I Tried A Korean Snail Face Cream And Overcame My Irrational Fear Of Snails

When snails are agitated, they release a thick goop laced with nutrients that are thought to stimulate cell regeneration and moisturize the skin.
Publish date:
August 7, 2014
Korean products, beauty products, skincare, snail cream, serums

My perpetual running lateness and general disregard for time constraints has found its way into my face maintenance/personal upkeep practices. Though I do love face-things, I admit to being EXTREMELY behind the times on what’s cool right now. I also don’t pretend to know what’s “on trend,” or how to do my makeup, or dress myself, so here we are: I only recently ventured into the wide, expansive universe of Korean beauty products. Better late than never? YOU DECIDE.

I hate to refer to the relatively recent popularity of Korean beauty products as a “trend” because Korean people have, of course, been using them before they became “trendy" in the U.S. Trendy, actually, is an understatement, because the demand for Korean or Korean-style beauty products seem to have taken over the market, as we can see in the emergence of BB Creams EVERYWHERE, for example. I haven’t looked back since hopping on the BB Cream train, which is great for people like me who want to look semi-decent but usually can’t be bothered to try, and I wanted to see what else was out there.

For those who haven’t had the pleasure of becoming intimately acquainted with it, Korean snail cream is (allegedly -- I can’t read the label printed in Korean) made with Helix aspersa muller glycoconjugates, or the slimy slime secreted by snails. When snails are agitated, they release a thick goop laced with nutrients like hyaluronic acid, glycoprotein enzymes, antimicrobial and copper peptides, that are thought to stimulate cell regeneration and moisturize the skin.

The slime is harvested and used as the primary ingredient in the cream, and sometimes the live snails are even used as part of a “snail facial." I don’t know of any extensive studies that prove any of this is worth the psychological trauma of having a snail crawl across your face or applying its juice to the skin, but snail slime isn’t the worst thing I’ve ever had on my face. So...

My only reservations were these: I have no idea what else is in the cream since I don’t read Korean. Not that I’ve ever really cared what was in my makeup, but with non-Korean makeup I can at least type “p-phenylenediamine” into Google and understand the search results. Also, I’m unsure whether it’s ethical to agitate snails and harvest their slime. Probably not. Does it hurt them? Do they hate it?

I don’t hate snails in the same way I hate spiders and wish they would all burn a fiery death, but I find them deeply unsettling. When I was around seven or eight years old I was at a friend’s house playing on a quickly-decomposing Little Tikes playground set in her overgrown backyard. We were way too big to be playing on a toddler-sized pile of cracking plastic, but I squeezed my way in through a staticky tunnel and down the slide. I leaned back and heard a crunch.

As soon as my feet hit the ground I turned and saw a brownish-green trail of something shiny streaked down the slide. My shirt felt wet, so I reached back and pulled away my hand in utter horror when I saw it was covered in chunky green slime and broken snail shells. Without my knowing, my “friend” had been collecting snails in her pocket that afternoon and stuck them to the back of my white t-shirt at some point before I slid down the slide, for no reason other than the fact that she is Satan’s offspring. She was laughing like a tiny maniac when I started crying. She works as a phlebotomist now.

My fear of snails isn’t my worst fear. It doesn’t interfere with my life in any way, but it’s stupid nonetheless.

I thought snail juice would be some kind of hidden secret ingredient, but there it was, right on the label.

I decided to use the Mizon Snail Repair Cream as a night cream. I opened the jar, and what I found inside was surprisingly somehow not gross at all. I kind of expected the cream to smell like maybe barf and broken dreams, but it smelled fairly neutral, like a regular unscented cream. The texture of the cream is slightly goopier than a regular face-cream, but it wasn’t enough to be off-putting. I slept with snail slime on my face, and nothing bad happened.

Actually, my skin looks really fresh lately and started to glow. Thanks, snails. I think we can be friends now.

Have you tried Korean snail cream? Do you have an irrational fear of something completely harmless? Do you love snails enough to let them crawl on your face?