This is going down as a classic in my books. The love for snail slime has just been too real for too long among Korean skincare addicts, and I simply had to have my own experience down just for the record.
The Mizon All-in-One Snail Repair Cream is a popular essence or light moisturizer. I’ve been using this since June 14 (yes, I keep an Excel spreadsheet). It was, as some might say, my gateway drug introduction to Asian skincare products. I use the word “drug” loosely here, as I did get a bit carried away with
collecting building up an Asian-based skincare routine as a result of trying this simple yet effective product. Also, fair warning: This is also a summary/info dump of what I know so far about today’s hero, snail secretion filtrate.
About “Snail Goo,” or Snail Secretion Filtrate
First, let me get this out of the way. I’m honestly a little tired of some people’s immediate, unfounded reaction of disgust to unusual ingredients like “snail goo.” Sound gross at first? Well sure, but let’s keep an open and rational mind, as with literally everything we encounter in life. Alright, maybe not everyone thinks snails are adorable. Maybe it’s too easy to imagine snails slithering all over your face if you even think about the goo in your skincare/cosmetic products.
However, I urge you to straighten that frown into a look of mild intrigue! Snail secretion filtrate, as this goo is commonly known in the cosmetic industry, doesn’t travel straight from the filthy ground to the jar on your bathroom counter. It’s called a snail secretion filtrate, for crying out loud. The goo, or snail mucin, is filtered from any dirt and sterilized before becoming part of some amazing products. In fact you’d never know that some products even have snail mucin until you look at the ingredients list. There are foods that are grown/produced in much more potentially disgusting ways than snail secretion filtrate. Like mushrooms, or potatoes. Both of which I now want.
Of course, if you really, really can’t dissociate snail secretion filtrate from any gross mental images, then hey. No hard feelings. We all have our peeves, so to each their own.
Anyway, here are some of the commonly-known benefits of topically applying snail secretion filtrate:
- Promotes healing
- Soothes redness and irritation
- Treats acne
- Hydrates and moisturizes
- Stimulates the “formation of collagen and elastin,” thus repairing skin
- Evens skin tone
- Improves texture (check out PubMed for more)
There’s been a sizable boom of snail-powered cosmetic ingredients. It’s found not just in moisturizers and skincare, but also cosmetics like BB creams and cushions. Many of our favorite brands like Mizon, The Face Shop, Tony Moly, and Ntaure Republic have entire lines featuring snail. They’ve snailed pretty much everything on the market. SNAILED IT.
Next, are you concerned about how this ingredient is procured? That’s perfectly reasonable. First of all, the snail mucin used in cosmetic products are usually not the kind you’d see on the sidewalk during your morning jog. It is actually the more nutrition-rich mucin that snails produce when they are agitated or otherwise feel the need to protect and repair their bodies. Some companies/farms allegedly electrocute snails in order to induce production of this particular snail mucin.
However, some companies seem to be putting more effort into finding ways to produce it without subjecting the poor snails to too much harm. I am therefore hopeful about the rise in popularity about this curious ingredient; greater public attention can result in more humane production methods. At least, so I hope. I appreciated Cosrx’s response to a redditor, /u/twistingsilences, when asked about their ingredient supplier’s methods. In their email, Cosrx attached the manufacturing process chart:
“Manufacturing process of LS-Mucin 1203:
Land Snail (Achatina fulica)
→ Washing and disinfecting
→ Land snails be in the darkness condition for 1 hour
→ Snail secretion filtrate (Using Butylene Glycol, Water, Ethyl Hexanediol, Phenoxyethanol)
→ LS-Mucin 1203”
Part of Cosrx’s message to the redditor:
“…[Our lab] said they’ve already received this kinds of inquiries a lot. So they know what concerns people have and that’s why they don’t aggravate snails to gain Mucin.”
(I’m not necessarily jumping on the alleged Cosrx hype—I just really appreciate the company for their responsive nature toward their customers, in this and in other ways!)
All of this being said, I highly doubt snail secretion filtrate is simply a passing fad. At least, it’s been around for several years, and it doesn’t seem to be disappearing anytime soon. Slow but steady, amirite?
Back to the Mizon All-in-One Snail Repair Cream! This product is intended by Mizon to be used as an essence, or one of your first post-cleansing steps. Please note that there is no hard-and-fast rule; this can be used wherever you see fit in your routine. In fact, I use it as either an essence or a light moisturizer depending on the day or even time of day.
Be careful if you are sensitive to fatty alcohols! The Mizon Black All-in-One Snail Cream is a popular alternative to this product.
