The Best Budget Snail Creams, Essences, & Masks For Glowing Skin

Skin Care

After a rainy, damp day, it’s common to find a few snails inching around on the sidewalk, leaving a trail of slime. But have you ever thought about plopping one of the hard-shelled creatures on your face for a DIY face mask? Probably not! But that was before you heard of snail creams. Snail creams are skin care products that have some pretty remarkable benefits, all stemming from that slimy secretion that snails leave behind in their trail.

Okay, okay. So maybe your first reaction when searching for a beauty product isn’t to wipe snail slime (aka snail mucin) on your face—that’s fair enough. However, once you learn about the great benefits of skin care products containing snail mucin, you might find yourself tempted to reach for one straight off the ground!

Coming up, we’ll explain what exactly snail mucin is and why it’s so good for your skin. Plus, we’ll go through some of the best snail beauty products out there and highlight real user reviews. Now get ready to slide into the world of snail creams and see this beauty trend from a new perspective.

What is Snail Mucin & Why is it Used in Skin Care Products?

close up of snail and snail mucin on green leaf
Snail mucin triggers the renewal of more new collagen and elastin cells, which help tighten your skin and reduce wrinkles

So, what exactly is snail mucin? In short, it’s the mucus that snails produce to coat their own bodies and protect them from cuts or dryness. Usually, the mucus comes from glands on the bottom of the snail, and is full of beneficial proteins that rejuvenate the skin.[1][2] This helps the animal to move easily and safely on any surface, whether rough or smooth.[3]

When applied to your skin as one of many snail creams or masks, the mucin is chock full of benefits. Because of this, snail creams are making their name known in the beauty industry and are worth learning more about if you’re after something to heal your imperfections and make your skin look younger.

Benefits of Snail Skin Care

As you can see, snail creams are all the rage lately. However, what makes this trend something worth actually trying (and sticking with)?

1. Anti-aging effects

snail on a jar of snail cream
Snail mucin is full of anti-aging proteins.

Who doesn’t want their skin to look and feel a bit younger? Snail mucin is full of anti-aging proteins to help you revitalize your looks. For example, the collagen and elastin in this sticky substance help it to destroy damaged cells. Additionally, it triggers the renewal of more new collagen and elastin cells, which help tighten your skin and reduce wrinkles.[4]

Both collagen and elastin are naturally found in your skin already, but years of sun damage reduces the amount of them, creating sun spots and wrinkles.[5] If this sounds like you, an extra boost of these two proteins through snail creams can be a great way to reverse all those beach days you forgot to apply sunscreen in your twenties.

2. Wound healing

woman with a snail on her forehead for beauty treatment
Snail creams are hydrating for your skin.

Snail mucin contains some antimicrobial proteins that quickly kill bacteria and promote healing.[6] They can even reduce the size of warts![7]

One study even showed that snail mucin could replace the artificial antibacterial ingredients in some healing medicines, though more research needs to be conducted.[8] So, any cuts or pimples you’ve picked at one too many times can benefit from a snail facial too.

3. Hydrating

snail next to a white bottle of snail cream

Because snail mucin is what keeps snails squishy and moist to the touch, it makes sense that snail creams are hydrating for your skin.

Mucin contains glucosamine, which plays a key role in keeping your skin soft and helping you retain moisture.[9] Glucosamine also inhibits melanin production, which can cause dark spots on your skin.[10] You definitely won’t be as shiny as a snail, but your skin will glow in a different way.

Fun Fact: Did you know you can get a snail facial (with live snails!) in Japan? Let these sticky, squishy mollusks inch their way across your face as part of a fancy spa treatment.

Now that you have an idea about the impact snail mucin can bring to your beauty products, let’s check out some of the best ones out there.

The Best Overall Snail Facial Product: Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence

Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence snail cream

Image credits: Amazon
  • Use it for a strong and lasting impact with just one product, or part of your daily skincare routine. 
  • Price: $13.92[11]

What it claims

Benton claims that the Snail Bee High Content Essence helps with skin protection, nutrition supply, and vitality and barrier improvement.[12]

Key ingredients

Snail secretion filtrate, aloe barbadensis leaf juice, sh-oligopeptide-1, bee venom, and hollyhock roots.

