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Everything there is to know about doctor approved snail mucin

This K-Beauty ingredient comes with an expert seal of approval thanks to its collagen-boosting benefits

Korean skincare products are often ahead of the game when it comes to innovative (or should we say unusual) actives . One ingredient that features heavily in K-beauty’s, skin-plumping formulas is snail mucin, as there’s reason to believe it can help skin appear more youthful.

This is everything experts want you to know about snail mucin as a skincare ingredient…

What is snail mucin?

In short, snail mucin is the jelly-like slime that snails produce. “Generally appearing on ingredient labels as snail secretion filtrate, or SSF, snail mucin is naturally created and used by snails as a way for them to protect themselves from danger,” says Dermatologist Dr Hassan El Husseini.

How does snail mucin benefit skin?

Due to mucin being excreted as a stress response, it has a number of anti-inflammatory benefits. “Components within snail mucin include zinc and manganese, which have anti-inflammatory and healing properties respectively,” shares Dr Unnati Desai, Medical Director at Skinfluencer London. With inflammation being a key cause of accelerated skin ageing, any product that contains anti-inflammatories can help skin appear healthier and more youthful.

Beyond this, snail mucin is best known as an impressive hydrator (thanks to hyaluronic acid) and is thought to help boost collagen production within the skin (with a helping hand from antioxidants vitamins A and E and copper peptides). “These substrates within mucin have the ability to moisturise (which repairs and protects barrier function) and boost production of collagen, one of the skin’s scaffolding proteins that is responsible for its youthful appearance,” says Dr El Husseini.

It also contains a plethora of other skin-loving actives. “Allantoin for example, is a key component, as it boasts healing properties that calm irritation, smooth the skin, and stimulate cell regeneration,” adds Dr El Husseini.

How do you apply snail mucin?

The good news is, snail mucin comes in an array of skincare products, from cleansers to serums, and these are some of our favourites...

TONYMOLY Timeless Ferment Snail Cleansing Gel
This Korean-born cleansing gel is jam-packed with snail mucin to help calm and hydrate the skin while effectively removing the day’s dirt and more.

COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence
Patting this product onto skin straight after cleansing, before you apply any serums, will deliver a refreshing burst of hydration and boost skin elasticity.

Benton Snail Bee High Content Lotion
Harnessing the collagen-boosting powers of snail mucin, plumping and hydrating benefits of hyaluronic acid, pore-reducing properties of niacinamide, and skin-smoothing aspects of bee venom, this lightweight lotion does it all.

Does snail mucin have any side effects?

While snail mucin doesn’t have any major side effects, one thing experts are keen to note is that proven research on the ingredient is yet to surface. “As convincing as the promises and testimonials are, research on snail mucin is limited,” says Dr Desai. Beyond this, it’s also important to note that products containing snail mucin might not carry all the above benefits.

“It is relevant to consider whether the ingredients have been formulated in the correct manner with the actives in a high enough dosage to allow your skin to avail of these benefits when the ingredient is applied topically,” she warns.

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