Snail Slime in Skincare: What are the benefits of snail mucin for the skin?


In recent years, the skincare industry has seen an intriguing ingredient rise to prominence: snail mucin or snail slime. You might have seen a recent video on social media about the unique extraction process of this substance, showing how the secretions are extracted ethically, so I wanted to discuss how snail slime benefits the skin, and why I’ve included a vegan alternative in many of my skincare products. In this blog, I will delve into the benefits and effectiveness of snail mucin in skincare, as well as highlight some vegan alternatives to snail slime skincare products.

Understanding Snail Mucin or Snail Slime for the skin

extraction of snail slime

What is Snail Mucin Made of?

Snail mucin, also known as snail secretion filtrate or colloquially ‘snail slime’, is produced by snails. It is a viscous fluid, rich in glycoproteins (also known as glycosaminoglycans, which are long sugar and protein chains) such as hyaluronic acid, it also contains other skin-benefiting ingredients such as glycolic acid, and various other enzymes and antioxidants. These components contribute to its numerous healing and rejuvenating properties.

Extraction Process

The conventional method of obtaining snail mucin involves creating a comfortable environment for snails to crawl around and leave their secretions. The process is designed to ensure that snails are not harmed. Ethical practices in mucin extraction are paramount to maintain sustainability and animal welfare.

Vegan Alternatives to Snail Mucin

Recognising the growing demand for cruelty-free and vegan skincare ingredients, the skincare industry has developed alternatives to snail mucin. These include plant-based ingredients that mimic the properties of snail mucin, such as fermented yeast filtrate, which offers similar hydrating and rejuvenating benefits. In our Dr. David Jack daily trio, every product benefits from a vegan alternative to snail slime, rich in antioxidants and hydrating glycosaminoglycans (GAGs).

What are the benefits of Snail Mucin in Skincare?


Enhanced Hydration and Repair with Snail Mucin

One of the key benefits of snail slime in skincare is its intense hydrating capability. The high concentration of hyaluronic acid and other glycosaminoglycans in snail mucin act as humectants to help moisturise and hydrate the skin’s barrier and provide prebiotic support to the ‘good’ bacteria of the skin’s microbiome. This provides long-lasting hydration and reduces transepidermal water loss (TEWL). This feature is particularly beneficial for individuals with dry or dehydrated skin, as it helps maintain a plump, hydrated, and youthful appearance.

Snail mucin has also been shown to have skin-repairing properties. It accelerates cell regeneration and aids in healing wounds and scars, including acne scars, making it a valuable component in post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation treatments. The glycoproteins and zinc in snail mucin promote skin regeneration, helping to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and uneven skin texture.

Anti-Ageing and Antioxidant Effects of Snail Slime

Snail mucin's anti-aging properties stem from its ability to stimulate collagen production. Collagen is vital for maintaining skin elasticity and firmness, and its enhancement through snail mucin can lead to visibly smoother and younger-looking skin. Additionally, the antioxidants in snail mucin protect the skin from free radical damage, which contributes to premature ageing.

Brightening and Exfoliating Effects from Snail Mucin

The glycolic acid present in snail mucin gently exfoliates the skin, removing dead skin cells and promoting a brighter, more even complexion. This mild exfoliation is particularly beneficial for those with dull or uneven skin tones.

Soothing and Anti-Inflammatory Benefits of Snail Mucin

Snail mucin's anti-inflammatory properties make it an excellent choice for sensitive or irritated skin. It may help to soothe redness and inflammation, providing relief to skin conditions such as acne, rosacea, and eczema. In addition, snail mucin's antimicrobial properties are well documented and can play a role in preventing bacterial infections, making it effective in combating acne-causing bacteria. It’s prebiotic and postbiotic properties also help balance the skin’s natural microbiome.

Application in Skincare Products

Types of Products Containing Snail Mucin

Snail mucin is versatile and can be found in various skincare products, including serums, creams, masks, and boosters. Its compatibility with other skincare ingredients makes it a popular choice in multi-step skincare routines. Indeed, in our Dr. David Jack core range - we have incorporated a vegan snail slime equivalent including our Good Morning serum, All Day Long SPF50+ moisturiser and Good Night retinoid night cream.

Suitability for Different Skin Types

Who should use snail mucin? Due to its low level of irritation and anti-inflammatory properties, snail slime is suitable for almost all skin types. It is particularly beneficial for those with dry, ageing, or acne-prone skin due to its hydrating, anti-ageing, and antimicrobial properties.

When, And How Often Should You Use Snail Mucin?

Snail mucin can be safely used on a daily basis in any skincare products. There are no documented side effects in the literature other than in rare cases where people are allergic to snails or molluscs, and no interactions documented with other ingredients. It is a useful hydrating and barrier-enhancing ingredients so can be useful to use frequently, particularly in individuals with dry skin issues.

What Are The Side Effects And Risks Of Using Snail Mucin?

There are no medically documented side effects with snail mucin/snail slime or vegan equivalents, but avoid if you are knowingly allergic to snails and molluscs. Approach as you would with any new skincare ingredients with a patch test: apply a small amount of a product containing snail mucin to your forearm and monitor for 24 hours before applying elsewhere.


Snail mucin's rise in the skincare industry is backed by its numerous benefits, ranging from hydration and repair to anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. With the development of vegan alternatives like the ones we use in our core products, the benefits can be experienced by a much wider audience. Suitable for various skin types and available in multiple product forms, snail mucin is a versatile ingredient that can enhance any skincare regimen.

Useful Resources

Video on social media about the unique extraction process of snail mucin or snail slime

What is Snail Mucin Made of?

Extraction Process

Enhanced Hydration and Repair with Snail Mucin

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation treatments

Anti-Ageing and Antioxidant Effects of Snail Slime

Soothing and Anti-Inflammatory Benefits of Snail Mucin