What Amazon reviews say[13]

“This + sunscreen = looking like you have lived a virtuous life. Which I have not. But seriously, I’m almost 50 and pulling an all-nighter at least once a week, and my skin looks good, even if my eyes reveal the hollow depths of my tortured, sleepless soul.” – HeatherErin

“It’s not like a moisturizer that absorbs into your skin, it stays on the surface creating a soothing coat to your skin; which is why it’s best for bedtime rather than walking around all day with a layer of snail juice on your face.” – Zayne M.

Tip: As with all skin care products, make sure you’re not allergic to any ingredients before using on your body (face especially!). If you’re not sure, test a patch on your arm first and see if you have a reaction.  

The Best Snail Creams

LadyKin Affinitic Snail Cream

LadyKin Affinitic Snail Creams

Image credits: Amazon
  • Use it if you have acne-prone, combination skin.
  • Price: $12.34[14]

What it claims

LadyKin describes its gorgeously packaged Affinitic Snail Cream as brightening and hydrating. They also note that it’s ideal for mature skin types, so those that have perhaps more visible damage to reverse.[15]

Key ingredients

Snail secretion extracts, mineral salts, and shea butter.

What Amazon reviews say[16]

“After just three days my skin is smoother, tighter, pores are smaller, there is significantly less oil, and I have a slight glow. I just love this product and the packaging is as cute as a button!” – Katy Martinez

“I love the cream, it works really well with my dry, oily skin. I have really bad dry patches on my face, and it smooths those right out. Not greasy, no harsh smell. It’s perfection in a giant snail container.” – Nicole Siravo

Mizon Snail Recovery Gel Cream

Mizon Snail Recovery Gel Cream

Image credits: Amazon
  • Use it if you have sensitive skin. In addition, you can use it to target scarring from acne or sun damage.
  • Price: $12.65[17]

What it claims

Mizon says its Snail Recovery Gel Cream reduces acne scarring, dark spots, and fine lines.[18]

Key ingredients

Mucin, adenosine, green tea, and sunflower seed oil.

What Amazon reviews say[19]

“Well, this works! I woke up the very next morning with improved texture, which was even more clearly revealed after my morning wash. My skin had smaller pores and looked smooth as some of my little wrinkles – I have some on my forehead and between my brows from smiling and from “focusing!” – looked… gone!” – Call of Kthalia

“I love this product and buy 2 bottles at a time so I never run out. I had some broken capillaries on my cheeks that were causing redness and they have completely disappeared ever since I started using this gel. I put it on before bed and feel supple and fresh when I wake up.” – Dehlia C. Mendenhall

The Best All-in-One Creams

Mizon All-in-One Snail Repair Cream

Mizon All-in-One Snail Repair Cream

Image credits: Amazon
  • Use when you want a one-stop shop that targets wrinkles.
  • Price: $45.56[20]

What it claims

Mizon explains that its All-in-One Snail Repair Cream is a functional, universal cream for wrinkles.[21]

Key ingredients

Snail secretion filtrate, copper tri-peptide, and hydrogenated vegetable oil.

What Amazon reviews say[22]

“Truly multifunction cream. It has the power of calming down redness, reducing acne, fading hyperpigmentation. I have been using it for only 2 weeks and already saw a result. Other than that, it leaves your skin hydrated, I also have flake skin on both of the jawlines due to acne treatment. But this multifuction magic solve [sic] it all.” – Anonymous Amazon Customer

“I have had cystic acne, badly, for nearly 6 years. I have tried nearly EVERYTHING! I bought this because it wasn’t too expensive and it sounded promising. Don’t they all though?… There was a big difference though. This works! Because of my years of cystic acne I have scarring on my cheeks and I use this morning and night and my face is so soft and my cystic acne has become small, and extremely manageable pimples that last 1-2 days at most and aren’t large and painful.” – Thrill peeker

Cosrx Advanced Snail 92 All In One Cream

Cosrx Advanced Snail 92 All In One Cream

Image credits: Amazon
  • Use when you want a one-stop shop with minimally processed ingredients.
  • Price: $16.39[23]

What it claims

Cosrx says that the Advanced Snail 92 All In One Cream (one of their many snail creams) will help create a healthy, natural skin glow by treating irritated skin and evening tone.[24]

Key ingredients

Snail secretion filtrate, betaine, arginine, and adenosine.

