I’m only 19 days into using Benton Snail Bee Steam Cream, and I’m already itching to gush about it. I normally like to use a skin care product for at least 28 days before I review it, but, like the rest of the Benton line, the results have been so dramatic so quickly, I’m having a really a hard time keeping it to myself! This moisturizing cream has already managed to reach HG status for me, and has become part of my official baseline skin care routine.
What is it?
Benton Snail Bee High Content Steam Cream ($22) is a moisturizing cream from my favorite Korean skin care company, Benton Cosmetic. The term “steam cream” describes the process by which the cream is made – the idea is that high-temperature steam is injected as the ingredients are being mixed in order to better facilitate the way the ingredients work together. The steam injection process also contributes to the creamy texture of the final product. This cream is said to be good for sensitive skin, and promises to help with acne, dry skin, and oily skin, in addition to whitening/evening skin tone, and reducing the signs of aging.
Snail Secretion Filtrate, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Niacinamide, Stearic Acid, Behenyl Alcohol, Phytosqualene, Human Ogliopeptide-1, Bee Venom, Arbutin, Adenosine, Helianthus Annus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Argania Spinosa Kernal Oil, Glyceryl Stearate, Arginine, Carbomer, Urea, Tocopher Leaf Extract, Salix Alba (Willow Bark) Extract, Ulmus Campestris (Elm) Extract, Pentylene Glycol, Zanthoxylum Piperitum Fruit Extract, Pilsatilla Koreana Extract, Usnea Barbata (Lichen) Extract
The notable absence of fillers and stellar skin care actives in this ingredient list has become a hallmark of Benton skin care products. One of the reasons I was excited to try this cream is that I have recently developed a sensitivity to certain amounts of Cetyl Alcohol and Cetearyl Alcohol, both fatty alcohols. In their pure form, they’re white, waxy substances. As skin care ingredients, they are found in high amounts in a majority of moisturizing creams because of their emollient and emulsifying properties. Unfortunately, they are also common irritants and acne triggers for many acne prone people, including myself.
Benton Snail Bee High Content Steam Cream does not contain Cetyl Alcohol or straight Cetearyl Alcohol. Instead, it uses a combination of Cetearyl Olivate and Sorbitan Olivate. Cetearyl Olivate is a derivative of Cetearyl Alcohol and fatty acids derived from olive oil, while Sorbitan Olivate is derived from Sorbitol and olive oil. While Cetearyl Alcohol is still present as part of the Cetearyl Olivate ingredient, in this form it is much, much milder and far less likely to trigger any acne events. In fact, neither Cetearyl Olivate nor Sorbitan Olivate rank at all as acne triggers or irritants according to COSDNA, as opposed to Cetearyl Alcohol, which scores a whopping 4 out of 5 as a potential acne trigger, and a 3 out of 5 as a possible irritant.
Other notable ingredients in this moisturizing cream include:
Snail Secretion Filtrate – This is comprised of 64% snail mucin, which is great news. Snail mucin might still be icky to some, but there is no denying the power of the skin-friendly antioxidants, proteins, elastin, and glycolic acids. It’s also antimicrobial, and in addition to being shown to effectively promote wound healing in a couple of in-vitro studies, there was a newer study released in April of this year that showed snail secretion to be effective when it comes to repairing photodamage. It’s especially helpful for acne, overall skin tone, and reducing acne scarring. (Study: Effects of Snail Secretion Filtrate on Photoaged Skin)
Urea – First, let’s get the gross news out of the way: urea is a primary component of urine. But don’t start vomiting yet! The urea contained in skin care products like this one is actually synthetic, which means there is no pee in this, or any other face cream. Phew! The thing about urea is that it’s actually a fantastic skin care active because of its antimicrobial and water-binding properties. Urea acts as humectant, attracting water to the skin and retaining moisture, making it a common ingredient in creams used to treat skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Urea is an effective exfoliant, and additionally, it improves product penetration and strengthens the skin barrier, building resistance against potential irritants.
Niacinamide – Hydrating, anti-inflammatory ingredient that has been clinically proven to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. (See the study)
Human Ogliopeptide-1 – Often called EGF (an acronym for Epidermal Growth Factor) in skin care products, Ogliopeptides are molecules that are used in medicine to help treat wounds and burns, assisting in the regrowth of skin. They work by increasing cell growth, and in addition to helping with cell and blood vessel growth, they also play a role in collagen and elastin production. I had a hard time locating any studies that are specifically focused on Ogliopeptide-1 (that doesn’t mean they don’t exist – it just means I couldn’t find one), but this is a very interesting study concerning the efficacy of Ogliopeptide-10 (PDF), which showed it to effectively stimulate collagen production without any serious side effects.
