THE BEST SNAIL PRODUCTS FOR YOUR FACE AND WHERE TO BUY THEM: A COMPARISON GUIDE to SNAIL SHEET MASKS AND FACE CREAMS
Welcome to my guide to snail products for your face! After extensive testing, reviewing and experimenting with numerous Korean cosmetic products, I wanted to compile my favorite snail-based products in a quick, easy-to-use reference guide, below. You'll find some of the most currently popular Korean snail-based sheet masks and face products below, ranked according to cost, quality (based on how much snail filtrate is included in the product) and overall experience.
But before we get to that, a few quick points:
On a trip to Seoul, South Korea, I learned about the many benefits of interesting and underutilized products that offer benefits to skin--everything from using silkworm cocoons as exfoliators to how animal fat can be moisturizers.
But by far my favorite discovery centered around products that use snail mucus, also known as slime or serum, for moisturizing and healing benefits. After some research, I found there was substantial (though not definite) indications that snail mucus has a lot of potential benefits in skincare and cosmetics. Snail secretions reportedly can stimulate human skin to produce collagen, elastin and other components while while helping to prevent signs of sun damage and aging, overall resulting in healthier, better-looking skin.
As snail products have begun to take off outside of Asia and across the world, more and more products pop up. Snail filtrate is showing more and more to have a host of benefits. (Read my full report, The Benefits and Risks of Using Snail Slime in Cosmetics, to learn more about the science of snail slime and its benefits.)
Snail mucus products are available in everything from face masks (my preferred vehicle) to lotions, creams, skin patches and more. I began gathering and comparing products, just scratching the surface of what's out there. I focused on the most popular and affordable Korean brands (For more on recommended Korean cosmetic companies, see this post.)
Even though I've tested many snail products and compiled the highlights below, I strongly recommend taking a look at the ingredients before purchasing snail mucus or serum products. In general, active compounds in snail mucus products can differ depending on the animal and its secretion. Environmental conditions, food source and extraction methods also affect snail mucus quality, so it is not always easy to guarantee consistent results. However, one thing you can look for is what percentage or PPM (part per million) snail filtrate is in the product. This is not always listed, but in general 10,000 PPM is a good amount to look for.
If PPM of snail secretion is not listed, my second go-to is to note how high snail filtrate is on the list of ingredients. If it is one of the last items listed, the concentration of snail mucus is likely very low.
Below, you'll see some of my recommendations for snail facial products that I have found personally useful and with a good amount of snail filtrate. Of course everyone's skin is different, so as with any recommendation make sure to test yourself and see what works well for your particular skin chemistry and make-up.
Metrics for the guide
And, without further delay, you'll find my comparison guide of snail products below. Inclusion in the list is based on a few factors, including overall popularity of the product, maker, cost and percentage of snail filtrate.
Three guides are below, separated out into "Top 3 Snail Masks," their runner-ups in "More A+ Snail Masks" and finally "Top Snail Face Creams." Any products I've already written reviews for I've linked to for further details. Those reviews go over my subjective experience with each and why I like them; analysis of the quality and percentage of the key ingredients; and other factors.
A note on costs
Where I can I've linked to Amazon options for purchasing, however Sokoglam and the respective U.S. website of the Korean cosmetic company may also offer additional options for purchasing. I encourage you to shop around for the best price and shipping options especially around Black Friday and other holiday sales.
If I've missed any top-notch snail face products, please let me know in the comments!
TOP 3 Snail-BASED FACE masks
MORE A+ Snail fACE Masks that Won't Break the Bank
favorite snail FACIAL CREAMS:
What: Snail Bee High Content Steam Cream
Why: This is what's known as a "steam cream" - a newer manufacturing technology reported to increase the efficiency of the ingredients. In addition to snail mucin this cream also has bee venom to help improve skin.
What: All in One Snail Repair Cream by Mizon
Why: This is a hugely popular cream and with a high level of snail secretion filtrate. Particularly helpful for dry skin and mild breakouts.
Buy: Mizon (Amazon)
And there you have it, the Science Beauty Gal's guide to top and trending snail-based face products! I hope to add more as time goes on so feel free to check back for additional recommendations. And, as always, please let me know in the comments if I've missed anything!
PRODUCT: Snail Essence Mask Sheet
COMPANY: Natureby (Korean)
DESCRIPTION: If you've read my earlier posts, you know I adore snail-based mask sheets and products in general, as it's an ingredient that actually results in skin healing.
I haven't tried a lot of Natureby products, so I figure I'd start with this sheet masks. The steps are as follows, according to the package:
Pre-use: Use chilled or heated according to preference. To cool, refrigerate packets until desired temperature is achieved. TO heat, place packets in warm water for approximately 2-3 minutes.
1. Wash your face and soothe it with toning water.
2. Apply mask for 20-30 minutes.
3. Remove mask and do not rinse. Allow excess moisture to be absorbed.
As with all sheet masks and products in general, discontinue use if you have signs of redness, swelling, itchiness and do not use on troubled areas.
INGREDIENT ANALYSIS: Water, Glycerin, Dipropylene Glycol, Butylene Glycol, Sodium hyaluronate, Portulaca oleracea extract, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Carbomer, Triethanolamine, Snail extracts, Fragrance, Ammonium Acryloyldimehyltaurate/Vp Copolymer
The ingredients don't list the amount of snail secretion filtrate unfortunately. Though it's low down on the list, Portulaca oleracea extract is present in higher concentrations. Portulaca oleracea--also called verdolaga, little hogweed, red root or pursley--is an edible succulent plant (water-retaining vegetation like aloe) that has been around since ancient times across the globe. Though it has a plain taste and is often regarded as a garden weed, it is chock full of vitamins. I could not find any clinical studies showing if--and what--beneficial effects this plant has on skin.
YAY OR NAY: Yay, if you can find it at a decent price ($1-$5/sheet), It is an acceptable sheet mask, though there are better snail-based ones out there.
Rating Score Sheet:
1/3: Wish I could turn back time and get my money back.
2/3: Decent enough to buy again, especially if it's on sale.
3/3: Shut up and take my money!
LINK: You can purchase from Natureby on Amazon here.
With a background in molecular biology, I worked for decades as a scientist and science journalist. I use my background to look into the science of affordable and high-quality Korean skincare products. Then, I share my findings with you!