Snail Facial – Exactly How It’s Made

A popular trend in beauty products is to add mucin, which is snail mucus, but how exactly is that harvested?

By nowproducerdave on April 19, 2018
(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The snail facial is a trend that’s been getting a little more popular recently. It’s supposed to lift and tighten, and you have to let the snails crawl all over your face. They go all over, slowly, and spread their slime… Ok, that’s not actually how it works, although some people do go with that method. Really!

Mucin is an active ingredient in a lot of new beauty products, and they’re starting to become a popular item to buy. It seems the trend started in Korea, and the development process is apparently pretty closely guarded. Still, the popularity is growing (you can buy the stuff at Target, CVS, etc), so someone must know how it’s done, right? Let’s have a quick history lesson. Who figured out that snail slime was a good beauty product anyway? Chilean snail farmers noticed that after handling their product, their hands were really soft, and cuts on their hands healed quickly. This was back in the 1980s. It sort of evolved from there. Oh, why snail farmers? They were “growing” snails for the French cuizine market.

Why is it so popular in Korea? Well, a science teacher/chemist who focuses on beauty products says “consumers are more likely to try out novel ingredients even if they seem a bit ‘gross’ [since] they’re a bit more results-focused.” Well, that’s pretty to-the-point, but makes sense. The actual process might be gross, but if the results are top-notch, it’s worth it. It’s a good mentality. Snails are also a big part of the average diet in Korea, so there are already are plenty of them to go around; lots of snail farms.

So how is it produced? That’s still a pretty big question-mark. There are some people on YouTube who show their theories that all involve killing the snail, but if you kill the snail, it can’t produce more mucus, so we feel like the actual production method is a little more humane. It’s a very competitive industry, the cosmetics industry, and it’s no surprise it’s so secretive. But, the active ingredient is actually produced by snails, we do know that, and we smear it on our faces. But it really does seem to “stimulate collagen production and enhance wound healing” properties, so if it works, why worry about what it really is? Check out a lot more on snails here. Do you use any beauty products with the snail slime mucin?

Around the site