Mizon Snail Repairing Foam Cleanser Review

This week's review is yet another Mizon snail product, specifically the Snail Repairing Foam Cleanser, or; The Last Foaming Cleanser I Bought Before I Knew Better.

Sigh.  Sometimes ignorance is bliss, my friends.

This foaming cleanser, and the Mizon Skin Turnaround Pore Refine Deep Cleansing Foam I purchased at the same time, is the last full size cleanser I'll purchase without either first getting a sample size or confirming that the pH is within an acceptable range.  

I purchased both because I was looking for a replacement to the Shiseido FT Sengansenka Perfect Whip Facial Wash (reviewed) which gives me a dense, firm foam that is the perfect compliment to my Clarisonic brush.  It's also way too high in pH for me to use, so I desperately need to find an alternative that works the same way with my brush.  I use my Clarisonic much less now that I am gripped in the voodoo of chemical exfoliation, but I still use it when it feels like my skin needs it.

So how does it measure up against my beloved Perfect Whip?


Full product name: Mizon Snail Repairing Foam Cleanser

Purpose: A foaming cleanser that lathers up when agitated with water.

ScentMild, in fact by the time I took all these pictures and got ready to write this review, I had completely forgotten what it smells like and had to go sniff it. Sort of sweet and fruity, with some floral notes.  According to the product copy on Mizon's site, it has floral extracts in it so I assume it's either naturally scented or they added floral fragrance to try to heighten the perception of benefits from the extracts.  Fragrance is listed at the very end of the ingredients.

Texture:  Very thick and stringy when it's first dispensed, and then foams up to abundant lather when used with a foaming net or other lathering tool.  Pictures are below.

Quantity60ml and I went through it quite quickly, although it's very inexpensive.

Availability:  It's pretty widely available online, I got mine from ebay, but it's available at most major resellers that offer Mizon.

Price: I bought mine from costsell's ebay store for about $8 with free shipping.  It's available for $8 with free shipping + $2.50 tracking number per order from RoseRoseShop (my favourite place for large Mizon hauls due to their free shipping on Mizon), and for about $6 (before shipping) from Testerkorea, which charged by exact weight so a package with just the foam alone would be about $4.30 so a total of $10ish.

pH Level: Brace yerselves. It has a jaw-dropping pH of 8.  Get thee behind me, Satan.  You can read my Skincare Discovery: Why the pH of your Cleanser Matters post here.

Rating:  If I was blissfully unaware of the importance of pH in skincare, I'd probably give it a 4/5 at least.  As it is, it gets a 2/5 because at that pH level it's actually damaging your skin.

RepurchaseSadly no, not with a pH level that high.  It's a beautiful lather and it's fun to use, and it's destroying your skin's ability to fight off acne bacteria every time you use it.

Full Review:

Cleansers are tricky to wax eloquent about because they simply don't stay on your face long enough to have a positive impact in terms of fancy skincare ingredients.  It's why cleaners that have different acids in them (salicylic acid is popular) don't really do much because the pH of the cleanser is often too high to exfoliate and acids need to be left on the skin to do their magic.  Your cleanser is something that you apply, massage around, and wash off relatively quickly. 

In terms of what I look for in a cleanser- I want it to clean efficiently and remove all traces of residue from my skin, clear my pores so my remaining skincare products can absorb quickly, rinse off cleanly, and have a low pH.  This failed only in the final category.

When I first got this product, I hadn't seen anyone really foam it up properly in their reviews, so I didn't realize this product really needs to be lathered up with a tool.  

Looking more carefully at the product copy from Mizon, you can see how the woman on the right has a puffy ball of foam in her hands, rather than being applied to the skin in its natural state on the left where she pulls it apart between her fingers.

When you first dispense the product, it has an interesting pearlized appearance and is very strangely stringy, as you can see in the right hand picture below.

The pearlescence is a little luxurious touch that I appreciate, although there's no value other than "ooo, shiny" as you foam it up immediately anyway and it loses the effect.

Now that I've used it, I sort of shudder to think of people using this 'straight' on their face instead of mixing it, because it's a very tenacious creamy texture even after being run under the facet (below left) and then vigorously rubbed on the back of my hand much firmer than I would do to my face.

You can see on the left how it just maintains a glossy texture without foam when worked with the hands.  It definitely doesn't lather easily and requires a lot of physical agitation.  I also feel like the unfoamed form is very stripping to the skin, would would make sense I suppose as it's not designed to be used undiluted.  The picture on the right is after I have run it under the faucet for several seconds in an effort to get to to come off; it doesn't rinse off easily and again that makes me worry for people who are using it undiluted on their faces.

I hope this makes it obvious that you really need to vigorously work this between your hands or use a foaming net or a sponge to lather up this product; using the necessary amount of force this requires on your face is a terrible idea.

So let's move on to foaming tools; I tested this out with both a konjac sponge and the same foaming next I use for the Perfect Whip.

