Top 5 Snail-Inspired Skincare Products

Escargot for the face? Yeah, we’re not kidding.

One great thing about Asian skincare is the willingness to experiment. This certainly seems to be the case if something like snail cream is trending in the skincare world. We’ve already written about snail facials in Japan, but what about those who are squeamish about the idea of having live snails on their face? Have no fear. There are plenty of skincare products with snail cream that can give you the benefits of a snail facial without the shivers.

So what’s with the obsession with snails?

Snail extract is said to soothe, regenerate and heal the skin. That means snail extract is perfect for combating acne! And that’s not all. Snail extract is also known for healing redness and acne scars too. Over time, regular application of snail extract is said to brighten the skin by aiding the regeneration of skin cells underneath.

Convinced yet? Here are five products to try for those ready to dive into snail goo!



1. Mizon Snail Cream

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

“A truly innovative and hydrating cream formulated with 92% snail extract. You heard right. This bestselling cream has sold by the millions across Asia for its high efficacy ingredients. The All-In-One Snail Repair Cream actively hydrates, fights wrinkles, and reduces acne scarring and blemishes for balanced and beautiful skin. Perfect for all skin type[s].” - Description from Peach and Lily



2. Missha Super Aqua Cell Renew Hydro-Gel Mask


Image courtesy of sokoglam

“Hydro Gel Mask contains 5% Snail Slime Extract to moisturize, soothe, and regenerate skin with a vitalizing benefit. Missha Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Series contain extracts from Snail Slime of healthy snails born within 5-6 month.” – Description from Missha



3. Saem Snail Three Musketeers Hand Cream


Image courtesy of KoreaDepart

“Snail Trio Hand Cream Set (40ml Cherry Blossom Lily 40ml Phrygian 40ml) (kosher-type, low irritation, high moisture)  Anti-wrinkle moisturizing Hand Cream.” - Description from Amazon



4. Nature’s Republic Snail Eye Cream

Image courtesy of Nature's Republic

Image courtesy of Nature’s Republic

“NATURE REPUBLIC Snail Solution is an intensive skin care line that contains the secretion filtrate of snails obtained from pristine areas. It makes the skin look healthy and luminous by providing vitality to stressed-out skin. The eye cream contains 70% snail secretion filtrate and improvement damaged skin. It brightens the skin and reduces wrinkles.” – Description from Nature’s Republic



5. Tonymoly Prestige Snail Lip Balm

Image courtesy of Korean-Makeup

Image courtesy of Korean-Makeup

“Luxurious lip balm from Korea’s TONYMOLY. TONYMOLY Prestige Snail Lip Treatment Balm is formulated with snail filtrate, a natural way to moisturize, firm, exfoliate and soften your lips!” - Description from Urban Outfitters




Top 5 Products That Use Royal Jelly, The Asian Skincare Miracle Ingredient


Last Black Friday, I found myself rushing to a SKINFOOD store because of a “three free sheet masks” promotion. While I was in the store, I found my eye drawn towards a product called Royal Honey Emulsion that I simply had to get my hands on. The packaging was pretty, I didn’t yet have an emulsion cream as part of my skincare routine and again, the packaging was pretty.

But before I purchased the product, I needed to know one thing: what exactly is royal jelly?

Skin Food Royal Honey Emulsion 2

Image courtesy of cutie house

Royal jelly, also called royal honey in many Asian skincare products, is a honey-based extract from honeybees. Specifically, royal jelly is a paste from honeybees that is designed to nourish their queen bee. Thus, royal jelly is the top-notch stuff full of nutrients and amino acids.

Royal jelly’s skin benefits include moisturizing the skin, reducing redness, adding collagen to the face to help combat anti-aging, healing acne and scars, and getting rid of oiliness in the face. With all these benefits, it’s no wonder that royal jelly has become a popular ingredient in many Asian skincare products.

