I Tried the Viral Snail Mucin Skin Care on My Face—Here’s How It Went

We uncovered the pros and cons of this new viral ingredient so you don’t have to.

<p>fotoArion/Getty Images</p>

fotoArion/Getty Images

As an avid skincare enthusiast, when I saw that the internet was buzzing about a new viral ingredient that provides rejuvenating and ultra-hydrating benefits, I had to try it for myself. But this isn't your average skin care ingredient—it comes from a shelled gastropod. Enter: snail mucin.

So, what is snail mucin? Snail mucin comes from “the slimy substance that snails release to protect themselves when they are under stress. These secretions contain a mix of growth factors, hyaluronic acid, and antioxidants,” says Dr. Nazanin Saedi, MD FAAD. It’s not new, either—snail mucin has been around for a long time, believe it or not. Originating in countless K-Beauty products, this ingredient has been on shelves providing anti-inflammatory properties for years, if not decades. It only recently made its way stateside when creators on TikTok showcased their glowy, dewy skin after using the viral CosRx Snail Mucin product. The interest in #SnailMucin quickly took off from there, generating over 101.3 billion views on TikTok and counting.

A loyal #SkinTok follower, I was eager to put this latest craze to the test. To really understand how the ingredient works, I sought out the buzziest products—The A Method and Super Aqua—and put them to the test. Here’s how it went.

Snail Mucin Benefits

Hydration, hydration, hydration! If your skin is a little thirsty, snail mucin can be a godsend. “Hydration is one of the biggest benefits to using snail mucin in skincare products,” says founder of Skin Wellness Dermatology, Corey L. Hartman, MD, board-certified dermatologist. “It acts as a humectant moisturizer, attracting water from the air or from deeper in the skin’s surface.”

A secondary benefit is stimulating collagen production. Dr. Hartman says that snail mucin contains “growth factors that trigger the production of new collagen, which ultimately results in firmer skin.”

So, what’s it like?

I was expecting the products to be slimy, and boy did they live up to that expectation. Now before you get grossed out, it really wasn’t that bad. I first tried the Super Aqua Snail Cream, which has an aloe vera-like consistency that sat nicely on my skin and immediately made my face feel plump and hydrated.

Dermatologists recommend applying on damp skin and patting it in rather than rubbing in circles like you do other serums and moisturizers. Following their advice, I made sure to apply after my shower and took a good nickel-sized amount to pat around my face, neck and chest. I was a bit worried at first that the slimy texture may leave residue on my pillowcase, but the cream dried completely into my skin rather quickly.

After a few minutes, it left my skin feeling a little dry, which was shocking for how dewy it felt upon first application. Most snail mucin products do recommend applying moisturizer directly after though, so once I layered on my favorite creams, my skin was back to feeling normal.

The difference in my skin

To be fully transparent, ahead of this trial my skin was pretty great, so I didn’t have any particular problem areas to target. However, as a New Yorker, the cold really affects my skin and I am always in need of extra hydration, so I was hoping this new ingredient would do the trick.

After a few days of wear each morning and night, I noticed my skin was dewy and smooth. I even got a bunch of compliments from my friends and coworkers who said my skin was looking more radiant and plump.

In addition to Super Aqua, I also tested 24K Gold + Snail Growth Factor Serum, which felt like a godsend after a few days of unusually cold spring weather. It’s hard to measure hydration, but when I was using this product, I found myself reaching for refresh sprays and oils far less throughout the day. This product also felt a lot less sticky. More of a serum consistency than a gel, The A Method uses a dropper in their packaging, which gives a much less snail-y vibe – which I think is great, especially for folks who may be a bit weary of snail mucin’s texture.

I particularly loved using this product in the morning to set my skin for the rest of my day. Applying after my favorite Vitamin C serum and before my trusted moisturizer, it was easy to incorporate and gave me a super solid base for my makeup. When applying my foundation, I felt like it made blending easier and helped to combat my dry, flaky spots that usually poke through as the day goes on. It’s also important to note that there is a slight aroma to this product, but after going through my whole routine, it was hardly noticeable.

Is it worth it?

After dipping a toe in the world of snail-based skincare products, I really saw a difference in the overall appearance of my skin. Not only did these products give me a great glow whenever I needed it, but I also saw an improvement in my skin’s texture. Within a few weeks, all the little bumps and imperfections on my face were completely gone—I felt like I had glass skin.

So, will I be keeping snail mucin in my beauty cabinet? I can honestly say I will.

For more Real Simple news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on Real Simple.