What Amazon reviews say[25]

“I liked this one the best because it’s thicker than the mizon brand and leaves my skin feeling less dry. The mizon ones soak in really quickly and dry almost instantly. This cream takes a good 5-10 minutes to fully absorb and it’s much thicker and slimier in consistency.” – Dizzy

“Rated as the highest snail content cream on the market by blogs and I stand by this product. Absorbs quickly, moisturizing, reduces wrinkles, not sticky/greasy/oily– all pros! It comes with a mini spatula which has helped me scoop product out instead of using my hands to keep the product pure.” – Juliana B.

The Best Snail Essences

Missha Super Aqua Snail Ampoule

Missha Super Aqua Snail Ampoule

Image credits: Missha
  • Use if you have a lot of damaged skin and want something strong to support skin strength.
  • Price: $45.00[26]

What it claims

Missha says that its Super Aqua Snail Ampoule with 65% snail slime extract helps to care for damaged skin. Specifically, they claim it “improves the texture of damaged skin and gives vitality to the skin.”[27]

Key ingredients

EFG complex, baobab seed extract, and snail slime extract.

What reviews say[28]

“I love the Super Aqua Snail Ampoule. My skin absorbs right away and feels great after. Not oily, good for layering products. The dropper is a pain though.” – Lisette I.

“This is the first ampoule that I tried and I like the results. It improved my skin’s texture, doesn’t feel greasy, and the packaging is really pretty. I’ve used this with the other Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail products (treatment, cream, sleeping mask) and I think this line is really good.” – Milka L.

Cosrx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence

Cosrx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence

Image credits: Amazon
  • Use if you want a hydrating product that locks in moisture all day while evening out your skin tone.
  • Price: $17.00[29]

What it claims

Cosrx boats that this product is good for all skin types and will keep your skin texture smooth and healthy. Additionally, it also comes in at a high snail mucin percentage of 96 percent.[30]  

Key ingredients

Snail secretion filtrate, and betaine.

What Amazon reviews say[31]

“It absorbs quickly and my skin is more radiant, evenly toned, and it has GREATLY decreased the appearance of pores on my nose, as well as the furrow between my eyebrows.” – Chicandgreen

“ I cannot believe my eyes! I received this 3 weeks ago and have used it 3-5 days per week. I have never had this much skin peeling even with RetinA. At first I thought it might be the snail essence gel itself peeling off but this picture is after it has been completely washed off. The improvement I have seen in my hyperpigmentation I could only achieve with visits to my dermatologist to get IPL laser treatments for $200 each.” – Nissy

The Best Snail Masks

Missha Super Aqua Snail Hydro-Gel Mask

Missha Super Aqua Snail Hydro-Gel mask

Image credits: Amazon
  • Use it if you’re in your 20s to 30s and want a brightening mask for dull skin with moderate damage.
  • Price: $5.00[32]

What it claims

Missha says its Super Aqua Snail Hydro-Gel Mask is better for younger skin yet with moderate damage. Furthermore, it fights lifelessness and, combined with deep sea water, hydrates skin deeply. [33]  

Key ingredients

Snail slime extract, cyclodextrin, and baobab tree extract.

What Amazon reviews say[34]

“These are the ONLY face masks I use. They are very hydrating and are made of some kind of rubbery/ plastic material. I don’t like paper ones because they dry out quickly. These feel very nourishing to my skin.” – Cristel_loves_her_shoes

“I LOVED this mask! It felt really great while it was on and then left my skin feeling and looking really good!” – Rita Grassi

Benton Snail Bee High Content Mask

Benton Snail Bee High Content Mask

Image credits: Amazon
  • Use it if you want something simple but high quality to boost your overall skin complexion and smoothness.
  • Price: $17.85[35]

What it claims

Benton explains that its Snail Bee High Content Mask product is safe for all skin types and improves skin hydration and vitality. They also say that the sheet mask will have extra liquid in the package that you can use on your neck and chest too![36]  

Key ingredients

Snail secretion filtrate, camellia sinensis leaf water, and bee venom.

What Amazon reviews say[37]

“The fine lines are plumped out, my skin is glowing with hydration, and everything is smooth and even-toned. But my favorite part is that the angry, red inflammation around my cystic acne is GONE. I think the serum does reduce the size of the acne a bit, but mostly the reduction in redness makes it appear significantly less noticeable.” – KBC

“These are my favorite sheet masks of all time. The “sheet” part is thick and substantial, the liquid is viscous and doesn’t ooze everywhere and drip down my neck like other brands I have used. I’m a fan of the whole Benton SBHC line, and I appreciate this mask is straightforward and not stuffed with other fluff and fragrances.” – Erin Reardon

The Best Eye Creams

Mizon Snail Repair Eye Cream

Mizon Snail Repair Eye Cream

Image credits: Amazon
  • Use if you want to lighten the darkness around your eyes and tighten the skin.
  • Price: $13.89[38]

What it claims

Mizon states their formula improves both tiny and deep wrinkles, plus actually lightens the area around your eyes to match better your face skin.[39] Additionally, they have a whole line of snail creams you can try to improve wrinkles. 

