Beauty, Beauty Trends, Skincare

Is Snail Mucin Cruelty Free? What Is It? & Other Questions Answered

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is snail mucin cruelty free

This article was written by The Zillennial Zine’s fall editorial intern Brianna Allison. Find her on Instagram at @ballison7. If you would like to share an article with The Zillennial, send us an email at

I’m sure your first thought after reading this title is probably, “Why would I ever put snail mucin on my face?” Well, that’s exactly what went through my head after hearing about it on TikTok. But the social media app is full of users raving about sheet masks, toners, moisturizers and serums full of skin mucin so I decided to give them a chance. And let me tell you, it’s worth it. Trust me, your skin will be thanking you for taking the chance on the viral ingredient of snail mucin. 

So why should you put snail mucin onto your face? Let’s discuss the benefits of the animal’s slime and answer the question, is snail mucin cruelty free?

What really is snail mucin?

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Let’s start by talking about what the new popular skincare ingredient truly is. Simply put, snail mucin is snail excretion. However, you might find it labeled on your skincare products as SSF which stands for snail secretion filtrate. This is just a sanitized and processed version of the natural snail mucin. 

A senior cosmetic chemist explains that snail mucin is the thick and gooey slime that is left behind when snails move and become agitated. They excrete the slime to help provide lubrication and use it to protect themselves.

The ingredient is said to have been used back in ancient Greece. They used the snail mucin to help prevent aging and decrease inflammation. It then started to grow in popularity after Chilean farmers who worked with snails noticed that their hands were becoming soft and smooth after their work days. It’s become refined through the years and is now the mucin that’s added to the skincare products that we know and love.

Skin benefits of snail mucin

After you start using products that contain snail mucin, I’m sure that you will start to notice a difference in your skin. It is an amazing multi-tasking ingredient that can moisturize, repair skin, provide anti-aging benefits and help with acne. It really seems like it does it all. Let’s take a look at the benefits in a little more detail:

Moisturizes skin

First, snail mucin contains multiple moisturizing agents, including hyaluronic acid. These agents help to repair the skin’s barrier, keeping out the bad irritants and locking in moisture.

Soothes irritation

Another component of the snail excretion is allantoin which is often found in toners. It has the ability to calm irritation, smooth the skin and stimulate cell regeneration.

Stimulates collagen

Because the mucin is produced while the snail is trying to defend itself, the slime contains ingredients that help to repair and protect the skin. These agents produce new collagen and elastin which helps to achieve younger-looking skin and fewer wrinkles. It also contains glycolic acid which is a gentle exfoliant that removes damaged and dead skin cells and allows for new skin to grow.

Reduces acne and blemishes

The snail mucin fights your acne with the acid that it contains. It removes the excess oils and irritants on your skin without stripping it. The slime can also decrease the size of acne and reduce redness with its anti-inflammatory agents.

One of the many benefits of snail mucin is its versatility. Not only does it have a variety of benefits for your skin, but it seems that all skin types are able to tolerate it unless you happen to be allergic to snail mucin. It’s hydrating but doesn’t make your skin oily. It’s not too harsh which is perfect for sensitive skin. And it is safe for acne-prone skin! So what else could you ask for a product to be?

Is snail mucin cruelty free?

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Now, unfortunately, snail mucin is not vegan, but thankfully most brands, like Peach Slices and Cosrx are cruelty-free! YAY! So you keep using their snail mucin products! According to Snailylove, snail mucin can be collected in a few different ways and its collection method depends on the breeder.

Although outdated methods of collecting snail mucin were cruel, that’s not the case for the snail mucin in today’s skincare products. Snail mucin used to be collected by soaking them in pots of water with salt or chemicals to get them to release their slime.

However, a common collection method today occurs when snails are placed in a dark and calm room on a mesh net. Then the breeders let them roam freely for approximately 30 minutes and allow them to leave their mucin trails. Although this doesn’t seem like a great environment for the snails, they actually prefer it because they’re nocturnal animals.

There are no other stressors are added to the environment or the snails. After their roaming time is done, they’re taken back into their homes, and the slime is collected.

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I know skincare products can be so overwhelming. There are so many different products that you may not be sure which is suitable for your skin. On top of that, you want to make sure your products are ethical and cruelty-free. Well, next time your shopping for your next skincare product, snail mucin products may be your best option, whether you use a sheet mask, toner, essence, moisturizer or serum! Here are some suggestions to try out:

The plethora of skin benefits, the fact that it works on all skin types, and of course its cruelty-free guarantee make snail mucin the perfect product to add to your skincare routine!

Have you used any snail mucin skincare products before? Comment below your recommendations and if you’ve noticed a difference in your skin!

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