|Snow White + Snail Gel = <3 4ever|
Full product name: Mizon Multi Function Formula Snail Recovery Gel Cream
Purpose: A gel-type moisturizer, designed to be a final "sealing" step in a multi layer skincare regimen (part 1, part 2), but it's wonderful on its own too. It contains 74% snail filtrate, and is "KFDA certified" (take that as you will) for wrinkle care.
Texture: A translucent gel on the thicker side, but definitely not a "cream" as the packaging would imply.
Scent: Minimal. Unoffensive. Sort of like Cetaphil, maybe? Not very floral or herb-y.
Quantity: 45ml, comes in a squeeze tube.
Availability: Luckily this is now widely and cheaply available, at $9 from Amazon, and $6 from ebay, but I would not pay over $10 for it. It's around $5 from Korean sites like RoseRoseShop, but then you have to consider shipping.
Price: $5-$10, and I am on my
Rating: 5/5 There are no words, memes, or images I can present to express the depth of my love for this product. <3
Repurchase: It's all I can do not to hoard a 6 month supply, because I might be tempted to stash them in a dark corner of our bedroom, crooning "Precioussss" while I lovingly pet them, and balefully glare at my spouse when he dares to invade my lair. At that point, I'm risking losing all my hair and becoming a wizened goblin, if movies are anything to go by. So let's just leave it at "yes, I will repurchase it, a lot."
Although it's more popular now, last year when I was hunting down reviews of this gel in the wake of my new-found love for Mizon's Snail BB cream (reviewed) it was hard to find anything that wasn't a shill for a retailer. That's always my complaint with trying to find Asian product reviews online, and the reason I started this blog in the first place.
Although the Mizon Snail BB cream was encouraging, I was still pretty terrified of the whole snail business, but this "Snail Recovery Gel" was the beginning of the end. Resistance was futile. As much as putting on what my husband disgustedly describes as "snail grease" had a serious ick factor, once I experienced the beautifully hydrating, plumping, soothing, smoothing, softening effect of this magic in a tube, I was hooked.
I use this as a solution for everything. I use it on dry skin patches on my cheeks. On my oily t-zone. On skin tender from overzealous Clarisonic/Deep Oil Cleansing. On blemishes in the middle of healing. On angry blemishes that stubbornly refuse to @#$%! heal already. On blemishes that are about to crop up. Did I mention this stuff is amazing against acne?! In case I didn't, snail gel + acne = unbelievable healing turnaround. Skin "recovery" indeed!
Rather than rehash why snail goo is so brilliant to put on your skin, I am just going to quote this section from said snail BB cream review:
So basically, it's designed to heal wounds faster. Hence the effect it has on everything from blemishes trying to form to the stubborn ones that won't go away. Since I have started using it, breakouts that would have taken a week to heal are gone in days, and blemishes that would have grown into horrendous paper-bag-headwear-day levels were smaller and less red or sometimes went away before they came fully to the surface. Score!Snail filtrate (meaning it's harvested [cruelty-free] from a species of snail farmed just for this purpose, and then filtered) is famous for it's skincare benefits, which include speeding the healing process of any wound, which means it helps heal your acne more quickly and without scarring. Seriously, just google it.To me, that's huge. As long as the little guys are not harmed, I'm all for anything that will help me combat the acne that continues to plague me right into my 30's. It is also linked to various skin benefits and supposedly it has been clinically tested to confirm that it does in fact have chemicals in it that assist with regenerating the skin, as snails rely on healing abrasions, preventing infection, and quickly reducing inflammation so they are not compromised by whatever sharp nasty things they are gliding over.Makes sense when you think about it that way, doesn't it? It would be like dragging the inside of your lips over any and all surfaces; you wouldn't survive if you didn't have a way to keep the ensuing abrasions and contamination from killing you.
It won't prevent acne, but damn does it do a better job of hustling it along the path to healing than anything else I have ever tried. It's just so calming and soothing. If I have an arriving blemish that is sore to the touch (so I know it's going to be big and horrible when it gets here) I will dab on some snail gel before bed and when I wake up, the redness/inflammation and soreness is drastically reduced by morning. That means I won't be making it worse by absently touching/scratching at it during the day because it's irritating! As much as that's a little TMI, you can't tell me it's not human nature to unconsciously poke at things that irritate you/hurt. Why else were we unable to resist poking at our loose teeth as kids, even if it was the night before school pictures?!
