The Mizon Snail Recovery Gel Cream is the last product in my Mizon snail review series, and probably the product I was most excited about trying. I’d heard so many great things about this moisturizer; I couldn’t wait to slather my face in its soothing, snail-filled glory. Alas, the Snail Recovery Gel Cream and I turned out to be star-crossed, but I’ll get to that in a minute.
What is it?
Mizon Snail Recovery Gel Cream ($6) is a gel-type moisturizer, and the 4th step in the Mizon Snail Repair Skin Care lineup. It promises to provide clear, firm, moisturized skin.
Snail Secretion Filtrate, Butylene Glycol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin, Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether, Dimethylsilane, Polysorbate2-, Sodium Hyaluronate, Carbomer, Glycosyl Trehalose, Hydrogenated Starch Hydolsyate, Triethanolamine, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Dimethicone, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Caprylyl Glyocol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Polyacrylate, Centella Asiatica Extract, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Camellias Sinensis Leaf Extract, Nelumbo Nucifera Flower Extract, Betula Platylphylla Japonica Juice, Tropolone, Copper Tripeptide-1, Allantoin, Panthenol, Olea Europaea (olive) Fruit Oil, Helianthus Annuus (sunflower) Seed Oil, Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4, Adenosine, Disodium EDTA
I was very happy to see an absence of Cetearyl Alcohol in this formula! I was also happy to see a large lineup of extracts with antioxidant properties. The ingredients in this formula that really stood out to me were:
Snail Secretion Filtrate – This product is comprised of 74% snail mucin. Snail mucin is skin friendly because it contains an array of antioxidants, and proteins as well as elastin and glycolic acid. 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)
Sodium Hyaluronate – Often referred to as hyaluronic acid, this ingredient is able to hold up 1,000 times its weight in water. This humectant also does a great job attracting and maintaining water in the skin, and promotes blood circulation and nutrient absorption.
Copper Tripeptide-1 – Promotes skin regeneration and possesses antioxidant activity. Copper Trieptide-1 has been proven to increase collagen and elastin production. In one study, it was shown to be more effective than Vitamin C and retinoic acid for skin regeneration. It’s also a potent anti-inflammatory ingredient. There have been numerous studies conducted on the efficacy of this ingredient. For further reading, here’s a great summary of the anti-aging benefits of Copper Tripeptide from the Journal of Aging Research & Clinical Practice (PDF).
Olea Europaea (olive) Fruit Oil – Olive oil has been used as skin care ingredient throughout human history, and it’s a classic for a reason. It contains antioxidants such as squalene, Vitamin E, and Vitamin A, as well as skin-healthy essential fatty acids. It also contains a component called oleuropein, which possesses anti-inflammatory and antioxidant characteristics.
Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4 – This is an especially interesting ingredient – you might already be familiar with it under its occasional trade name, Matrixyl. Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4 is a cell-communicating, chain protein that has been scientifically proven to stimulate the production of both collagen and elastin. There is even one study that concluded Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4 was just as effective as retinol for repairing UV damaged skin. For more information, check out this 2005 study: Topical Palmitoyl Pentapeptide Provides Improvement in Photoaged Human Facial Skin
There are a couple of low-grade potential acne triggers in this formula according to COSDNA. One of the named potential triggers is olive oil, which, although it’s true that it can be comedogenic for some people, it’s actually very beneficial for the majority of the population. As a possible acne trigger, it scores a 2 out of 5.
Mizon Snail Recovery Gel Cream comes packaged in a pink, plastic, no-frills tube. It’s not fancy, but it’s extremely hygienic and it gets the job done.
There is no added fragrance in this formula, and I found that it had no detectable smell.
As I previously mentioned, this is the 4th step in the Mizon Snail Recovery Skin Care lineup. I applied a large pearl-sized amount over my face just after my Mizon Snail Repair Eye Cream.
Even though this product is labeled as a gel cream, it looks, feels, and acts like just a gel. It’s not creamy at all, but it is very smooth, and has a nice amount of slip to it thanks to the silicone ingredients. It spread over my face easily, and absorbed quickly without leaving behind any stickiness or greasiness.
Remember when I said earlier that this gel cream and I are star-crossed? Well, here’s what happened. I wanted to fall in love with the Mizon Snail Recovery Gel Cream the way others had, to wake up and see the glowing, moisturized, skin people were raving about. Sadly, that was not meant to be – instead, this product triggered several patches of cystic acne within 4 days of using it. At first I’d hoped this was just an unfortunate coincidence, so I gave it a rest until the flare-ups went away. Then I tried the Snail Recovery Gel Cream again, only to be met with more cystic acne. You’d think I’d have stopped trying at this point, but I wanted so desperately to let this product do its thing, that I tried it a third time. Again, cystic acne spots within days.
In case you’re new to this blog, it might help to know that my skin type is dry, sensitive, and very acne prone. I know that larger amounts of Cetearyl Alcohol will trigger breakouts for me, but I’m beginning to suspect the same is true for Cyclopentasiloxane. Cyclopentasiloxane is a silicone ingredient that’s actually pretty harmless – and even beneficial for most people. However, there are some folks that are sensitive to it, and it’s looking to me like I’m one of those people. It’s been fairly high up in the ingredient list in many products that have broken me out this year. There is no Cetearyl Alcohol in the Snail Recovery Gel Cream, so I know that wasn’t the trigger, and I’ve had no problem with using olive oil on my face in the past, so I don’t believe that was an issue here either.
Acne aside, I did not find the Mizon Snail Recovery Gel Cream to be moisturizing enough for me, even when using it in conjunction with the rest of the Mizon Snail Recovery lineup. In fact, my skin felt downright dry when I woke up in the morning. I was willing to stick it out, even with the dryness, just to see what would happen, but once my Mizon party was crashed by a gang of zits, I decided to switch out the Snail Recovery Gel Cream for Argan Oil for the rest of my Mizon testing period.
+ No Cetearyl Alcohol
+ Absorbs quickly
- Triggered cystic acne breakouts on my dry, acne-prone skin
- Not very moisturizing
Skin & Tonics Rating:
Performance: 1/5 – Not moisturizing enough for my dry skin, even when used in conjunction with the rest of the Mizon Snail Recovery line. Caused cystic acne breakouts.
Quality: 3/5 – Despite my own sensitivities, this product does have a good ingredient list with a fair amount of beneficial skin care ingredients.
Value: 1/5 – It would be a super deal at $6 if it had worked out for me even a little bit, but no amount of money is worth repeated cystic acne.
Where to Buy
I bought my Mizon Snail Recovery Gel Cream from eBay seller f2plus1, where I paid $11 + $2.50 shipping for 2 tubes. Mizon Snail Recovery Gel Cream is also available from the following Skin & Tonics approved sellers:
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