail extract is harvested in controlled environments using farmed snails and goes through a filtration process to ensure that it’s free from harmful bacteria as well as is stable to go into your beauty products. Chemically speaking, snail secretion filtrate is a complex cocktail of proteoglycans, glycosaminoglycans, glycoprotein enzymes, hyaluronic acid, copper peptides, antimicrobial peptides and trace elements including copper, zinc, and iron. 

Head spinning yet? Here, we’ll make it real simple for you: what all that means is basically there’s a whole bunch of good stuff in there for your skin. It has skin beneficial properties including anti-aging, hydration, skin cell renewal, scar lightening, dark spot brightening, skin texture improving and skin tone evening. That sounds like a lot of benefits coming from such a small critter! Fortunately, scientists and beauty companies have found a way to incorporate all that goodness into skin care to make sure we get the most out of it. 

Whether you’re a beauty rookie or a skin care veteran, there’s a snail extract beauty product out there for everyone. Ranging anywhere from 20%-98% snail extract, you can always start off with something a little milder until you’re more comfortable with putting it on your skin. Don’t worry, snails are lab-bred in a clean, controlled environment and the snail slime is generally extracted in a humane fashion so no snails are harmed or killed for your beauty. We’re big fans of snail extract, and you can find snail products here on Althea!

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Are you a fan of the snail slime trend? What are some of your favorite products you’ve tried? If you haven’t, would you give these slimy critters a try? Let us know what you think!

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