I actually first blogged about snail skincare in 2011. However, that was when escargot skincare- made with snail slime extract (wwww..) – was the latest “miracle” product in Korea. A few years on, I am just starting to see articles about snail skincare in international magazines, so I thought it may be time for a refresher on the subject 🙂 
If you’re an Asian skincare aficionado, snail based skincare is not new to you, but did you know that snail slime was actually used in European cosmetics before Korea picked it up? I do think it was the use of snail mucin in Korean skincare that made it so mainstream though so I’m going to be writing about the Korean snail products mostly 🙂 (According to CNNGo, the Korean snails are actually fed ginseng!! Maybe that’s why it’s so special? :P)
It all started with It’s Skin’s “Prestige Creme d’escargot” which was launched in 2009. After ads featuring Nichkhun were shown on TV in February, an amazing 70,000 boxes were sold in March alone. This is even more amazing when you realise how (relatively) expensive it is! It’s a fraction of the price of La Mer & co (about £40) but given that these Korean brands usually retail products for about £10…  It’s currently still It’s Skin’s 2nd best-selling product and contains 21% snail extract- I’m actually amazed that they even stock the product as most Korean products are taken off-market after 1 or 2 years!
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What’s interesting to note is many of the “newer” players in the snail skincare market bragged about how much snail slime they contain (many are going for 90%) but what a Face Shop SA told me is that beyond a certain level, it just becomes superfluous, as the human skin just can’t absorb it or benefit from it. (I’ve since tried 2 snail creams and I actually found that the one with less snail slime worked better on my skin, so maybe there’s some truth to the sales talk! 🙂 

So what exactly does snail slime do for you? Well, according to Jeong Chang-hyung from Able C&C which owns Missha, snail extract “soothes, regenerates and heals skin” (Think about how snails can regenerate, and pretty quickly too) and has whitening, anti-wrinkle properties. To back their claims, most snail cream ads now have before and after pictures. I gave a set to my Aunt, who is in her 60s, and my cousin, who’s in her 30s, and they both LOVE the product to death- every time I meet them they talk about it!- so it seems to suit a wide range of ages, and to deliver too! 🙂 (I say this in the most loving way possible- but I also suspect their extreme happiness with the product is related to the fact that it was free for them! After all, the more you pay, the more you expect & vice versa 🙂 )

Looking at It’s Skin’s advertisements, the photo review is pretty impressive. Of course do take into consideration that this was probably the best result they saw! I personally didn’t see such a big improvement in my skin but it did keep my skin nice and bright! Darn… this post is really making me wish I could fly to Korea tomorrow to stock up!!!

P.S. I was just kidding in the header! The It’s Skin snail cream is NOT slimy at all – in fact if I didn’t know it was escargot based, I wouldn’t have guessed! However, some brands do have snail skincare with stickier textures, such as Tony Moly. Personally, I’d pick It’s Skin over Tony Moly any day! 🙂

Written by Hapiness, Everywhere

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