What are the best Korean snail creams?
The sky’s the limit when it comes to new ingredients scientists are experimenting with in the quest for beautiful skin, although in this case it might be more accurate to say the ground’s the limit. One of the most popular skincare trends to come out of Korea is, believe it or not, products made with snail slime. You read that right—the glistening, goopy secretion that snails leave behind is being extracted and formulated into creams for your face, and there’s some evidence that it works, too. We’re going to explore the best Korean snail cream for different skin needs and help you find one that suits you.
Why snail slime?
The idea that snail slime might be good for your skin is nothing new, in fact it can be traced back to ancient Greek times when Hippocrates (he of the hippocratic oath) recommended using crushed up snails as a treatment to reduce inflammation in the skin. Luckily the modern use of snail slime in skincare doesn’t require you to collect your own snails and crush them up yourself (although if you’re into it, some spas do offer facials that involve live snails crawling on your face!)
Modern Korean snail creams came about when Chilean snail farmers, harvesting snails for the French delicacy of Escargot, discovered that the snail slime made their hands lovely and soft.
When you’re looking to buy the best Korean snail cream for your skin you don’t need to rely on anecdotal evidence to sell it to you, however—scientific studies have been done to demonstrate there are real measurable results to using snail cream on your skin. A 2013 study in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology (PDF link) demonstrated that snail extract can significantly reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Nice!
How snail cream is made
While the best Korean snail cream will have a high concentration of snail slime in its ingredients, it’s not the only component of a snail cream. The snail slime, perhaps more accurately named snail extract or snail mucin, is best considered like any other active ingredient in your skincare.
The snail mucin can be collected in a few different ways, according to patents filed by the manufacturers. Most commonly, snails are agitated in water and then the water is filtered out to leave pure, concentrated snail mucin. The snails don’t necessarily die as a result of the procedure, but if you’re looking for a skincare product that’s vegan, you’ll probably want to give snail creams a miss.
Once the snail extract is processed, it can be added to a skincare formula like any other ingredient.
What makes snail cream effective
Although most people call it snail extract, the proper scientific name is Helix aspersa muller glycoconjugates. It’s not just one chemical—instead it’s a complex compound made up of hyaluronic acid, glycoprotein enzymes, elastin, antimicrobial peptides and copper peptides, among other nutrients that we know are good for the skin.
Hyaluronic acid is a powerful hydrating compound, known to bind to up to one thousand times its weight in water. Any skincare product with hyaluronic acid will leave your skin visibly plumped and moisturized.
Peptides are chains of amino acids, and they’re what collagen breaks down into when it’s damaged. Collagen is a key component in keeping your skin strong and elastic. When your skin senses peptides on it, it thinks it needs to create more collagen—thus any peptide-containing skincare product will fool your skin into healing itself and bouncing back from any lines and wrinkles that are forming.
Enzymes can help your skin by acting as very gentle exfoliants, breaking down dead skin and leaving your skin smoother and brighter. Some enzymes also protect your skin against free radicals and oxidative damage, having an anti-aging effect.
The results you’ll see using the best Korean snail cream
Snail creams are formulated by some of the best Korean skincare chemists, so you’re guaranteed to see positive results after using them.
Snail extract can be found in all sorts of skincare products, from serums to essences to spot creams, but the most common format you’ll find them in is in a moisturizer. Unlike some skincare ingredients, snail extract doesn’t make your skin sensitive to sun damage, so you can use it in the morning or in the evening—or both.
The science shows that snail cream has all sorts of benefits for your skin, but the most likely benefit you’ll see is in anti-aging. If you’re starting to see signs of wrinkles and fine lines on your skin, maybe crow’s feet around your eyes or smile lines forming at the corners of your mouth, a cream with snail extract can help reduce them. Even expression lines on the forehead, including the ‘elevens’ that women see forming between their eyebrows, can be subtly reduced by using the best Korean snail cream.
Remember, snail extract boosts the levels of collagen and elastin in your skin, which are the two most important components keeping your skin looking young, bouncy, fresh and strong. Reading Korean snail cream reviews, like the ones we have featured in this post, will help you find the best snail cream for your skin type and skin needs.
There’s no harm starting using an anti-aging snail cream before you see signs of aging, as the best form of protection is prevention. It’s easier to stop creases and wrinkles forming before you see them than it is to get rid of them once they’ve developed. Women young and old can use snail cream and see the benefits in their skin.
What does snail cream feel like?
You’ll be pleased to discover that snail cream doesn’t look or feel like pure, gooey snail slime. In fact, if no one told you that what you were using contained snail extract, you would have no idea, we promise!
You might noticed that a snail cream is slightly thicker than another moisturizer, but it will absorb completely into your skin like any other skin cream and not feel slimy or goopy at all. Because a snail cream is a little bit thick, a lot of women like to use it as a night cream. That being said, Korean skincare brands put snail slime in all sorts of products including makeup primers, so you might be able to use snail slime products morning and night if you like their effects.