Anyway, I digress. It comes in a cute box, and my latest batch had this fancy-looking holographic sticker.
|Full on holographic goodness!|
Even a few months ago, Mizon was all but unheard of (and I've been researching Asian products with a passion for over a year) so I suspect that the blogosphere is blowing up about them, and it's well-deserved. As you may be aware, Skin79 BB creams are among the most-faked products out there, and they've got constantly-changing security features in an attempt to stay ahead of the fakes. I will cry if my beloved snail gel becomes a victim of the nefarious impostors out there, because not only will it make it harder to find legitimate products, it will run the risk of some tremulous would-be snail experimenter who will end up horribly scarred (possibly literally!) by their run-in with fake products.
There is only one Precious, my friends, and this is it. Accept no substitutes! Unless they're from a legitimate company and even better than this product, in which case, I demand that you share this secret immediately.
Anyway, this sturdy little tube comes in a box sharing the same adorable snail motif, and kudos to Mizon for finding such a nonthreatening snail presentation, because everyone I know reacts the same way when I mention snails-- shock, horror, and disgust. How could you be disgusted at this innocuous pink-and-white packaging with it's subtle snail motif? The actual colour of the box/tube is closer to the what you see in the sticker close-up above, but this was the best I could do in indoor light.
|In case you didn't believe I am addicted to this stuff, do you see how every drop has been wrung out of the empties?|
The texture is a fairly dense, translucent gel that 'melts' quickly and spreads easily at first, but then changes to a sticky texture as it absorbs into the skin. While this may sound off-putting, it doesn't stay sticky and your skin will finish off as very smooth and soft, with a lovely refreshing hydrating feeling. Apparently the Recovery Gel is meant to be your final skincare step before your BB cream, working to 'seal' in your previous product layers and also to ready your skin for your BB cream, so the sticky-to-smooth texture makes sense. It allows me to skip using a primer (which my skin won't tolerate anyway) by smoothing out my skin texture while also giving a bit of non-greasy surface for my BB cream to stick to.
Here you can see how it progresses from the gel to a melted texture, where it spreads easily and then within 30 seconds it absorbs completely, leaving the skin soft and hydrated with no film.
It will not replace your heavy-duty moisturizer, and I sill layer several products including my Skin79 White Reviving Cream on my dry areas, but as the summer approaches I will probably rely more and more on it as my primary moisturizer because it's so light and refreshing.
The primary ingredient in this gel is of course the snail filtrate, but it does also have a whole host of other things in it, some of which some people may react to, so I recommend reviewing the ingredients list before you purchase it. I have highly reactive skin, and this gel has been nothing but angel dust and unicorn tears for me, but like all products, it may not work for everyone and you should always check the ingredients for things you know you react to.
|Click image for readable size|
Wrinkle improvement: Adenosine
Hydration and moisture retention: Hyaluronic Acid, Birch Tree Sap, Olive Oil, Sunflower Seed Oil
Skin Firming: Vitamin 5, Allantoin, Copper Tripeptide, Palmitoyl Pentapeptide
Skin protecting/soothing: Centella Asiatica, Portulaca Oleracea, Green Tea, Lotus Extract
Looking at this list, it's not surprising that it contains our old friend Hyaluronic Acid, as it definitely has that telltale hydrating/plumping feel and light texture.
In the official Mizon marketing copy, it pays particular attention to how it "minimizes stimulus of the skin" and is free of dyes, parabens, and artificial scents. While that's pretty standard here in the west, if you aren't familiar with Asian beauty products you should know they're almost always perfumed if they don't have a naturally distinct scent.
You can read the official copy here, courtesy of a now-defunct eBay seller I have used before.
It also recommends keeping the tube in the fridge for extra coolness, and suggests it's good for "reddish skin by UV or others" which I assume is a translation of sunburn, and although I haven't tested it for this purpose, I bet it would be amazing on both a sunburn and peeling, angry skin.
As far as wrinkle care goes, I have noticed that the horrible wrinkles I have been developing across my forehead under the baleful glare of the Texas sun are looking much better than they have in years.
I can't say that's 100% due to the snails, as I've got a lot of other things going on in my skincare regimen, but I don't doubt it has been working it's magic. Even if it wasn't able to turn back the clock, I would use it just for the overall effects it has on my skin texture and luminosity.
If you aren't convinced yet that snails on your face might be a good idea, I don't know what else to tell you other than you're really, really missing out if you let the snail factor keep you away. This little $5 tube of magical snail goodness outperformed the $70 ElishaCoy snail products, hands-down.
Leave me a comment if I've inspired you to test the snail skincare waters, or share your favourite product if you're already a convert, and follow me for updates on upcoming reviews!
All the best,
**Disclaimer: All products reviewed/mentioned in my blog, are 100% purchased with my own money, with a single exception of a press sample I tested & reviewed in 2015 which swore me off of them forever. This blog contains both affiliate and non-affiliate links, and clicking the former before you shop means that this blog may receive a small commission to assist in this blog supporting itself. Please see my Contact Info & Disclaimer policy for more information.