Why Is Everyone Putting Snail Essence on Their Face?

By Kara Mavros 
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Franck Robichon/Corbis

Most people might not think to put slimy snail trails on their faces, but maybe they should. One of the latest Korean beauty trends to make it stateside is snail essence, or maybe you know it as the fifth step in the 10 step Korean skincare routine.

The basic properties of snail mucin (or snail slime) that are nourishing to the skin include hyaluronic acid, glycoprotein enzymes and peptides. The glycolic acid also found in snail essence can help your skin cells create more collagen and elastin, translating to a more even, more radiant skin tone and texture.

Snails were first prescribed in ancient Greece as a topical treatment to reduce inflammation, according to The Cut. Eventually they became commonplace in South American skin remedies and then moved on to France. Today, we’re used to seeing snail mucin products become commonplace in places like Korea, and now, the U.S.

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One of the most popular snail beauty products in the U.S. is Corsx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence, a super hydrating essence made with 96% snail mucin for optimal glowy skin. In my experience, this is the perfect product for summer. Amidst the heat and humidity that summer in New York City can bring, snail essence (and this one in particular) has all the hydrating properties your skin needs to look its best – which is, plump, dewy, and healthy.

The consistency of this product is sticky but not tacky – it glides on the skin and blends in almost like aloe does, but more syrupy. Basically, it’s exactly what you’d expect spreading snail trails on your face to feel like. As much as I like the consistency of snail mucin (I’ve always been more inclined to try lighter gels instead of heavy creams), I love that there’s no fragrance, at least in the Corsx product.

All in all, I’ve been very happy in my experience with products that contain snail mucin. For true combination skin like mine, this is one of the better “middle steps” in the K-beauty regimen I’ve encountered that truly felt like it helped minimize blemishes and sufficiently hydrate my problem skin.

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