How is Snail Mucin Used for Skincare?

    • The snail beauty market is reportedly worth $4 billion.
    • Advocates often claim their products can improve wrinkles and texture.
    • But how does the slime go from snail to shelves? We went to Italy to see how it's extracted and processed.


    Snail slime has been used in skincare for centuries, and today the snail beauty-product industry is worth an estimated $4 billion.

    Back in the day, the snails had to be killed for their slime to be extracted. The tale goes that Greek physician Hippocrates applied crushed snails to treat skin inflammations. Later on, snails were dunked in pots of salt water and vinegar that forced them to release the slime.

    That is, until it was discovered snails would also release slime through stimulation — a practice used today in Italy.

    The snail mucin makes its way across the globe in bottled skincare products, with North America projected to be the fastest-growing region for snail beauty products. Rita Linkner, founder and medical director of RVL Skincare, recently incorporated products with snail mucin in her practice. She told Insider she likes to use it post-laser treatment. Studies have shown it can treat radiation-induced irritations, wounds, and burns.