Amazing Facts About Snail Mucin and Its Benefits for the Skin
Have you ever heard about snail mucin or how it is used?
Read this week’s blog to discover the amazing facts about snail mucin and its many benefits when it comes to skin health.
One of the most buzzed-about beauty ingredients in the Korean skincare industry, which has successfully found its way to the American and European skincare world, is snail mucin.
Snail mucin, or more popularly known as snail mucus, slime, or extract, is the bodily secretion of snails when they are in the active state.
Read on to discover some amazing facts about snails and the benefits that their gooey substance has when it comes to your skin!
What are snails?
Gastropods are a group of animals that do not have backbones. The gastropod family mainly consists of snails which have shells. Slugs are also considered a gastropod but lost their shells in evolution.
Gastropods can be found in all three major habitats: saltwater, freshwater, and land. In some places, some rapidly multiplying species of snails cause damage to crops and gardens, but most of the gastropod species are useful to humans.
When did humans start using snails?
The use of snails by humans dates back to the Age of Pericles or Classical Greece. During that time, the famous physician and the Father of Western Medicine, Hippocrates, reportedly used the combination of crushed snails and sour milk to treat skin inflammation.
It has also been said that the French used snails in skincare in the 18th century.
The Mapuche tribe, who are natives of Southern Chile, are constantly exposed to extreme weather conditions, yet have skin that is soft and moisturized. They have been using snails to treat their skin long before snail farming started in Chile.
The use of snails in skincare in Chile was rediscovered in the 1980s when snail breeders were amazed at how remarkably soft their hands were after handling snails for the French market. This led to the debut of Chilean snail cream which contains 80% snail mucin.
For others, snails serve as a gastronomical delight. Snails are most famously known as being a fancy French delicacy called Escargot. Escargot consists of snails that are cooked and served as an appetizer.
In recent years, snail spas started to become popular in Thailand. Living farm-bred snails are put on a person’s face and left to glide. This process leaves slime all over the face and neck that then penetrates the skin. It has become one of the most sought after attractions for thrill-seeking tourists.
The snail spa craze has found its way to other beauty conscious neighbors like Japan and South Korea. South Korean skincare and cosmetic companies started adding snail extracts to their products such as serums, moisturizers, creams, and facial masks.
Today, many edible snails are raised in farms and exported to different parts of the world for food and skincare.
What kind of snails are used in skincare?
There are about 55,000 species of snails that are bountiful all over the world as they can easily fit into different environments. However, only edible snails such as Roman snails and Garden snails are used in skincare products. Other skincare companies also use Giant African snails.
These snails thrive best in open forests, stonewalls, vineyards, shrubbery, riverbanks, farmland, streams, agricultural areas, and gardens.
They have flat muscular feet that allow them to move in a gliding motion while they release mucus or slime to minimize friction and prevent damage to their skin and tissues.
DIY snail treatment and DIY spas are not advisable due to a variety of environmental conditions such as sanitation that might affect the potency of snail mucin. Snails used in spas and skin care treatments are professionally raised and purified.
How is snail mucin collected from the snails?
Heliciculture or snail farming is the process of raising edible snails in farms for food and cosmetic purposes.
Because of the sudden rise in the demand for snail mucin, snail farming tremendously expanded in recent years to supply the skincare and the culinary industries.
Older extraction techniques required submerging the snails in saltwater or in water with vinegar, but companies now have innovated newer techniques that do not harm the snails.
One company said that they put the snails in special extracting machines which do not hurt or injure the snails. After the extraction process, the snails are returned to the farms where they are fed well so they are strong enough for another extraction after two months.
Snails are nocturnal animals, meaning they are active during the night. Other companies cultivate snails in dark and quiet cable cages with dry straw, dry wood, net or mesh. The snails are free to move all over the straw or mesh, leaving mucin, which is later collected.
There is no external stress or pressure applied on the nets to make the snails produce mucin.
The snails reach optimal mucin production when they are healthy, strong, and in a comfortable environment.
The snail mucin undergoes a process that purifies and stabilizes it to make it more potent for cosmetic and skincare use.
What are the benefits of snail mucin to the skin?
Snail mucin is abundant in antimicrobial peptides, allantoin, glycolic acid, antioxidants, hyaluronic acid, glycoprotein enzymes, copper peptides, and Vitamins A, D and E making it a great addition to cosmetics and skincare products.
- Beneficial for acne-prone skin - Snail mucin helps control acne-causing bacteria. The natural glycolic acid properties in snail mucin helps unclog pores by gently exfoliating dead skin cells. As a result, you have smoother and brighter skin.
- Helps brighten the skin - Proteins, peptides, and the antioxidants help reveal a radiant appearance to the skin.
- Moisturizes the skin - Hyaluronic acid, another substance in snail mucin, helps fortify the skin's barrier function. At the same time, it works to pull in moisture from the environment and locks it into the skin, which helps diminish the appearance of signs of aging.
- Firms the skin - Hyaluronic acid also gives the appearance of plump skin, leaving your complexion looking youthful and hydrated.
- Skin texture improvement - Regular use of products containing snail mucin may contribute to smoother and softer skin texture.
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HAVE YOU EVER USED SKINCARE PRODUCTS WITH SNAIL MUCIN? WHAT AMAZING RESULTS HAVE YOU WITNESSED? LET’S TALK IN THE COMMENTS BELOW.