Never in our wildest dreams did we think snail slime would slither its way into the beauty spotlight. But the word-of-mouth has been stellar since South Korean brand Missha popularized this spot-removing, skin-refining potion with women the world over. We’re big fans of it ourselves—and honestly, it didn’t take long to get over the snail factor (especially when you see the results). Check out our quick guide to the gooey stuff below!

WHERE IT COMES FROM

Like the name suggests, snail cream is made from snail mucin extract—the mucus that protects and heals the snail’s undercarriage when it slides over jagged terrain.

HOW IT WAS DISCOVERED

A group of Chilean snail farmers noticed that handling the critters softened the skin on their hands and quickly healed any cuts. Naturally, one of the first snail creams on the market was launched by a Chilean beauty brand.

WHAT IT DOES

Snail cream is considered an all-around skin fixer. It soothes, brightens, and moisturizes skin immediately. You can feel its softening effects overnight! It’s also known for diminishing dark spots, reducing scarring, clearing acne, and even bringing down inflammation.

THE PHYSICAL STUFF

Surprisingly, snail cream doesn’t feel too creamy or thick on your skin. It has a silky, watered-down texture, and while it does have a sticky quality to it, the residue wipes off easily. Also, packaged snail creams have next-to-no odor—unless the brand purposely scents its product.

HOW TO TEST IT

Even though snail mucin is 100% natural and organic (and snail creams like Missha’s contain up to 70% of the stuff), you should always do a spot test to check for allergies. Apply it to a small patch of your skin. If no irritation occurs, by all means, slide right into this hot skincare trend!

WE SUGGEST: Missha’s Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Cream, Tony Moly’s Intense Care Gold 24K Snail Cream, Mizon’s Snail Repair Eye Cream