This Creepy-Crawly K-Beauty Ingredient Could Be the Answer to Your Under-Eye Circles

Photo: Getty Images/ Vasily Pindyurin
You can oat-milk matcha-latte your way out of a lot of the symptoms of a crappy night's sleep, but there's one thing that no amount of caffeine is going to fix after you've spent multiple hours tossing and turning: the dark circles that stake out under your eyes. Womp womp.

But leave it to Ashley Graham—who always look gorgeous and well-rested, despite running a full-blown empire and traveling non-stop—to have found the answer. According to a recent Instagram story, the model-slash-mogul turns to snail slime to help banish the bags under her eyes.

Snail mucin (the slime's technical term) is actually beloved in the K-beauty community for its hydrating properties, and is known to leave skin looking plump and moisturized post-use. "From soothing irritated skin to deeply hydrating dry skin, snail secretion filtrate offers a host of anti-aging benefits," says co-founder of Soko Glam and esthetician Charlotte Cho, who notes that the ingredient is versatile enough to work for any skin type. "It also contains anti-microbial properties to ward off bacteria."

Its status as a hydration hero, then, is what makes snail mucin so effective for treating under-eye bags. "Most of the fine lines around your eyes are a result of dehydration," explains Cho. "Topically applying snail mucin to the skin is helpful because it contains peptides [and] hyaluronic acid, so it brings a boost of deep hydration to your epidermis." This, she says, firms and lifts your skin, which is exactly what the area under your eye needs after a long flight, a bad night of sleep, or—you know—when you're hungover as hell. Board certified dermatologist and founder of Visha Skincare, Dr. Purvisha Patel, seconds these benefits, noting that snail mucin is believed to contain enzymes that help exfoliate dead skin cells and aid with moisture retention.

Graham turns to the Nature's Republic Snail Solution Hydrogel Eye Pack ($7) when she's struggling to keep her eyes open, but Cho suggests the Botanic Farm Eye Patches ($30), which are made with aloe vera and salmon egg extracts that help to soothe any redness and irritation around the delicate skin around your eyes.

And as a long-time snail mask user myself, I promise it's not as gross as it sounds—and actually may leave you looking like a legit supermodel.

Steal Cho's tips for fighting acne the K-beauty way, too, and stay up-to-date with these innovative K-beauty trends worth knowing about. 

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