So just what is snail cream? There's no getting around it; snail cream is made from snail slime extract. To produce the cream, snails are fed red ginseng to produce large amounts of rich slime, which is then humanely harvested. Snail mucus contains a complex blend of proteins, glycolic acid and elastin, which serve as the snail's natural defense against damage from harsh surfaces, UV rays and infection.
Snail-based products typically contain anywhere from 20-90% pure snail mucus. Snail creams are marketed as helping to reduce acne, hyper-pigmentation and scarring (including acne scars) and also to prevent and repair wrinkles, all while making skin look and feel healthier. Although snail creams as we know them today were first introduced in Europe, use of snail-based products dates all the way back to ancient Greece and even Hippocrates, widely considered the father of medicine, reportedly recommended crushed snails as a cure for inflamed skin.
"Because you're worth it."
Right now, I'm sure you're having one of two reactions to this: cautious curiosity or complete horror at the idea of putting snail mucus on your face. But hear me out. I should probably be grossed out by the whole snail thing, but honestly, I'm not. In fact, I've been very pleasantly surprised with my results.
There are a lot of different snail creams out there, but after a bit of research, I decided to give Mizon's version a try. There is also a corresponding snail gel, the Snail Recovery Gel Cream, which is supposed to expedite your results. So I picked that up as well.
Mizon is a Korean cosmetics brand that specializes in skincare. I got both products on Ebay. The cream was about $22 and the gel was around $8.Compared to a lot of the prices for high-end and even mid-level skincare products here in the US, I think the prices are a steal. You get a generous 75 ml of the cream and 45 ml of the gel. The cream contains 92% pure snail secretion filtrate, while the gel contains 74%. I wasn't sure if either product would really do anything, but I figured it couldn't hurt and worst case scenario, I was out 30 bucks.
The cream comes in a glass jar. The only thing I'm a bit iffy on with the packaging is that it doesn't come with a little spoon or spatula to scoop the product out, but that's not a dealbreaker for me at all.
A close-up of the cream
The cream itself has a rich but non-sticky texture to it. It has a light scent to it--nothing specific, just kind of a generic moisturizer smell, if that makes any sense. There's nothing about this product though--no texture, look or scent--that would make you think "snails" though. I use about a quarter-sized amount for my face, both morning and night. I put it on after my toner and my serums, but before my moisturizer.
Immediately after applying the cream, I follow up with the gel (then my moisturizer and I'm good to go). The gel is clear and has a very smooth, silky texture. Unlike the cream, the gel has no noticeable scent. It comes in a squeeze tube, so everything is nice and hygienic. If you don't feel like toting the cream with you when you travel, the tube is small enough to fit easily into your purse.
Some gel coming out of the tube
Both products absorb into my skin well and by the time I've rubbed my moisturizer on, it's like they've melted right in. They absorb very quickly and don't leave any type of residue or film behind. I have oily skin and I think the texture is appropriate for both oily skin as well as normal to dry skin. It's nourishing but not thick or sticky.
So I know what you're wondering: Does it work? I've been using both the cream and the gel for about a month now and while it's not the instant miracle cure that some of the advertising hype is touting it as, I really do believe the cream is making a difference, both in the appearance and the texture of my skin. Any good skincare treatment requires patience and diligence, but I've seen some very promising initial results and I think my skin will continue to improve with time and further use.
My skin seems healthier and clearer. My skintone is more even and more luminous. I feel more comfortable without make-up on, because my main trouble areas don't look as pronounced as before. My breakouts are smaller and more infrequent. My skin feels less oily than usual and my overall skintone also appears to be more even. There is less redness and it's noticeably brighter. I have some mild acne scarring on my right cheek that I always take extra care to cover up with my foundation and concealer. Since using my snail regime, the redness around the scarring looks less inflamed and the scarring is gradually becoming less noticeable. I find I don't need to use as much make-up to cover it up as I once did.
Obviously everyone's skin is different, so your mileage may vary. There are sample packets available on Ebay if you want to do a quick allergy or skin reaction test before committing to a full size. I've read a few reviews from people saying this cream made their face break out, but I have not experienced anything like that. So far, I am very impressed! I absolutely plan to buy another jar of this cream and another tube of this gel as soon as they run out--most likely before they run out, actually, because I don't want to be without them!
It may sound like a strange idea and I know for some, the mere mention of "snail skincare" will be enough to keep them away. And hey, I totally get that. But as I mentioned, other than the label on the products, there is nothing here that will remind you of snails and I think the results, at least from what I experienced, far outweigh the potential "ick" factor. As for me, I'm a total believer. Mizon has a few other products in this line and I'd love to try out the facial mist and BB cream! Snail power all the way!