5 Powerful Beauty Ingredients Even Weirder Than Snail Mucus

Next, we turn to donkeys and lobsters

Illustrated by Lindsay Hattrick

Along with the U.S. K-beauty boom came the introduction of snail slime, or snail mucin, into our skin-care regimens—resulting in glowy, plump skin, faded acne scars, and minimized pores for all. While this slime craze really took off in America over the last two years, these products (which have been huge in Korea and in other parts of the world for years), have been available Stateside as early as 2012.

Being a fan of snail slime myself—not for what it feels like, but the undeniably positive results—and constantly yearning to explore all of the weirdest things the beauty industry has to offer, I found myself on a journey to find the next weird beauty ingredients to trend in the skin care biz.

I turned to the experts to tip me off to the next effective but truly strange—maybe even gross—beauty ingredients to know. Whether newly developed or passed on for generations (or even centuries), beauty industry leaders shared their thoughts on what will be the next snail mucin. Find out their picks, below.

Illustrated by Lindsay Hattrick

Donkey milk
There’s the slime of the snail, and then there’s the milk of a donkey. We’re not really sure which makes us cringe more. We chatted with Jude Chao, director of marketing at Beautytap and the brains behind K-Beauty blog Fifty Shades Of Snail. (Really, is there a better person to talk to for this story?) Her first suggestion? Donkey milk-infused skin care.

As someone who uses prescription tretinoin (an anti-aging ingredient and acne treatment) and chemical exfoliants like AHA and BHA, which can weaken and thin the skin barrier leading to dryness and sensitivity, she relies on hydrating and barrier-strengthening ingredients like donkey milk to improve moisture retention and keep her skin healthy. “Rich in proteins and fats, including ceramides, donkey milk can be wonderful for dry skin and damaged barriers,” says Chao. “It plumps up the skin’s surface and creates a healthy glow. Donkey milk is also rich in antioxidants like vitamins A, C, D, and E, delivering some extra protection against everyday free radical damage.”

Welp, we’ll be stocking up this winter. Curious? Chao suggests trying out K-beauty brand SeaNtree’s donkey milk line, which she describes as lightweight yet hydrating, unlike the heavier, rich products out there. Try the brand’s Donkey Milk Water Drop Cream if you're interested in experimenting with the new ingredient of the moment.