The snail mucin skincare trend seems to have made a return recently thanks to Tiktok. I’m not on Tiktok a lot myself, but it seems like many are discovering the great benefits of snail through the COSRX Snail Mucin Essence. Why did it take me so long to try this out as a K-beauty fan?

Many years ago, even before Cosrx launched, I found an amazing snail product from the Korean brand Skin Watchers which I have repurchased multiple times. It worked so well for me that I wasn’t even tempted to try anything else to be honest.

However, the product is not as easily accessible anymore. So, at this point, I had to look for alternatives and I knew I couldn’t pass up the chance to try the COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence!

Where to buy: This essence is available at Yesstyle (reward code: KBEAUTYNOTES for 5% off your order, can be used together with other coupons), Stylevana (code INF10LED for at least 10% OFF), StyleKorean, and Jolse.

Price: $13-$25

Volume: 100ml (3.38 fl.oz.)

Packaging: Simple plastic bottle with a pump dispenser.

What is the COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence

CosRx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence is formulated with 96.3% Snail Secretion Filtrate, Sodium Hyaluronate, and two skin soothing ingredients: Allantoin and Panthenol. It promises to rejuvenate the skin, deeply hydrate, soothe and improve texture together with pigmentation.

According to Cosrx, the snails are not harmed during the process of obtaining the snail mucin.

How to use

  • Apply an appropriate amount of the essence after cleansing and/or toning the skin.
    TIP: Follow with the essence while your skin is still damp from the toner!
  • Massage to spread and then pat lightly to help with absorption.
  • Follow with your next skincare steps, like moisturizer and/or sunscreen in your morning routine.


It has that stringy consistency of snail products, gel-like and viscous, but super lightweight and easily spreadable. Minimal tackiness before it sets in a smooth finish. It takes a bit of time until it sinks into my skin though.


There is no discernible scent since it’s free of fragrance and essential oils.


After using this essence I noticed immediate improvement in skin texture as it makes my skin feel super smooth! The thing is though that it’s not that hydrating on its own for me because I don’t see my fine lines become less visible like with other essences and toners. To up the hydration game, I usually layer products, which usually does the trick. But here’s the kicker: I’ve had a few congestion spots pop up on three separate occasions when I’ve tested it.

So, sadly I had to stop using it and gave it to my mom. Her skin isn’t prone to acne like mine, so as anticipated, she didn’t experience any congestion issues. Perhaps using it less often or pairing it with different products could have prevented the breakouts, but I wasn’t willing to take any more chances.

Despite these two issues, there are some great things about this essence. It creates a protective moisture barrier on the skin that it’s important for barrier repair on damaged skin and to prevent water loss. The barrier it creates is pretty long lasting too. I noticed its effects the next morning as well.

Those with skin concerns like dry areas may notice a difference with consistent use.

This type of essence meshes beautifully with a routine packed with active ingredients because it helps to keep the skin in a healthy state. The ingredients list is minimal and the ingredients themselves would benefit those with easily irritated skin.

I wish I could tell you about its long-term effects on improving dark spots and existing acne spots, but I only used it a few times.

While I think it’s received a bit too much hype, it’s still a decent product on its own—provided it doesn’t cause any breakouts.


96.3% Snail Secretion Filtrate – it’s packed with skin loving ingredients like hyaluronic acid, copper peptides, antimicrobial peptides, zinc etc. Antioxidant and regenerative properties.

Arginine (NMF – Natural moisturizing factor), Sodium Hyaluronate (moisturizer), Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B5, anti-inflammatory, skin protecting and wound healing properties), Allantoin (soothing, skin-softening, and protecting).

Free of alcohol, fragrance and EOs.

Snail Secretion Filtrate (96.3%), Betaine, Butylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Sodium Polyacrylate, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Allantoin, Ethyl Hexanediol, Carbomer, Panthenol, Arginine

Alternatives to COSRX Snail Mucin Essence

If you’re on the hunt for alternatives to the COSRX Snail Mucin Essence, but still want to incorporate snail mucin into your routine, I’ve got two gems for you. First up is the Iunik Black Snail Restore Serum. It’s lighter in texture, yet it does wonders for inner skin hydration across all skin types.

Another great option is the Jumiso Snail Mucin 95% + Peptide Essence. It has a similar consistency to the COSRX one, but feels a tad lighter. Plus, it not only steers clear of congestion but also seems to help keep breakouts in check. It’s a win-win!

If you’re just not into using snail mucin altogether, I’ve got another recommendation for you: the Vegreen Nature Mucin line. They’ve swapped snail mucin for wild yam extract, a vegan alternative that works wonders for hydration. Give it a shot—it might just become your new favorite!

Final Verdict on the COSRX Snail Essence


  • Lightweight texture.
  • Dries in a smooth finish.
  • Barrier protecting and repair.
  • Antioxidant.
  • Prevents TEWL.
  • Great for easily irritated skin.
  • No alcohol, fragrance, or EOs.
  • Cruelty-free.


  • Broke me out.
  • Not hydrating enough for dry/very dry skin.

Since this broke me out, I would not repurchase it. I’m sure it’s not the snail mucin causing it. So, if you experience the same, I wish you don’t give up on the ingredient just because this product didn’t work out for you. This would work fine if you’re not acne prone (based on my experience), and your skin feels damaged and irritated from external factors or the overuse of actives.

Did you find the COSRX Snail Mucin Essence Review helpful? Have you tried this essence before?

*Affiliate Links – It means I may earn a small commission when you purchase a product through the links I have provided, at no extra cost to you. I have purchased this product myself.