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Editor's note: We've updated this story to reflect that Dermstore is offering an exclusive deal on the COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence during their Anniversary Sale.
If you are deep into the skin care world, you probably know about COSRX’s Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence but, confession time, I was late to the party. I might be late to the party but I'm so glad I got here because if I’m being completely transparent (which I always am) my skin has truly never looked better and I have this viral skin care product to thank.
I’ll admit it, I wasn’t familiar with the K-Beauty phenomenon until I was perusing my friend’s Secret Santa wish-list last December. Upon reading the ingredients list, I was obviously intrigued. The under $25 essence – which works like a toner-moisturizer hybrid in your routine – began to make waves on the market back in 2017. Four years later, it maintains its spot in the skin care lineup of celebrities like Emily Ratajkowski and Kehlani, proving the product is more than just a trend.
I would be seriously remiss if I didn’t mention that while it may seem like a new fad in the West, the use of snail secretion in skin care is actually quite common in South Korea. While not well studied as other ingredients, snail mucin has antioxidants, glycolic acid, and copper peptides, and can help with skin irritation, and can repair the skin barrier, and providing a collagen boost. According to a slew of Amazon reviews, COSRX's Snail Mucin Essence has been of great help for those that are prone to acne breakouts, helping to even reduce the appearance of scars.
“Because snail mucin is a stress-induced excretion, it's comprised of ingredients meant to repair or protect from injury”, Texas-based dermatologist, Ted Lain, MD, explained to Byrdie. “
My first impression of the essence was that the clear bottle was sleek and straight to the point. As far as the product itself is concerned, the formula was initially a bit off-putting because of the slimy (but not sticky) consistency. After getting used to it, I was able to see how well it worked in my routine.
Meant to be used after cleansing but before moisturizing, upon application, the COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence has a slight white cast that disappears once completely rubbed in. Though it resembles a serum, instead of sitting on top of the skin, it sinks into your skin and gives you an added boost of moisture that I find especially helpful during the winter months.
It’s worth adding that this is not one of those skin care products that bode instant results. Consistency is key. After using it for three months, the difference in the appearance of my skin was noticeable. It was visibly hydrated (I’m talking glazed donut level) and virtually blemish-free. The few acne scars that I had from past breakouts had disappeared, placing me one step closer to my goal of achieving “glass skin.”
If you can get past the initial reservations you might have, just know that you’ll be rewarded with a clearer complexion and ample moisture. As someone with somewhat temperamental combination skin, I found the formula was mild enough that it wouldn’t cause unnecessary flare-ups and that it paired quite well with the other products in my skin care routine. The fact that the product did everything it said would be just icing on the cake.