Bee Venom – The claims surrounding bee venom as a skin care active state that Melittin, a peptide found in the venom, “tricks” your body into thinking you’ve been stung, causing it to increase collagen production to promote healing. Bee Venom also contains a couple of beneficial enzymes. Phospholipase A2 is an enzyme that is said to assist with the penetration of skin care actives. It works by thinning the cell’s outer membrane, allowing other ingredients to penetrate the cell. Hyaluronidase is an enzyme that works by increasing the synthesis of hyaluronic acid naturally produced by our skin. There is at least one study that has shown bee venom to significantly increase wound healing activity. (Study: Effects of Honeybee Venom Treatment on Animal Skin Wound)
Salix Alba (Willow Bark) Extract- Salicylic Acid is a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) that is often used as an acne treatment. It is a naturally occurring ingredient, usually derived from willow bark, but also occurs in other sources, such as Aloe. It’s antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and an exfoliant. Salicylic Acid has been shown in multiple studies to improve barrier function and collagen production. It’s best used in concentrations from 0.5% – 2%.
I apply a dime-sized (or large pearl sized) amount on my face as my last skin care step in the evening, and as my second to last step in the morning (just before my sunscreen).
This cream comes packaged in a small tub. I know a lot of people don’t like tub packaging because it can be unsanitary, since we’re constantly dipping our fingers into it. However, my hands are always clean when I used this product, so I really don’t mind. Still, it would be nice if it was available in a pump like the Benton Aloe Propolis Soothing Gel or the Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence.
This product is unfragranced and doesn’t smell like anything.
Snail Bee High Content Steam Cream has a thick, creamy, consistency that feels luxurious going on, but does not leave behind a greasy residue. My face is moisturized but matte within a few minutes of application.
The first thing I noticed was that any bit of residual redness that might have been left (which isn’t much) after applying my other Benton skin care products completely disappeared with the application of this cream. Seriously – if you’re after a smooth, even, complexion with no signs of redness, this cream is a miracle worker. Over time, it visibly brightened my skin and accelerated the lightening of my post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation marks, which were already disappearing quite rapidly because of my other Benton products. I didn’t think it was possible for them to fade any faster, but they did.
This cream is extremely non-irritating, and I would feel comfortable recommending it even for extremely sensitive skin. The moisture it provides is spectacular and lasting – definitely on par with Cerave Moisturizing Cream, if not more. Most importantly, this cream did not cause any breakouts, making it the first moisturizing cream in months that I am able to use without triggering a crazy acne party on my face.
I’d actually planned to take some pictures of my smooth skin this morning so I could include them in this post. Unfortunately, a BB cream I’ve been testing for the past couple of days has given me a pretty nasty breakout. Thankfully, I have full confidence that it will disappear quickly thanks to my Benton products, and when it does, I’ll update this post with a photo close-up of my skin.
+ Very Moisturizing
+ Lightens hyperpigmentation
+ Did not cause any breakouts in my acne prone skin
+ Dramatically reduces redness (to the point of near non-existence)
+ No Cetyl or Cetearyl Alcohol
- Tub packaging, which can be unsanitary (use clean hands!)
Skin & Tonics Rating:
Performance: 5/5 – The cream brightens, lightens, moisturizes, and doesn’t irritate skin
Quality: 4/5 – I reluctantly deducted a point for the tub packaging – I personally don’t have a problem with it, but a pump would be more sanitary
Value: 5/5 – At $22, it’s a little more expensive than a standard drug store moisturizer, but still far less money than a department store product. When you consider that the performance of this cream is better than any other moisturizer I’ve used at any price point (and I’ve tried many!), it’s an amazing value.
Where to Buy
I bought mine from the eBay seller, iamlove-shop, where it sells for $22 plus free shipping (direct from South Korea).
Benton Snail Bee High Content Steam Cream is also available from the following Skin & Tonics approved sellers:
There is one more way you can get your hands on this Steam Cream! I’m hosting a giveaway for the ENTIRE Benton skin care line until August 4th. It’s open internationally and easy to enter. Go check it out!
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