Uh, What Is Snail Cream and Will It Keep Me Young Forever?

peach and lilly snail cream

When it comes to all things beauty our typical skin-care philosophy is, if it makes us look better, we’re willing to try it. But when we started hearing about one ingredient, despite its purported benefits, we had so many questions. Yes, we’re looking at you snail cream. Let’s break it down.

So what is snail cream?

Contrary to what we wanted to believe, snail cream is not a misnomer; it’s any beauty product that contains snail slime, also known as mucin. Basically, when snails are agitated, they excrete a thick fluid to protect themselves from cuts, sun damage and bacteria. That fluid is snail slime, which was first used for dermatological purposes in ancient Greece to treat inflammation. Fast-forward a couple thousand years to when snail slime became hugely popular on the Korean beauty scene. And now, it’s firmly in the U.S. markets. We know, it doesn’t sound too appealing, but stay with us here.

What can it do for your face?

Well, snail slime is packed with many of the ingredients—including hyaluronic acid, glycolic acid and peptides—that are commonly added to beauty products. In addition to soothing inflammation, snail creams (like Mizon’s Snail Recovery Gel Cream and Shangpree’s Snail Moisture Mask) can also help fade dark spots and scars. Not to mention that these creams can purportedly also plump creased skin and battle acne, naturally.

But here’s the catch—while many derms are fans of the bizarre ingredient, lab studies on the efficacy of snail slime have been largely inconclusive. Our take? Hey, it can’t hurt to try. If for nothing else than to answer the compliment “You are glowing” with “Thanks, it’s snail excrement!” And hey, we’re all for trying new things.

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sarah stiefvater
Sarah Stiefvater

Wellness Director

Sarah Stiefvater is PureWow's Wellness Director. She's been at PureWow for ten years, and in that time has written and edited stories across all categories, but currently focuses...
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