Key ingredients

Snail mucus, EG.F., adenosine, and niacinamide.

What Amazon reviews say[40]

“I believe this will help with wrinkles, as my thinning eyelids once developed an extra fold that made them look crooked as a result of my condition. My eyelid folds are basically normal again! I still have slightly crinkly skin around my eyes due to the damage, but far less than I should considering how bad my skin was. I cannot recommend this enough.” – Shayela H.

“I am in my early 40s and I have fine lines around my eyes. I’ve been using this for about six months now and I can see the results. (I haven’t changed other eye products since then so I know this is the one that made a difference.)” – Dumpling

Secret Key Snail Repairing Eye Cream

Secret Key Snail Repairing Eye Cream

Image credits: Walmart
  • Similar to most eye creams, you can use this snail cream if you want something specific for wrinkles around your eye.
  • $13.66[41]

What it claims

Secret Key claims that this product is of high quality and transforms the area around your eyes to be visibly smoother.[42]  

Key ingredients

Snail slime extract, macadamia seed oil, and caviar.

What Amazon reviews say

“The cream does not draw in the eyes, pull in quickly, the make-up does not smudge. In addition, the price-performance ratio is absolutely unbeatable, since the tube contains 30ml and not just 10 or 15ml as usual with eye creams.” – Gromi (translated)[43]

Best Budget Snail Creams: Essences & Masks For Glowing Skin

Conclusion

Right now, you might feel like beating yourself up for not trying snail beauty products sooner! But don’t worry too much, there’s always time to amend the past and include snail creams into your beauty routine. Especially now you have discovered all about its potential uses as well as the countless benefits it offers your skin. So start using it without delay—the potency of snail mucin means you’ll get back years of your skin’s life and the glow will show!

