Shopping with no budget can be dangerous. It means I buy all sorts of things I’m not sure I need. One perfect example of this was my purchase in Holika Holika one month ago – I’d been interested in getting myself a snail cream and was supposed to simply browse. Mizon and Benton snail products were high on my list, but they are normally just available online in Korea. After several hours browsing round the shops to no avail, I started to fall prey to the shop assistants’ chat up lines.
Both Tony Moly and Holika Holika can be really aggressive here in their sales pitch. I hate being followed around a shop and stared at – often the assistant doesn’t say anything, too scared to speak English, but the ones who do will not leave you alone. Even if you tell them to or are visibly irritated by them. Snail cream was on offer in both these shops, and at a pretty good discount. Holika Holika managed to seal the deal with theirs:
2 x Black Snail Repair Cream
1 x Black Snail Repair Foam Cleanser
1 x Black Snail Sheet Mask
Travel kit: Black Snail Repair Emulsion, Toner, and Repair Cream minis.
I bought the cream for 50,000₩, which is roughly €37/$43/£40. The rest of the stuff was thrown in with the offer, along with the usual sample party.
Let’s bear in mind that this is advertised as a high-end product, and at the time of writing is being sold on Holika Holika’s website for $108. It is advertised as a premium product on there and its claims are as follows:
Premium Cream infused with Black Snail slime to revitalize and replenish your skin for a youthful glow.
3 times more snail filtrate than other competitive brands’ snail cream.
I was pretty excited about the high snail content. 70% snail mucin? That sounds pretty good to me! Snail mucin, or enzyme (sounds better than snail innards, which is what it is) contains protein, collagen, and elastin, and is even said to heal wounds, meaning it is supposed to fade acne scars, clear your complexion, and make the skin smoother.
Put it on your face and it should give you a beautiful glow, refreshing your haggard old skin and revitalizing it – as promised by the Holika Holika repair cream.
Here is the ingredients list:
Snail Secretion Filtrate, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Betaine, Niacinamide, Pentaerythrityl Tetraethylhexanoate, Cyclohexasiloxane, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycereth-26, Glycol Stearate SE, Stearic Acid, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Phenyl Trimethicone, Pentaerythrityl Tetraethylhexanoate, Cetearyl Glucoside, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Dimethicone, Cyclomethicone, Polyethylene, PEG/PPG-20/15 Dimethicone, Phenyl Methicone, Squalane, Polysorbate 60, Sodium Hyaluronate, PEG/PPPG-19/19 Dimethicone, Panax Ginseng Callus Culture Extract, Brassica Napus Sprout Extract, Punica Granatum Fruit Extract, Yeast Extract, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Phytoplacenta Extract, Pearl Powder, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Extract, Xanthan Gum, Carbomer, Adenosine, Disodium EDTA, Tromethamine, Caprylyl Glycol, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Fragrance.
It shares many ingredients with the Repair cleansing foam, listed on CosDNA. This should give you some idea of potential irritants or trouble ingredients.
It’s a huge list of ingredients compared to some other creams (like CosRX), and some good stuff in there. Some interesting ones might be things like adenosine and sodium hyaluronate. Why? What do they do? Well, adenosine has anti-inflammatory effects, so could be good for those with sensitive skin. It is a cell-communicating ingredient that promotes healthy function, so it could get those cells flowing! It is proven to be effective as an anti-wrinkle substance, and helps skin become smoother in the process. Sodium hyaluronate retains moisture and can fill the spaces between collagen and elastin in your skin (meaning a plumping effect). It all sounds promising!
The cream is pretty thick and has a nice elastic kind of feel to it. It’s much thicker than my usual moisturising cream (Origins Ginzing Energy Boosting Moisturiser), and takes a while to rub in due to its texture. It is pretty heavy and has a sheen to it, so if you apply it in the morning you need to wait a little while before make-up. I usually apply it and wait about a minute, then rub anything that hasn’t absorbed well in further. I then leave it about ten minutes or so before continuing with my make-up routine.
I watched a Youtube review of this product by iamabeautyjunkee, in which she describes the smell as being very strong, meaning it was unpleasant to use.There definitely is a fragrance to the cream, but I wouldn’t go so far as to label it offputting or as something that would dissuade me from using the cream. I don’t think this is by any means the best cream on the market, as it isn’t as effective as I imagine a high-end product to be, but the smell is not the part that would stop me from rebuying.
Above is the cream when applied to my face, and hand. I chose to take a face picture as you can see how shiny it is even after rubbing in, as opposed to on my hand where you can’t really tell. I rubbed it in for about ten seconds or so on my hand, but on my face I have to do it for longer, and leave it a while, then start again.
You certainly do get the moisture with this cream, but it’s a little sticky texture-wise and can end up that bit too shiny. I’d recommend it for night use only. Using a scoring system of 1-5 (1 = ugh, get this stuff as far away from me as possible and 5 = let’s apply for a marriage license), I’d give Black Snail Repair Cream as follows:
Fragrance – 3/5. Not bad, not amazing. Nothing special, a standard kind of smell.
Texture – 3/5. A little too oily and heavy for my taste.
Aesthetic – 4/5. I really like the casing and look of the cream. It’s nicely designed and looks good on my shelf, which is always important when buying skincare products.
Effectiveness – 3/5. My skin is smooth and does feel better, but it’s not a difference that has really wowed me. If I had paid the full price for this I would have felt quite irritated about it.
Price – 3/5. As said above, if I had paid the full price for this I’d’ve felt a little ripped off. As it is, I paid a decent price for two pots of the cream, and it isn’t too bad. I also got the little extras chucked in, which I will review later when I have more use of them. All in all, not too bad, but I wouldn’t consider paying full price for it when there is better stuff on the market.
Average score – I probably wouldn’t buy it again. I’m content with using it until it runs out, as it hasn’t given me any problems and does make my skin feel pretty good, but it isn’t a wonder product. Next time lucky!