Monday, February 22, 2016
My opinion about "snail products"
A lot of beauty bloggers swear by snail mucin in their products. Others don't see any effect or just break out from them. Despite it being very popular, especially in Korea (but also in China and Japan), there seems to be no proper evidence of what this ingredient actually does.
First of all, here are two interesting critical articles about this topic: 1 2
Now a bit about my experience. The first time I tried snail products was two or three years ago in the form of sheet masks. I saw no special effect, other than slight irritation, and it was not as moisturizing as sheet masks based on hyualuronic acid for example. The claims I read sounded fabulous. It is said to treat acne, acne scars as well as stimulating collagen and smoothing out fine lines etc. etc.
But sheet masks are not long enough on my face anyway, I thought. The winter came, my skin felt dry, so I tried a snail cream by Dewytree. It felt really moisturizing. But each time after I used it I got two or three new blemishes. It was obvious that this cream was just too heavy for my skin. It is funny that at this time I still believed snail mucin would help with acne (since it is one of the main claims I always read). Later I got rid of it, because I felt like it did nothing to improve my skin.
Last year I tried even more sheet masks from different brands. I remember the worst of all was the Secret Key hydrogel mask, which made my skin more dry - is that even possible?? Anyway, again I did not see anything special and they all felt mediocre compared to my favourite masks (Leaders amino acid, NMF aquaringer).
There were two popular snail products that I tried last year. One of them was the Benton Snail Essence. I was really excited in the beginning and used it every day for two weeks. Nothing happened. But with continued use I realized it made my acne scars fade quicker and lightened some dark spots. Plus it absorbed very quickly which made it easy to integrate into my routine. So I continued using it, and I liked it a lot.
The other product was a total fail. Mizon Multi Function Formula Snail Repair eye cream (not the same as the formula in the jar) was the first eye cream that gave me wrinkles. I used it for more than a week and suddenly noticed that my eye area was more dry and lines were visible. Usually the lines under my eyes are hardly visible and the skin is smooth. I have been using eye creams since I was 21 or 22 and now I am 28 and it was a shock to me. I switched to a different eye cream and the lines gradually went away.
Lastly I recently tried a sample of Cosrx snail 96 essence with a crazily high amount of snail secretion filtrate. It felt slimy. It was sticky. It was disgusting. It did nothing but make my face more red (I used it two or three times and each time it happened)- wasn't it supposed to be soothing instead? I am sure the snail produced that slime for itself, it was not intended for us humans.
So whether a snail product is good or bad does not depend on the snail mucin itself. Because I believe it does not do much at all. They could replace the snail mucin in the Benton essence with water, and the effect would be similar. The ingredients that make it work for lightening scars is Arbutin and Azelaic Acid. These are proven active ingredients. The Mizon eye cream does not work because the formula is not hydrating enough. Again. the high content of snail mucin does nothing here. The Dewytree snail cream is simply too heavy and pore clogging, snail mucin does not help prevent blemishes and clogged pores caused by the other ingredients. Sheet masks with snail secretion filtrate are okay, but it depends on the brand and again, the overall formulation is what makes it good/bad.