See Cosdna for more details. Those with 1 or higher “Acne” or “Irritant” value, as well as a red “Safety” value, are bolded*:
Snail Secretion Filtrate (92%), Cetearyle Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Stearic Acid, Glyceryl Stearate, Hydrogenated vegetable oil, Dimethicone, Triethanol amine, Carbomer, Butylene Glycol, PEG/PPG-17/6 copolymer, Polyacrylate-13, Polyisobutene, Polysorbate 20, Sodium Polyacrylate, Adenosine, Sodium Hyaluronate, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Betula Playphylla Japonica Juice, Arnica Montana Flower Extract, Artemisia Absinthium Extract, Achillea Millefolium Extract, Gentiana Lutea Root Extract, Alcohol, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Copper Tripeptide-1, RH Oligopeptide-1, Propylene Glycol, Rubus idaeus, Beta-Glucan, Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4, Disodium EDTA, Methylparaben, Propylparaben.
*Note that these values do not indicate universal truths. The amount of ingredient actually in the product, as well as the product’s overall formulation, greatly affect the potential for irritation. Not everyone will be sensitive to these bolded ingredients, and you may be sensitive to ingredients that are not bolded. Every individual’s skin may react differently. Your Mileage May Vary (YMMV).
92% snail secretion filtrate isn’t bad at all. At first, I used the Mizon All-in-One Snail Repair Cream (or Mizon AIO, as I’ll call it) in my PM routine only, but eventually needed the extra moisture and bumped it up to 2x daily. As I
amassed more skincare products added more products to my routine, I used this as an essence under a Laneige moisturizer.
It has a creamy, gooey texture. I’d probably liken it to a translucent glue, but more pleasant. It loses stickiness as you spread and pat it on your face. A little certainly goes a long way. It dries quickly and clearly, absorbing well into the skin.
I have oily skin, but with occasional dehydrated/dry spots; a closer look at my skin reveals tight, miniscule cracks like a dried-up desert ground. Sadness. My skin seems satisfied enough with Mizon AIO’s emollience (i.e. dimethicone ingredient). I can use this as a light moisturizer at the end of my routines on the most humid of days. T’was a rough summer, y’all.
Within a couple of weeks, my skin began to lose that fine cracked-desert appearance. It was less dull, and I no longer had dry spots unless I picked at my acne and made scars. Yeah, never pick at your skin. This cream didn’t repair my moisture barrier, however—not that snail mucin ever promised to—and I’m turning instead to ceramide-rich products in order to address that. It also helped to heal my exploded pimples and relieve some redness/irritation due to breakouts. I really loved that. After months of use, I can attest that this is truly the “meat” of my current routine.
Also. I’m not sure if it is an intended effect of this product specifically, or a natural effect of snail secretion filtrate, but this is mildly cooling. Other people have reported the same. I love these little bonus effects to my PM routine—they really add to the whole relaxation thing.
I could smell this all day. The fragrance is very light, pleasant, refreshing. Perhaps a little waxy, but it doesn’t remind me of any artificial scents. It just smells…clean. Actually, you might not even notice a smell unless you purposely stick your nose into the jar. It’s unobtrusive and just wants to do its damn job. Good on ya, Mizon.
I got the 75 ml jar on Amazon for about $17.00 at the time. Currently, it sits around $14.00-15.00 a jar. You can sometimes catch better deals on other well-liked sites, such as RoseRoseShop, TesterKorea, and Jolse.
Note a couple of things, though. First, while the 75 ml jar is popular, the 35 ml tube is actually slightly more economical per ounce, not to mention more hygienic due to its, uh, tubiness. Prices vary, of course. Second, Mizon is an online brand, typically marketed internationally rather than within South Korea. Thus, it is currently more difficult to find Mizon in brick-and-mortar stores anywhere compared to brands like The Face Shop or Tony Moly.
This essence/light moisturizer is a true workhorse. I could not have asked for a better introduction to Korean skincare products. I’m extremely happy with the hydration and healing it has provided me over the past few months, not to mention its affordability. I recommend this for most skin types. Whether you use this as an essence or a last-step light moisturizer is up to the level of hydration you need. If your skin tends to be dry, or if it’s a colder/drier season, make sure you are layering on other hydrating products then finishing your routine with an occlusive.
I’d consider buying this again, but I am actually looking forward to finishing it and moving on to something like the Mizon Black Snail All-In-One Cream, which is noted to be somewhat heavier/more moisturizing and—this is what I’m really looking forward to—has niacinamide! Mizon, you have my faith with this first Korean beauty purchase.
Overall Rating: 4.25 / 5
5 / 5: HOLY GRAIL STATUS. I dare you to pry this from my cold, dead, kpop-glowy hands.
4 / 5: I really liked this! Would repurchase until I find a better alternative.
3 / 5: So-so. Unimpressive results, but may work better for others with different conditions.
2 / 5: Would not repurchase. Possibly caused some issues for me, but may work for others.
1 / 5: This lied to me. It did nothing that it said it would, and caused some issues.
0 / 5: Do not buy this. No one should suffer the way I did.
Are you a part of the snail brigade? How were you introduced to your current skincare “philosophy”? ☺