How to choose a Korean snail cream
You can read our Korean snail cream reviews to find the best Korean snail creams, but if you’re just browsing products on the shelves at your local beauty store, you will need to know what to look for. A lot of products will say on the packaging that they contain snail slime, but sometimes they don’t even say the word ‘snail’ in the name. You might need to check for a few different words before you can tell that a product contains snail extract.
Occasionally a product will list the full scientific name of the snail extract, Helix aspersa muller glycoconjugates, in the ingredients list. An easy way to remember this name is to look for the word ‘helix’. Helix means a spiral, just like a snail’s shell!
Other times a product might mention the word ‘mucin’. Snail mucin is a nicer name than snail slime, so some companies choose to use that instead. An easy way to remember that one is that ‘mucin’ sounds like mucous—it’s a bit gross, but it has a texture just like snail slime, so you won’t forget it!
Korean snail cream reviews
There are a lot of snail creams out there, so we have reviewed some of the best ones out there so you know which to buy. When in doubt, stick with the best Korean brands. However, if you can, try these top-rated Korean snail creams first. Read on to find out more details about why we think they’re the best and which one might be right for you.
Mizon All in One Snail Repair Cream
The Mizon All in One Snail Repair Cream is Amazon’s top-rated snail cream. If we had to choose one cream to say is officially the best Korean snail cream, it’s this one right here. The Mizon All in One Snail Repair Cream contains a whopping 92% snail extract. That high concentration of snail mucin helps skin regeneration at an unprecedented rate.
Mizon All in One Snail Repair Cream is recommended for young skin, helping address acne scars and smoothing the appearance of pores, but it’s also got all the anti-aging benefits that snail extract is known for, so people with more mature skin will love it too.
This cream is thick but it doesn’t feel greasy at all—it will soak into your skin readily. You can wear it on its own as a treatment moisturizer but some people find that they need additional hydration and like to pair it with an oil.
Snail extract might be the top-listed ingredient in the Mizon All in One Snail Repair Cream, but it isn’t the only ingredient that’s good for your skin. This formula also contains antioxidants extracted from plants, to give even more benefits for your skin. It doesn’t have any scent, so if you’re sensitive to fragrance, this is a good snail cream to choose.
It’s packaged in a stunning amber-colored jar with a screw on lid. The jar looks like it’s made of glass but it’s actually plastic, so there’s no risk of you dropping it and smashing it!
Mizon Snail Repair Perfect Cream
If 92% snail extract sounds like a bit too much for you, or if you want to ease into trying a snail cream with a lower concentration of mucin, the Mizon Snail Repair Perfect Cream would be a good one for you. Coming from the same brand as the Mizon All in One Snail Repair Cream, you can trust that this cream will offer skin healing and rejuvenating properties.
The Mizon Perfect Cream has 60% snail slime extract, so it’s a more manageable dose. This cream is also packaged in a jar and has only a slight, barely-detectable scent.
Mizon recommend taking a pearl-sized amount of this cream and spreading it softly over the face. Then begin to stretch and pat the cream across the skin while massaging gently with your fingertips. This will stimulate the blood flow and allow your cream to absorb more effectively, maximizing the effects it will give to your skin.
Willow bark extract is also included in the Mizon Snail Repair Perfect Cream, which, paired with the snail extract, makes this formula a powerful whitening and skin tone brightening cream. If you have sun spots or hyperpigmentation you want to get rid of, daily use of this cream will make a visible difference to your skin.
Other Mizon snail extract products
Benton Snail Bee High Content Steam Cream
If Mizon is the most recognized Korean snail cream, Benton would be a close second. Benton’s snail extract products are massively popular with beauty lovers all over Korea and the rest of the world because of their transformative effects.
The Benton Snail Bee High Content Steam Cream is formulated with 64% snail extract, an impressive concentration, but what makes it unique is that Benton have paired the snail extract with bee venom. While it might sound a bit scary putting bee venom on your face, it’s perfectly safe to use and has many positive healing properties. Together, snail slime and bee venom are a skincare dream team—who would have thought!
Benton Snail Bee High Content Steam Cream promises to heal and soften dry, damaged and flaky skin in just days. Benton create this cream using unique steam technology, processing the ingredients at 100 degrees to make sure the ingredients are working their best, and that they’ll work better for longer. The steam injection production method also makes this cream feel luscious and creamy to apply on the skin, and it soaks in easily.
Benton Snail Bee High Content Steam Cream is packaged in a squeeze tube, making it perfect for on the go. You can toss it into your makeup bag without worrying about damage or leaks.