I took my fully soaked/expanded konjac sponge, squeezed out a small amount of product (it's a bit stretched out here so it looks larger than it actually is) and then squish away like your konjac is a stress ball.  I find I need to keep the foam from dripping everywhere so I use my other hand to catch the foam as it squeezes out and scoop it back onto the sponge if it's too loose and needs to be 'worked' more.  It does create a lot of foam as you can see, and it pairs nicely with the konjac for a good clean.  However, the foam is nowhere near as dense as using a net:

The amount of product I used in both tests was approximately the same, but my tube is so empty that it sputters as I dispense it so it's hard to get a visual similarity.  As you can see, the foam produced by the net is much finer and denser than the sponge, suitable for use with a Clarisonic brush which needs a buffer between the bristles and my skin.  It also produces a lot more lather with the same amount of product.

Compared to the springy, ultra-dense foam of the Perfect Whip, the Snail Repairing Foam isn't as robust so it's not a texture dupe.  It's more gentle than the Perfect Whip and isn't as drying, but now that I have become more attuned to the sensitivity level of my skin, I can definitely tell that it's drying out my skin and increasing sensitivity compared to my pH-balanced cleanser.

The ingredients also come with a few flags, courtesy of cosdna.com:

Water, Stearic Acid, Glycerin, Potassium Hydroxide (pH Adjuster- if ya used a pH Adjuster, Mizon, why is the pH so damn high?!  Answer me that, huh?) Butylene Glycol, Sodium Polyacrylate. Myristic acid, Lauric Acid, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Propylene Glycol, Cocoamidopropyl Betaine, PEG-14M, Snail Secretion Filtrate, Polysorbate 20, Polyquaternium-7, Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, Gypsophila Paniculata Root Extract, Carica papaya, Ivy Extract, Plant extract, Arnica Montana Flower Extract, Artemisia Absinthium Extract, Achillea Millefolium Extract, Gentiana Lutea Root Extract, Ethanol, Camellia Sinensis, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance

The flagged ingredients are:

  • Stearic Acid, which is a Surfactant and Emulsifier 2/5 for Acne
  • Butylene Glycol, which is a Solvent and Moisturizer 1/5 for Acne
  • Myristic Acid, which is a Fragrance and Emulsifier 3/5 for Acne
  • Lauric Acid, which is an Emulsifier with a 4/5 for Acne and 1/5 for Irritation
  • PEG-100 Stearate, which is a Surfactant with a 1/5 for Acne

So only Myristic Acid and Lauric Acid are notable, but as always keep an eye out for ingredients that you know you have issues with.

Speaking of ingredients, normally I would get into all the details of the cool ingredients featured in this product, but like I said, it's a cleanser and it spends so little time on your skin that it's really not going to impart much in the way of benefits, despite all the lovely eyecandy:

I can't deny it looks impressive, and you all know I love me some snails, but I'm just not convinced I'm getting much out of this beyond gobs of lather, a thorough clean, and nuclear bombardment of my skin's precious and fragile acid mantle.

Final Thoughts:

If you don't care about pH and you have teflon skin that can handle the most alkaline of cleansers, you may really like this product.  However, knowing what I now know about pH, I can't in good conscience recommend this to anyone.

If you want more snails in your life, I highly recommend Mizon's Multi Function Formula Snail Recovery Gel Cream (an HG of mine, reviewed here) and my favourite BB cream is the Mizon Snail Repair BB cream (reviewed here), and I'm even a fan of their All-In-One lightweight cream (review coming soon!) but as for the foaming cleanser, I'd give that a pass.

If you have a favourite low pH Asian cleanser that you would recommend, please leave me a comment below, or connect with me on Facebook or Twitter, as I am on the hunt for low pH cleansers!

**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.


  1. Potassium hydroxide is a Ph adjuster - the one that is used to raise the ph of a product... It's a very strong base.

    1. I should have been more clear - I meant if they're willing to adjust the PH of the product at all, then I would have hoped that it would be adjusted to a more skin-friendly level. The fact that they used a PH adjuster indicates awareness of PH levels so I was disappointed that they didn't choose to adjust it to a lower level. Apologizes for the lack of clarity, it was late. ;)

  2. I have a feeling that it's impossible to make something that foams this much without the high ph. So if they want to make a thickly foaming product, they need to maintain the high ph. But I have no chemistry knowledge to prove it ;)

    1. I too am very curious about the inner workings of foaming agents and the effect pH has on them! Where's a cosmetic chemist when you need on, eh? ;)

  3. Hello! I love your blog; it is a godsend! I was just wondering how you find out the ph level of your cleansers and products? I don't know the ph level of my cleanser. Thank you!

    1. I use pH strips my husband had lying around from his at-home beer brewing hobby. You can buy them on amazon and other places online, but if you want to buy local, check you your local fish supply store. Since fish tanks require regular pH testing, they should have the strips there.

  4. Thanks for saving me the trouble of figuring out the pH for myself! One foam cleanser added to my "do not use" list. Sadly.

  5. Have you tried Cosrx Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser?

    1. I have not, but it sounds like a lot of people really like it! :)

  6. Hello! I took a look at all my cleansers and previous one I had used. Sadly, they were either 8 or 9 pH. I didnt think it was important before.
    After I read your blog and searched madly for low Ph cleansers, I think It was almost impossible to find Asian especially Korean cleansers with low pH. :(

    Have you found any Asian cleansers with low pH?