What Is Snail Cream And Is It Safe To Use?

Forgive our pun, but we might have been a little slow to bring up snail cream. This is a skin product made from the mucin of actual snails, the little creatures moving at a glacial pace in your garden. The secretions these shelled gastropods leave behind has skulked its way into many of our skin regimes. It may sound a little icky, and you might also have concerns over whether or not it is safe to use.

As Byrdie states, snail cream can be used as a moisturizer and/or a collagen stimulator, and it promotes skin healing and regeneration. It is well-tolerated by most and can be normally used on many types of skin. However, it's worth noting that it works especially well on dry skin. "It's a trusted ingredient in the K-beauty world and has become a popular one because it can offer noticeable results," Sheel Desai-Solomon, a board-certified dermatologist, told Byrdie.

There isn't a wide range of research on snail cream

If you're looking for a skincare product with snail cream, know that it may be labeled as snail slime or snail mucin in the list of ingredients, according to Women's Health. But how did it become a well-known skincare ingredient? Some may have become aware of it through its popularity in Korean beauty regimens, but its origins are actually rooted in Chile. "In the 1980's Chileans snailbreeders [sic] found their hands to be very soft after handling the snails, leading to the Chilean snail cream, Elicina," said board-certified dermatologist Hadley King.

Now that we know the origin of snail cream and what it is used for, it's time for the most important question: Is using snail slime on your skin safe? For now, yes, but there is an admitted lack of research. "There aren't any well-documented side effects of snail mucin," Desai-Solomon told Byrdie. She goes on to recommend using only a small amount on your skin first to make sure you are not allergic. Furthermore, it's always best to inform your dermatologist when you add a new skincare product to your routine. While the slime appears to be safe to use on your skin, you can always keep your snails in the garden.