I get a lot of email from people asking me what I think about specific products. One of the product lines I’m asked about most often is the Mizon Snail Repair line, but until recently, I was unable to offer any input. I’ve now had the opportunity to use the Mizon Snail Repair range for several weeks, and I’m ready to talk about it! This week, I’m reviewing each of the products in the Mizon Snail Repair line in the same sequence as the recommended order of application for this range. It’s a rather unusual order – instead of going with from the lightest consistency to the heaviest, Mizon’s recommendation for this range is to begin with the heaviest product, which is the All in One Snail Repair Cream. I reviewed the All in One Snail Repair Cream yesterday, so today I’ll be writing about the second step in the Snail Repair range, Mizon Snail Repair Intensive Ampoule.
What is it?
Mizon Snail Repair Intensive Ampoule ($15) is a serum/ampoule that promises to repair skin damage, lighten dark spots, reduce the appearance of pores and fine lines, and provide moisture.
Snail Secretion Filtrate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Alcohol, Panthenol, Glycereth-26, Punica Granatum Extract, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Extract, Carbomer, Triethanolamine, Trehalose, Copper Tripeptide-1, Human Ogliopeptide-1, Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4, Cornus Officinalis Fruit Extract, Nelumbo Nucifera Flower Extract, Caprylyl Glyocol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Tropolone, Sodium Polyacrylate, Adenosine, Coptis Japonica Extract, Disodium EDTA
Much like the All in One Snail Repair Cream, the Mizon Snail Repair Intensive Ampoule formula contains a multitude of plant extracts. All of them posses antioxidant or anti-inflammatory properties, and in some cases, both. But the real standout ingredients in this ampoule for me were:
Snail Secretion Filtrate – It’s worth noting that this product is comprised of 80% 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.
Glycerin – This sugar alcohol is a popular ingredient in skin care product for a multitude of reasons. It’s a humectant moisturizer, meaning it attracts and holds more than its weight in water, which affords a plumping, hydrating effect. It’s also been proven to increase skin elasticity, promote wound healing, and has antimicrobial properties.
Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Extract – In addition to being rich in antioxidants, cocoa also contains a constituent called theobromin, which acts as a vasodilator, increasing the blood flow to the skin. Increased blood flow helps prevent dryness and promotes healing.
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).
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.
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
This product does contain alcohol, which is a controversial ingredient. There are two schools of though on alcohol and the skin – there are some who believe that alcohol in any amount and in any formula is harmful to the skin. The second group believes that that alcohol, when included in a well-formulated product, can actually be beneficial because it increases the absorption of other skin care actives. Based on the research available, which is best summed up in this FutureDerm article, I’m inclined to fall into the “alcohol can be good in a well-formulated product” side of this debate.
There aren’t many red flags in this formula according to COSDNA. Triethanolamine, a pH adjuster, ranks a 2 out of 5 as a potential acne trigger, and a 4 out of 5 as potential irritant. In general, pH adjusters tend to score poorly as individual ingredients because of their extreme basic or acidic nature, but when used in a formula to neutralize other ingredients, the harm is no longer present. It’s already been reacted, and technically, it’s not even the same agent it was before the reaction. I’ve personally been wary of pH adjusters until very recently– the way these ingredients are ranked make it seem like they’re going to melt my face right off my skeleton as soon as they touch my skin. However, after spending some time lurking around a couple of cosmetic chemist forums and doing some reading on my own, I can happily say that ingredients such as Triethanolamine and sodium hydroxide are perfectly neutralized and benign when used as pH adjusters in a well-formulated product.
Mizon Snail Repair Intensive Ampoule comes packaged in an Amber Glass bottle with a glass dropper. It actually has a cap when it arrives – the dropper is packaged separately. I imagine this is done to prevent the glass dropper from breaking inside the liquid during shipping. The inner rim of the bottle is fitted with a partial seal that prevents leakage when the dropper is removed from the bottle. It’s very clean and not at prone to dripping or spillage.
There is no added fragrance in this ampoule, and it doesn’t really smell like anything.
I apply the Mizon Snail Repair Intensive Ampoule just after the All in One Snail Repair Cream, just as Mizon recommends. I use one dropper full for my entire face, which is just the right amount.
The ampoule has a lot of slip, so it’s easy to spread around. The alcohol in this formula does a lot to speed up the absorption process, so it disappears into the skin very quickly – in about 1-3 minutes. Once absorbed, the finish is not greasy or slippery at all. However, because of the humectant ingredients in this ampoule, it is a little bit sticky to the touch before applying other products. I would definitely recommend against ever using this as a last step – not just because of the stickiness, but also because the humectants can only do their thing if there is an emollient and/or occlusive layer of moisture (such as a moisturizing cream or gel) on top of them. Otherwise, they don’t have anywhere to pull moisture from and they’ll wind up drying out your skin instead of hydrating it.
I really liked the Mizon Snail Repair Intensive Ampoule! In fact, it might even be my favorite product in the whole Mizon Snail Repair range. It definitely has a nice plumping effect on my skin, making it appear moisturized and healthy. The plumping helped conceal what few fine lines I have as well.
I used the Mizon Snail Repair Intensive Ampoule for about 6 weeks. I did notice some subtle brightening effects after 10 days. It also helped lighten some of my post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, though not as dramatically as other products I’ve tried in the past. It didn’t cause any breakouts, or aggravate any active acne spots. It also seemed to somewhat help accelerate the healing process of any active breakouts that appeared due to hormones or reactions from other products I tried.
There were a few different days when I was in a hurry and forgot to apply my ampoule. There was a very noticeable difference in my skin’s moisture level on those days. My skin was much dryer and tighter, and just appeared less lively overall. If you’re thinking of trying the Mizon Snail Repair line, I would consider the Snail Repair Intensive Ampoule to be a crucial step, especially since the All in One Snail Repair Cream isn’t very moisturizing.
I am also happy to report that the Mizon Snail Repair Intensive Ampoule plays well with other skin care lines. The ingredient list overall is pretty friendly – there’s nothing in it that looks like it would cause any conflicts with skin care ingredients commonly found in other products. In an effort to use up the rest of the bottle, I’ve used it many times over the past week along with my Benton routine, and it’s provided a nice dose of extra hydration with no ill effects.
The Mizon Snail Repair Intensive Ampoule didn’t blow my mind or anything, but I do like it, and I think it’s a really solid hyaluronic acid serum for a very reasonable price. I would definitely recommend it for someone who is looking for an affordable plumping and hydrating serum to add to their routine, but doesn’t have a lot of money to spend. It’s a good, inexpensive alternative to serums such as Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair or the Missha Time Revolution Science Activator Night Repair Ampoule. It would be suitable for dry, oily, and combination skin. I would also recommend it for anyone considering the Mizon All in One Snail Repair Cream, because you’re going to need all the moisture you can get.
+ Hydrating and plumping
+ Absorbs quickly
+ Reduces the appearance of fine lines
+ Potential long-term anti-aging benefits
+ Subtly brightening
+ Helped lighten post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation marks
- Some people may be averse to the alcohol ingredient
Skin & Tonics Rating:
Performance: 4/5 – This ampoule provides a nice extra layer of hydration with subtle brightening benefits and a nice skin plumping effect.
Quality: 5/5 – Hygienic, sturdy packaging. Very good ingredient list.
Value: 5/5 – $15 for a decent hyaluronic acid serum with an ingredient list like this one is a bargain.
Where to Buy
I bought my Mizon Snail Repair Intensive Ampoule from eBay seller f2plus1 for $15 plus $2.50 shipping. It’s also available from the following Skin & Tonics approved sellers:
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