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Ask the Dermatologist: What is “snail mucin” and is something that sounds so gross good for my skin?



Is Snail Mucin What I Think it Is?


Snail mucin is literally an extract from the secretions that snails use for surface adhesion and skin protection. The slime trails left by snails have been used medically dating back to the ancient Greeks. Much of the recent popularity of snail mucin can be traced to Korean skin care products.


Products containing snail mucin can be identified on their labels as “snail secretion filtrate” or SSF.


What is Snail Mucin Made of?


Snail mucin is primarily composed of glycosylated proteins, the most well known of which is hyaluronic acid. The various compounds found in mucin have many medical uses including as skin care moisturizers, wound healing agents, surgical glues, and ulcer treatments.


While many of the medical benefits of snail mucin await more rigorous study, there is no doubt that it works as an exceptional moisturizing agent. Like hyaluronic acid, it is a powerful humectant, drawing in large amounts of water to hydrate the skin. There is also some evidence to show growth factors present in the mucin may enhance wound healing and collagen production.


Should I Be Using Snail Mucin?


While far from a miracle anti-aging product, snail mucin is unlikely to pose any harm to the skin and may provide several benefits.


Of course, if you are looking for the benefits to the skin without the gross origin, then hyaluronic acid-containing products, like the ISDIN Hyaluronic Concentrate we carry at Northeast Dermatology, would be a great addition to any skin care regimen looking to better hydrate and leave a plump, satin sheen to the skin.


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