References

  • [1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28554685
  • [2] https://www.koreamed.org/SearchBasic.php?RID=0048KJD/2015.53.6.430&DT=1
  • [3] NCBI. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28554685
  • [4] http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.403.5977&rep=rep1&type=pdf
  • [5] https://www.nature.com/articles/379335a0
  • [6] Research Gate. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Godwin_Obande/publication/283563366_Antibacterial_Properties_of_Snail_Mucus_on_Bacteria_Isolated_from_Patients_with_Wound_Infection/links/587aa82a08ae9275d4deedc6/Antibacterial-Properties-of-Snail-Mucus-on-Bacteria-Isolated-from-Patients-with-Wound-Infection.pdf
  • [7] http://www.worldwidewounds.com/2013/July/Thomas/slug-steve-thomas.html
  • [8]https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Godwin_Obande/publication/283563366_Antibacterial_Properties_of_Snail_Mucus_on_Bacteria_Isolated_from_Patients_with_Wound_Infection/links/587aa82a08ae9275d4deedc6/Antibacterial-Properties-of-Snail-Mucus-on-Bacteria-Isolated-from-Patients-with-Wound-Infection.pdf
  • [9] JCD. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1473-2165.2006.00277.x
  • [10] https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1473-2165.2006.00277.x
  • [11] https://www.amazon.com/Benton-Snail-High-Content-Essence/dp/B00EC60MYW
  • [12] Benton Cosmetics. http://bentoncosmetics.com/product/snail-bee-high-content-essence-60ml/19/
  • [13] https://www.amazon.com/Benton-Snail-High-Content-Essence/product-reviews/B00EC60MYW/ref=cm_cr_dp_d_show_all_top?ie=UTF8&reviewerType=all_reviews
  • [14] https://www.amazon.com/Korean-Ladykin-Affinitic-hydrating-BeautyFully/product-reviews/B01GO2E4EA/
  • [15] Ladykin. https://www.ladykinus.com/collections/creams/products/ladykin-affinitic-snail-cream
  • [16] https://www.amazon.com/Korean-Ladykin-Affinitic-hydrating-BeautyFully/product-reviews/B01GO2E4EA/ref=cm_cr_dp_d_show_all_btm?ie=UTF8&reviewerType=all_reviews
  • [17] https://www.amazon.com/Mizon-Snail-Recovery-Gel-Cream/dp/B00BQM3S3C
  • [18] Mizon. http://brand.mizon.co.kr/product/ALL/180618000256
  • [19] https://www.amazon.com/Mizon-Snail-Recovery-Gel-Cream/product-reviews/B00BQM3S3C/ref=cm_cr_dp_d_show_all_top?ie=UTF8&reviewerType=all_reviews
  • [20] https://www.amazon.com/MIZON-Snail-Repair-Cream-Grams/dp/B00AF63QQE?th=1
  • [21] Mizon. http://www.mizon.co.kr/product/product_detail.asp?v_page=1&prod_num=1790&v_CateNum=6&v_Model=%B9%CC%C1%EE%BF%C2
  • [22] https://www.amazon.com/MIZON-Snail-Repair-Cream-75ml/product-reviews/B00AF63QQE/ref=cm_cr_dp_d_show_all_top?ie=UTF8&reviewerType=all_reviews
  • [23] https://www.amazon.com/COSRX-Advanced-Snail-Cream-100ml/product-reviews/B01LEJ5MSK/ref=cm_cr_dp_d_show_all_btm?ie=UTF8&reviewerType=all_reviews
  • [24] Cosrx. http://cosrx.kr/product_035.html
  • [25] https://www.amazon.com/COSRX-Advanced-Snail-Cream-100ml/product-reviews/B01LEJ5MSK/ref=cm_cr_dp_d_show_all_btm?ie=UTF8&reviewerType=all_reviews
  • [26] Missha. https://www.misshaus.com/default/super-aqua-cell-renew-snail-ampoule.html
  • [27] https://www.misshaus.com/default/super-aqua-cell-renew-snail-ampoule.html
  • [28] https://www.misshaus.com/default/super-aqua-cell-renew-snail-ampoule.html
  • [29] https://www.amazon.com/Cosrx-Advanced-Snail-Mucin-Essence/dp/B00PBX3L7K?th=1
  • [30] Cosrx. http://cosrx.kr/product_030.html
  • [31] https://www.amazon.com/Cosrx-Advanced-Snail-Mucin-Essence/product-reviews/B00PBX3L7K/ref=cm_cr_dp_d_show_all_top?ie=UTF8&reviewerType=all_reviews
  • [32] https://www.amazon.com/MISSHA-Super-Renew-Snail-Hydro-Gel/dp/B00GZZFS5Q/
  • [33] Missha. https://www.misshaus.com/default/super-aqua-cell-renew-snail-gel-mask.html
  • [34] https://www.amazon.com/MISSHA-Super-Renew-Snail-Hydro-Gel/product-reviews/B00GZZFS5Q/ref=cm_cr_dp_d_show_all_top?ie=UTF8&reviewerType=all_reviews
  • [35] https://www.amazon.com/Benton-Snail-Content-Sheet-pieces/dp/B00SR9S8R8/
  • [36] Benton Cosmetics. http://bentoncosmetics.com/product/snail-bee-high-content-mask-pack-20g/29/
  • [37] https://www.amazon.com/Benton-Snail-Content-Sheet-pieces/product-reviews/B00SR9S8R8/ref=cm_cr_dp_d_show_all_btm?ie=UTF8&reviewerType=all_reviews
  • [38] https://www.amazon.com/MIZON-Snail-Repair-Circles-Wrinkle/dp/B00AFLSE7U?th=1
  • [39] Mizon. http://brand.mizon.co.kr/product/ALL/180618000254
  • [40] https://www.amazon.com/MIZON-Korean-Cosmetics-Snail-Repair/product-reviews/B00AFLSE7U/ref=cm_cr_dp_d_show_all_btm?ie=UTF8&reviewerType=all_reviews
  • [41] https://www.walmart.com/ip/SECRET-KEY-Snail-Repairing-Eye-Cream/891974288
  • [42] Secret Key. http://www.secretkeyen.com/product/Snail-Repairing-Eye-Cream/1192/cid/
  • [43] https://www.amazon.de/Secret-Key-Schneckenschleim-Faltentiefe-Schneckencreme/product-reviews/B00HY6B1A6/ref=cm_cr_dp_d_show_all_btm?ie=UTF8&reviewerType=all_reviews

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