recommended by experts

The Best Snail-Mucin Products, According to Experts

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers

Touted by beauty editors, skin-care obsessives, and dermatologists alike, snail mucin — the literal slime from snails — is a hero ingredient that can improve hydration, stimulate collagen production, and aid in skin regeneration, says Dr. Karan Lal, a double board-certified dermatologist.

You might have some reservations on how it’s produced, but Dr. James Y. Wang, a dermatologist and the founder of Metropolis Dermatology, says it’s “collected as a by-product of the snails, rather than directly from an organ,” meaning that there’s no harm done to the animals. Below, top dermatologists and skin-care obsessives share their favorite snail-mucin products for all skin types.

This snail-mucin mask comes recommended by Dr. Wang for reducing inflammation and therefore decreasing the risk of post-acne scarring. Ashley Branch, an advertising director who’s been using snail mucin regularly for the past 12 years, says that this formula, when applied two to three times a week, helps clear blemishes and improves brightness. Meanwhile, Caitlin Farrell, an events programmer and fellow snail-mucin devotee, says that she purchases ten-packs so she never runs out, calling it the ultimate hydrator for her dry skin. Personally, I like to use it on days when my rosacea flares up; the lightweight formula instantly cools my skin and reduces redness.

Mariah Poitier, an educator at Stanford University who’s tried more than 60 products over the last four years to treat her hyperpigmentation, says this serum has “helped bring down the color of my dark spots and smooth out my texture.” “The serum has ginseng, one of my favorite ingredients in K-beauty, and works wonderfully with my other skin-care products,” she says. Dr. Jaimie DeRosa, a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon, says the ginseng root adds moisture, while the snail mucin heals, making this serum effective in boosting skin rejuvenation.

As a beauty writer, there are very few things that shock me upon first use, but this SeoulCeuticals Korean Skin Care Snail Repair Cream is one of them. I travel about 75 percent of each month, and the changing climates and time zones wreak havoc on my skin, resulting in dry patches. I like to sandwich this cream between my cleanser and vitamin C to help calm my small hyperpigmentation spots and rosacea. Elizabeth Grace Hand, an aesthetician and founder of Ställe Studios, credits the jojoba oil and shea butter in this gentle formula with restoring moisture.

Hand says Elicina Crema de Caracol Snail Cream is the “OG snail mucin product,” thanks to its intense brightening formula that’s infused with glycoproteins to attract and retain moisture, which can smooth texture and soften the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The cream also contains peptides to stimulate collagen production, which can further improve the appearance of aging skin. Hand says this cream can reduce inflammation and redness as well, due to its allantoin, a synthetically derived compound that regenerates skin cells.

Two of our dermatologist sources give their stamps of approval to this Biopelle serum for deep hydration and anti-aging. Dr. Lal recommends Biopelle to clients whose primary skin concern is premature aging, as the vitamins A and C keep the skin looking youthful and glowy. And while you’ve probably gathered by now that moisturizing is one of snail mucin’s top benefits, it can also trigger the production of new collagen, which results in firmer skin. As such, Dr. Corey L. Hartman, the founder of Skin Wellness Dermatology, notes that this humectant moisturizer is a good choice for those looking for tighter, more hydrated skin.

Both Strategist beauty writer Rio Viera-Newton — who wrote an entire guide to the best COSRX products — and Dr. Wang call this blend of hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and snail mucin one of the best snail-mucin products on the market for its brightening and moisturizing powers, as well as its lighter feel. “While hydrating, COSRX Advanced Snail Mucin is less comedogenic than other formulations,” Dr. Wang says of its finer filtration process. Dylan Cruickshank, a Toronto-based hairstylist, has been using this essence for over ten years and counts it as the secret to his healthy skin barrier. “People are always shocked when I divulge my age, all thanks to COSRX,” he says.

Hand says she encourages clients to use this cleanser to remove impurities and pollutants without compromising the skin barrier. Emily Perrone, a production coordinator and skin-care obsessive, says she uses this cleanser to clear up sun spots she picks up from spending most of her free time outdoors. Within two months of consistent use, she says it noticeably softened the hyperpigmentation and made her skin glow like she “came back from a really good vacation.” Packed with rosemary, aloe vera, and sage, this cleanser also restores skin elasticity, while calming irritation.

Dr. Wang calls Deoproce Snail Recovery Cream one of the best wound-healing options out there due to the licorice-root extract that diminishes built-up inflammation. Anna Quinlan, an underwriter who’s used snail-mucin products for eight years, started using Deoproce in the winter when her “skin barrier was flaky and destroyed from the dry weather.” “It’s extremely gentle on my sensitive skin and has helped repair my skin ten-fold,” she says. Dr. DeRosa says this snail-mucin product is safe to use in conjunction with other active ingredients, including retinols, peptides, and antioxidants.

For an even tone and brightening, Dr. Hartman recommends this La PURE mask, which contains glycolic acid. According to the brand, La Pure also contains almost seven times the amount of snail-secretion filtrate found in most other masks on the market. The higher concentration means that skin can rejuvenate faster, allowing you to see results more quickly.

If improved elasticity is one of your skin goals, Hand suggests Mizon’s Snail Repair Intensive Ampoule, noting that the glycerin and panthenol formula stimulates collagen production, which is key for tight, youthful skin. Nicole Doswell, an executive director at a PR agency who frequently tries new skin-care products and treatments, calls it the “under-eye killer” of her beauty routine. “I suck at using anything regularly, but this is the only product I’ve used that made a difference,” she says. “The skin finally feels hydrated and my bags are lighter in color.”

I stumbled upon this incredible snail serum while in Bologna last spring. Made with enzymatic snail-secretion filtrate extract, this serum nourishes and provides long-lasting hydration. Gina Maruschak, a New York–based publicist who’s used this daily since 2020, also notes its moisturizing abilities, calling it a “miracle product.” Because snail mucin is packed with hyaluronic acid, Dr. Hartman says that Nerea Milano can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, all while plumping the skin.

Some more snail-mucin skin-care products we’ve written about

The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

Every editorial product is independently selected. If you buy something through our links, New York may earn an affiliate commission.

The Best Snail-Mucin Products, According to Experts