It’s designed to be used on the face, but its healing properties mean that many people love to use it for scrapes and irritation elsewhere on the skin as well. The bee venom encourages your skin to produce collagen, which means that any healing marks caused by spots or acne are less likely to leave permanent scars behind.
Beauty blogger Elese loves the entire Benton Snail Bee range and says it feels soft and soothing on the skin, and even describes it as her “holy grail” moisturizer.
Missha Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Cream
If you’re looking for a luxurious Korean snail cream, the Missha Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Cream is the right choice. Packaged in a luxe transparent and gold jar, the Missha snail cream will look right at home on the most glamorous of beauty vanities.
Like the other Korean snail cream reviews we’ve written, this is a product with a high concentration of snail extract—over 70% snail mucin. Missha tell us that the Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Cream is very rich and therefore better suited to an older skin.
Mature women who want to smooth wrinkles and get younger-looking skin should consider the Missha Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Cream. With regular use, the Missha cream will diminish the appearance of fine lines and creasing around the eyes and mouth.
You can use this cream on its own if you have a normal to oily skin type, but those with drier skin will want to layer this with the other snail extract products in the Missha cell renew line. Pairing the cream with a moisturizer and treatment will also dial up the effectiveness of the ingredients and allow you to see results sooner.
TonyMoly Intense Care Gold 24k Snail Cream
Another snail cream well suited to a mature skin type is the TonyMoly Intense Care Gold 24k Snail Cream. As the name suggests, this cream is an intensive anti-aging treatment cream based on the hero ingredient of snail extract, but this time paired with real 24 karat gold.
While TonyMoly is a Korean brand popular for its fun and cute packaging, the jar that this cream comes in is as glamorous as it gets. The classy gold tub looks like it comes right out of a Hollywood movie set from the 1930s.
Microparticles mean that the TonyMoly Intense Care Gold 24k Snail Cream absorbs quickly and gets right to work restoring your skin’s strength and tone. It has a light and fresh smell, and is suitable for even the most sensitive skin.
Beauty Youtuber Lily, who has a more mature skin, rates the TonyMoly Intense Care Gold 24k Snail Cream as the absolute best Korean snail cream out available. She describes the texture as between a gel, a cream and a balm. Lily says she saw a visible difference in her wrinkles after using the TonyMoly cream, especially a reduction in her nasolabial folds (also known as smile lines or laugh lines). See her video below.
It Cosmetics CC Cream SPF50
It’s not just Korean brands that are using snail extract in their skincare products. It Cosmetics developed their CC cream in collaboration with leading plastic surgeons to create a product that gives coverage but also helps women’s skin while they wear it.
It Cosmetics CC Cream is praised as feeling like “a second layer of skin”, and regular use will make your first layer of skin look even better. As well as being a color-correcting full coverage cream, it’s an anti-aging hydrating serum. It offers a whole host of anti-aging ingredients including peptides, niacin, hydrolyzed collagen and vitamins. At the top of the list of ingredients, however, is snail secretion filtrate.
Famous beauty Youtuber Emily Noel, better known as Beauty Broadcast, has consistently featured It Cosmetics CC Cream in her yearly Emily Awards for her favorite makeup and skincare products. She returns to it year after year because it’s a true multi-tasking product that actually achieves everything it promises to do. Hearing her say it’s an exceptional product she can wholeheartedly recommend to people is very encouraging. Here is her video.
The packaging of the It Cosmetics CC Cream is another genius move. It’s contained within a squeezy tube, but the tube has an air-tight pump on the end. The pump means you can dispense exactly how much product you want each time, without wastage, and with no fingers or air getting inside, the product is protected from bacteria and will keep for longer.
Dr Jart Time Returning Serum
Our Korean snail cream reviews have focused on creams so far, but there are a number of serums available that also make the most of the power of snail extract. The Dr Jart Time Returning Serum contains a high concentration of snail mucin, like the other products we’ve mentioned, but this time it’s encapsulated in a lightweight liquid serum.
The Dr Jart Time Returning Serum can’t actually make you younger, but as the name suggests it can certainly help keep your skin young or make it look a little bit younger if you are starting to see signs of aging. Layer this thin, gel-like serum underneath your favorite daily moisturizer and you’ll see improvement in your skin within weeks.
It’s okay if you find the idea of putting snail slime on your skin a little unsettling. The Dr Jart Time Returning Serum doesn’t have the word ‘snail’ in its name, so it will be easy for you to forget about its slimy ingredient. And after you’ve seen how plump and fresh it leaves your skin, you won’t mind what’s in it at all!
Snail slime is the do-all skincare product that has surprised everyone. After reading our Korean snail cream reviews we’re sure you’ll be able to get over any uncomfortable feelings you might have about putting snail extract on your skin. It’s anti-aging, it’s brightening, smoothing and moisturizing on your skin. So what are you waiting for? Grab the best Korean snail cream from this line up and your skin will be looking smooth, bright and plump in no time.