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Snail Mucus And Seaweed: The Benefits Of 5 Surprising Ingredients In Korean Skincare Products

By Rachelle D. | October 24, 2015 01:04 PM EDT


Korean scientists and consumers are pretty adventurous when it comes to experimenting with new products. There have probably been a few speed bumps along the way, but some of these seemingly unusual ingredients might give your skin just the cure you've been looking for:

Snail Mucus or Slime

Koreans aren't actually the first skincare experts to try out the secreted slime that snails leave behind - the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates used it on inflamed skin. Now, it's one of the hottest ingredients in Korean skincare, and can be found in products in all price ranges.

Benefits: Since this is a fluid that snails secrete to protect themselves, snail mucus is all about fortifying and regenerating the skin. It's especially effective on skin that is inflamed, red, scarred from a condition like acne, or plagued by dark under-eye circles. It's also found in several anti-aging products, because it's great for sealing in the best hydration ingredients and ramping up collagen production in all the right spots.

Products to Try: Mizon Snail Repair Eye Cream; MISSHA Cell Renew Snail Cream; MISSHA Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Hydro Gel Mask



Caviar is known as being the food for the rich and famous, and that air of decadence rings true in its reputation as a skincare ingredient, too. You'll find caviar in some of the pricier face masks and facial creams in Korea's top brands.

Benefits: So far, studies have shown that the benefits to caviar are more of a quick fix than a way of addressing deep skincare issues. It's chock-full of vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids, which provide that sun-killsed glow, and the amino acids and similar cell structure to human skin can temporarily make skin a little tighter and brighter. Use caviar-based creams or masks when you want to look especially fresh for one big night.

Products to Try: BRTC Gold Caviar BB Cream; SKINFOOD Blanc Pearl Caviar Cream Mask Sheet; Caviar Nueropeptide Booster


Bee Venom

A fake bee sting from a face cream - called "Nature's Botox" by some skincare experts -- could be the best thing to help red, sun damaged, and aging skin.

Benefits: The way bee venom allegedly works is interesting: inserting a little of this to the skin essentially fools the area into thinking it's been stung by a bee. The body then sends blood to that area, which also stimulates the formation of collagen and elastin, both of which help skin stay firm and looking young. Bee venom products are great for people who are looking to combat fine lines and wrinkles, who are experiencing changes in their skin due to menopause or old age, or people with sun damaged or dull faces that are hoping to look a little more youthful.

Products to Try: Nature Republic Bee Venom Roll on Spot; a.c. care Bee's Repair Complex Cream; MISSHA Skin Essential Sheet Mask Bee Venom


If you're familiar with Korean culture and cuisine at all, this one shouldn't actually seem too unusual. The underwater plant is a staple in Korean cooking and is becoming popular in the West, too, in part because it's a healthy and tasty plant.


Seaweed became popular in food because it's completely packed with nutrients and vitamins. Turns out, they're as great on the outside of your body as they are on the inside. That nutrient-dense formula is great for repairing cracked and tired skin. Plus, the marine components of seaweed help lock in the skin's moisture, helping to make super dry skin soft and energized.

Products to Try: Mizon Seaweed Jelly Scrub, MISSHA Moisture Seaweed Soothing Gel, Whamisa Organic Sea Kelp Facial Sheet Mask


Pig Collagen

Collagen! It's (part of) what makes our skin so tout and wrinkle-free. So who cares if it's pig collagen that helps prevent some of that aging, right?

Benefits: Collagen does help to treat and prevent wrinkles and other signs of aging, but it's still unclear if the collagen of a pig can do that for humans.  The science might not be out on this one, but several reviewers have described some minimization of wrinkles, or at the least having skin feel more hydrated and refreshed after using it as a sleep mask. If you're into unusual Korean skincare products, this one is worth a try.

Products to Try: TONYMOLY Pure Farm Pig Collagen Jelly Cream, Holika Holika Pig Collagen Jelly Pack

Tagged :  beauty, Missha, TONYMOLY


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