While some of the components of snail mucus may be able to reduce inflammation, it’s important to find high quality skin care products when you have eczema.
If you’re on the skin care side of TikTok, or any social media for that matter, you’ve probably heard of a product called “snail mucin.” And if you’re asking yourself, “Is that what I think it is?” you’d be correct ― we’re talking about snail mucus for skin care.
Snail mucin, a byproduct of the slimy mucus secreted by snails, is an ingredient that has captured the attention of skin care enthusiasts all over social media.
But what are the benefits and risks of using snail mucin as a skin care product? And can it be beneficial for people with conditions like eczema?
Ahead, we’ll explore everything you need to know about snail mucin, including what the science says about using snail mucin for eczema and how to choose a high quality skin care product.
Snail mucus, sometimes called snail “slime,” is a slimy secretion that snails naturally produce from different glands on their body. It functions as a lubricant, which is helpful for activities like movement and digestion, as well as being an adhesive-like substance.
Research has shown that snail mucus contains different beneficial compounds, many of which may be helpful from a skin care standpoint, such as:
Snail mucin specifically consists of compounds called mucin glycoproteins ― long chains of carbohydrates and proteins that make up the majority of snail mucus.
Skin inflammation is a hallmark of inflammatory conditions like atopic dermatitis and eczema. When people with these conditions experience flare-ups, it’s the inflammation that drives the typical symptoms like red, itchy, or painful skin.
There’s no current research exploring the effectiveness of snail mucin for eczema. However, some research suggests that snail mucus can help reduce inflammation and promote healing, which can be beneficial for inflammatory skin conditions.
One 2023 study explored the effects of snail slime on different types of cells, including keratinocytes, macrophages, and fibroblasts. According to the researchers, inflammation in these cells plays a large role in the development of eczema and atopic dermatitis.
Results of the study found that snail slime increased the number of healthy fibroblasts, which are cells responsible for the production of connective tissue. It also exhibited anti-inflammatory effects and promoted certain compounds responsible for the formation of new blood vessels.
Some research has shown that topical snail mucus can also help improve hydration. Hydration is also an essential component of treating and preventing eczema flare-ups and restoring the health of the skin barrier in people with inflammatory skin conditions.
In one study published in 2019, researchers explored the hydrating effects of a snail mucus cosmetic cream containing allantoin and glycolic acid. Study results showed that the cream was not only able to significantly improve skin hydration but also reduce trans-epidermal water loss.
There’s not much research on the side effects of snail mucin, and many of the studies exploring snail mucus reported very few side effects from participants.
However, you should not use snail mucin or any other product containing snail mucus if you have an allergy to snails or mollusks. Common symptoms of an allergic reaction may include:
- throat irritation
- itchy, watery eyes
If you’ve used a snail mucin product and have noticed any of these symptoms ― or other symptoms of a severe allergic reaction ― stop using the product immediately and seek medical attention.
Make sure to try it out first
Doing a “patch test” is always a good idea when trying out a new skin care product, especially if you have sensitive skin or eczema. Before trying a new product on your face, test it on your wrist or inner elbow to see how your skin reacts to it.
Snail mucus isn’t a new ingredient in the world of skin care, but with the current hype around snail mucin, companies are releasing new products every day. Here are a few tips on how to choose high quality skin care products:
- Understand your needs: Many skin care products are formulated for different skin types, so what works for another person’s skin might not work for yours. Consider what you’re looking for in a product before you begin your search.
- Do your research: If you’ve been considering incorporating snail mucin into your skin care routine, it’s important to do your research first. This is especially true if you live with eczema because not all skin care products are safe for eczema.
- Choose eczema-friendly products: Before you purchase a new product, check and see if it has the National Eczema Association’s Seal of Acceptance. You can also check their list of approved products, many of which have similar benefits.
It can also be helpful to reach out to your doctor or dermatologist to see if they have any recommendations for eczema-safe products you can try.
People have been using snail mucus for centuries for everything from wound healing to skin care products and more.
Snail mucin has recently come into focus as a “miracle” skin ingredient ― but while there may be some benefits of this ingredient, research on its use for eczema is limited.
Before you add the next new snail mucin cream or serum to your eczema skin care routine, touch base with your doctor or dermatologist to see if they think it might be a good option for you.
With the right combination of treatments, you can reduce your symptoms and limit future flare-ups.