The thing about agreeing to test products with snail mucin in them is that you become hyper aware of how gooey face creams tend to be. You may find yourself asking questions like Are all my face products this…slimy? Or is it because of, y’know, all the mucin?
What even is mucin?
Good question. Basically it’s snail guts. So yeah. But! Those snail guts (maybe I should call them enzymes instead?) have magical properties that manage to fade acne scars, smooth skin, clear complexion, and revitalize skin, essentially promising the super natural glow we’ve come to expect from any product that comes out of Korea. And thanks to Urban Outfitters’ recent beauty department overhaul, there’s plenty of easily accessed slug ooze to go around in these parts, too.
Tonymoly Prestige Snail Lip Treatment Balm: By the time you read this, I have been to Urban Outfitters and back and returned with as many of these as I can find. The lip balm has a thick consistency without being gloppy, that lasted me about four hours without any need of reapplication. The result: noticeably hydrated lips that smelled just as nice as they looked—like citrus and jasmine.
Dr. Jart+ Premium Time Returning Serum: I tend to stay away from serums—they feel too heavy on my skin, a feeling I figured would be exacerbated by mucin. However, it was one of the easiest, lightest serums I’ve tried. It took about five minutes before it sunk in, but after that I forgot I even had it on.
Mizon Snail Repair Blemish Balm: The problem with this BB cream is that it’s pale. It goes on pale, and it stays pale. While it was no match for my skin, it’s definitely worth a try if you’re melanin-challenged. The texture is thicker and less watery than most American brand offerings but still has the lightweight and subtle/sheer coverage you look for in a BB cream.
Mizon All-In-One Snail Repair Cream: After less than a week, I’m comfortable saying that this is the best product that I put on my face, possibly ever. It "boasts" 92 percent snail excretion, which means it’s not really a cream—more of a gel/moisturizer hybrid. If you want people to comment on how your previously dull or otherwise problematic skin is noticeably bright, use this. And some scars I thought I'd have forever have already started to fade. I don't miss them.
Skinfood Hydro Fitting Snail Mask Sheet: You know how sheet masks tend to drip all over your shirt, making it look like you have a drooling problem? This one actually adheres to your face for the full 15 minutes required, only to reveal shockingly hydrated silk instead of your usual skin.
Tonymoly Intense Care Snail Eye Mask Jumbo: The most interesting and successful part of this product is the silicone-like gel fabrication. Shaped like chubby Nike swooshes, I put the eye masks over my bags while watching TV and forgot about them. They eventually dried up, I peeled them off, and my eyes haven’t been puffy since.
Photos by Tom Newton.