Snail mucin is everywhere. Whether you’re perusing skincare routines on Instagram Reels, watching reviews on your TikTok For You Page, or researching must-have skincare products online, chances are you’ll run into Cosrx’s Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence. Those that love it swear by its ability to hydrate the skin, help calm down inflammation, and impart a glass-like appearance. I’ve been dealing with a bad bout of hormonal acne, so I was curious to find out if the essence would be able to soothe the redness and dryness all over my face.
Read on for my honest review.
BEST FOR: Replenishing dry and aging skin
KEY INGREDIENTS: 96.3% Snail secretion filtrate, Sodium hyaluronate
PRICE: $9 for 1.01 fl. oz. or $25 for 3.38 fl. oz.
ABOUT THE BRAND: Popular K-beauty brand Cosrx is known for its skincare products geared towards helping you achieve your best-looking skin. The brand’s simple, effective products (like the Snail Mucin Essence and the Pimple Patches) target skin concerns in a gentle way.
About My Skin: Acne-prone and easily irritated
I’ve always had acne, but in the last few months due to some hormonal changes, my breakouts increased tenfold. To help combat the unwanted visitors on my complexion, my dermatologist prescribed Tretinoin, a derivative of vitamin A similar to retinol, to apply to my face every few days. If you’ve ever heard anything about Tretinoin, you probably know about the purge, a period of time where skin gets worse before it gets better. Unluckily for me, my skin started purging shortly after I started using the topical cream. And, for once in my life, my oily skin became incredibly dry. I dabbled with a few different moisturizers and finally came to the realization that I needed a little extra help keeping my skin calm, hydrated, and comfortable. Enter: Cosrx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence.
Ingredients: Naturally occurring and beneficial
As you may have guessed, the essence contains snail mucin (aka the excretion from a snail). This compound appears on ingredient labels as snail secretion filtrate, or SSF. As board-certified dermatologist Sheel Desai-Solomon, MD, previously told Byrdie, the excretion is naturally created and used by snails as a way to protect themselves. “It’s a trusted ingredient in the K-beauty world and has become a popular one as it can offer noticeable results,” she explains.
Snail mucin offers a ton of beauty benefits, including hydration, collagen production, inflammation healing, and anti-aging. It naturally contains moisturizing agents that work to repair barrier function, blocking out irritants in the environment, while simultaneously locking moisture in. And, because it’s excreted while snails are in distress (don’t worry, no snails are harmed in the making of snail mucin), the ingredients are meant to repair and protect from injury.
The Results: Slimy but effective
I initially thought that the essence formula was a spray or super lightweight toner, but I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it’s serum-like and slimy. It feels slightly tacky upon application, which can feel slightly uncomfortable at first, but as time goes on, you can feel it sinking into the skin. To really lock in moisture and take full advantage of the snail mucin and sodium hyaluronate, I like to follow up with a moisturizer while the snail mucin is still damp on my face. I only need a tiny pump to cover my entire face—which is great because I hate the feeling of too much product on my skin. Most nights, this is all I need in order to wake up with super smooth, calm skin.
I notice the biggest difference, however, when I use it alongside Tretinoin. I’ve found that applying the essence before Tretinoin really helps eliminate any redness and irritation that comes along with the topical treatment. I used to wake up with splotchy, red broken-out skin, but now, thanks to the snail mucin, my skin looks like glass and feels a lot less angry.
The Value: Lives up to the hype
The CosRx Snail Mucin most certainly lives up to the hype. Though the concept of applying snail excretion to my face took some getting used to, the results speak for themselves. My skin feels soft, supple, and hydrated, even when using a harsh topical medication like Tretinoin. If you’re looking for an essence or serum to add to your skincare routine that won’t break you out, cause irritation, or break the bank, this one is it.
You won’t regret purchasing Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence from Cosrx. It may require some getting used to (snail excretion does sound a little daunting), but the results I’ve seen in just a few uses of this hydrating essence are pure magic.