skincare, sweets, and Oxford commas

Friday, January 20, 2017

Snails on my face? Yes, please!

How Jen uses Mizon All-In-One Snail Repair Cream. From The Jen Project, a skincare blog for lazy people.

We're three weeks into the new year, and I've yet to experience a breakout in 2017! For someone whose acne used to be so bad that she underwent three courses of Accutane, that's a huge feat. So what's been the game changer for me? Spironolactone has helped, especially to curb oiliness. But my skin wasn't breakout-proof until I supplemented spironolactone with the most magical topical I've tried: Mizon All-in-One Snail Repair Cream.

Snail mucus...yes, I know it sounds like some make-believe fantasy skincare ingredient. Something mythical my parents would read about in the Korean newspaper (cue fan death). I was super skeptical until a coworker recommended the Mizon product to me, and I read rave reviews from Into the Gloss and Peach and Lily. Thank goodness I decided to give it a shot! After using snail cream for two months, my skin is smoother, I'm not breaking out, and my acne scars and hyperpigmentation are fading.

Why snails?
Snails constantly slither over sharp rocks and other bacteria-laden surfaces, but their smooth bodies appear to stay free of cuts and infections, thanks to their mucus coating. That's likely what the ancient Greeks had in mind when they prescribed snail mucus as a topical anti-inflammatory (see references here and here). Fast forward to the 1980s, when Chilean escargot farmers (and their French customers) noted how quickly hand lesions healed (with no scarring) after handling snails. The French figured they were onto something and began exploring the use of snail mucus in skincare. Check out this French video and this Chilean one (narrated in French) on how they harvest snail mucus.

Citing the potential of snails recorded throughout history, the Korean skincare industry took the idea and ran with it. Dozens of snail mucus-containing products from Korean skincare companies debuted in the 2000s. Despite the initial "ick" factor, skincare enthusiasts worldwide embraced snail mucus as an anti-wrinkle, anti-acne, scar-healing miracle worker. It's no wonder: snail mucus is full of moisture-retaining hyaluronic acid, antioxidants, and anti-bacterial glycoproteins that can heal scars and boost collagen for firmer, more elastic skin.

Dermatologists remain divided on the efficacy of snail mucus, but there are enough studies on its benefits to sustain a thriving snail skincare industry: on top of all the snail products out there, Thailand boasts a facial in which snails literally crawl over your face (there are also more conventional facials that incorporate snail mucus). I'm all for products that are bona-fide approved by the scientific community (a la Retin-A), but when a product works this well for me, I can't help but sing its praises. Here's to hoping that snail mucus works for you, too!

How I use snail cream
1) Double-cleanse with Banila Clean It Zero and Cerave Hydrating Cleanser
2) Tone with L'Occitane Immortelle Essential Water
3) Apply a pinky's worth of Mizon All-in-One Snail Repair Cream
4) Apply moisturizer (L'Occitane Immortelle Precious Cream, or in the drier winter months, Benefit Cosmetics Total Moisture Facial Cream)

I use snail cream twice a day - once in the morning and once again in the evening. The only difference is that in the morning, I use a mineral-based sunscreen (Clarins UV Plus HP SPF 40 or MDSolarSciences MD Crème Mineral Beauty Balm SPF 50), and in the evening, I apply Retin-A and moisturizer 20 minutes after the snail cream, per the lazy girl skincare regimen.

Properties to note about Mizon All-in-One Snail Repair Cream
- Fragrance-free and odorless
- Gooey, syrupy texture
- Feels velvety upon application
- Dries to a non-sticky matte finish
- Has 92% snail filtrate - the highest percentage I've found on the market so far
- Despite "All-In-One" branding, this product is definitely not a moisturizer in and of itself - you'll need to apply a conventional moisturizer after using it

The results I've seen
- Less acne
- Smoother, softer skin
- Reduction in fine lines
- Less-prominent acne scars and hyperpigmentation
- Overall evening of skin tone

How Jen uses Mizon All-In-One Snail Repair Cream. From The Jen Project, a skincare blog for lazy people.
2017 resolution: go concealer and foundation-free as much as possible. Took a bare-faced (still wearing eye makeup) selfie this past weekend, and the zit-free skin is brought to you by these multi-tasking snail products. From left to right, See N Tree Snail 100 Mask Sheet and Mizon All-in-One Snail Repair Cream

What else is out there?
The only other snail-based skincare product I've tried so far is the See N Tree Snail 100 Mask Sheet, which I recently received as a gift from Korea. Like I do for most sheet masks, I loved this one's cooling effect, and it helped my skin flake less during these winter months, but no earth-shattering results from using it only once.

I've heard great things about the snail skincare lines from Benton and Missha in addition to another more "premium" black snail cream from Mizon. Have any of you tried these products? Let me know what you think of them (and snail mucus in general) in the comments!

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2 comments on "Snails on my face? Yes, please!"
  1. I've never even heard of snail skin care products! It was really interesting reading about the history of it across different cultures.

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  2. This is definitely an interesting concept! Once you get past the fact that you've got snail snot on your face, you can reap the benefits! I like it!

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