Here are five examples of some of our favorite skincare products that contain royal jelly:




1. My Beauty Diary Royal Jelly Mask

Image courtesy of Pretty and Cute

Image courtesy of Pretty and Cute

“My Beauty Diary Royal Jelly Facial Mask contains multiple moisturizing factors such as vitamins and amino acids. Accompanied by the patented, long-lasting moisturizing ingredient cosphingo, it softens and refines the skin and enhances nourishment and resilience. Blended with multiple plant proteins, the skin is revitalized and rejuvenated with firmness and elasticity.” — Description courtesy of Walmart



2. Tonymoly Honey Cream 80ml -Apple Acid Royal Jelly Honey Nourish Moisturize Cream


Image courtesy of alibaba

“This Red Appletox Honey Cream contains apple and honey which helps your skin to firm. Cream itself feels like honey as well!” –Description courtesy of Amazon



3. Innisfree It’s Real Royal Jelly Mask

Image courtesy of beauteque

Image courtesy of beauteque

“Mask that gives energy with Herb complex water and Natural ingredients. Visa content prevents from trouble and give moisturized clean skin. ” – Description courtesy of Amazon



4. Skinfood Royal Honey Density Concealer Kit


Image courtesy of Amazon

“A dual-shade concealer that applies like a second skin to provide maximum coverage for skin flaws.” – Description courtesy of SKINFOOD



5. Etude House Daily Mask Sheet Royal Jelly

Image courtesy of The Certified Latebloomer

Image courtesy of The Certified Latebloomer

“Moisturizing & Skin Elasticity. Containing Collagen & Royal Jelly, this set of pre-moistened, single use mask sheets (20 EA) provides daily moisturizing and firming care.” – Description courtesy of Etude House



Needless to say, I bought the  Royal Honey Emulsion and received the three free sheet masks I had come into the store for. Two months later, I can say I love my Royal Honey Emulsion. It smells wonderful and it’s soft with just the right amount of thickness that most emulsions aim for. Living up to the hype, the product works effectively to keep my face moisturized. In the future, I will definitely keep my eye out for more products with royal jelly.



5 Beauty Trends From Asia You Have to Know (And Where To Get Them Now)


Cleanse, tone, moisturize — is that it? If that’s the extent of your skin care routine, then you’re seriously missing out. Take a cue from the worldwide skin care experts — Korean women (and even men now!) — and incorporate these complexion wonders into your regimen (no passport needed!).



1. Air Cushion

Venerable Korean brand AmorePacific introduced the first Air Cushion (above), called Color Control Cushion Compact Broad Spectrum SPF 50+, last year, but the Air Cushion didn’t really take off until Korean actress Jun Ji Hyun used Iope’s Air Cushion XP on the mega-hit K-drama My Love From the Stars earlier this year. Now people across the globe can’t get enough of the liquid tinted sunscreen in a compact, perfect for reapplying throughout the day without messing up your makeup. It also helps that the Air Cushion imparts that perfect mul gwang (“water sheen complexion” — that chok chok wet look Korean stars favor) look with one application.

How genius is the technology behind the Air Cushion? Read more about it here.

And though Iope Air Cushion XP is only currently available at Korean cosmetic boutiques in Koreatown or through smaller sites on Amazon, you can get AmorePacific (they are Iope’s parent company, after all) Cushion Compact at Sephora ($60). For a less expensive alternative, Korean line Laneige, which just debuted in the States this spring, has their own BB Cushion ($34), available at Target.




2. Hydrating Toner

Another top seller from Korean brand Iope is its Bio Essence, a part of that step in any respectable Asian skincare regimen that includes what is called “lotion,” “skin lotion” or, to some old-school Koreans, simply “skin” — a water-like solution for the face used after cleansing.

It’s different from the toner that we here in the States may have grown up with — that harsh, alcohol-based liquid we swept over skin with a cotton ball to wipe off any residual makeup that our cleanser may have missed. Rather, “lotion” is a post-cleansing hydrator, usually applied by sprinkling into hands and pressing the palms over the face to ensure proper penetration. It’s a step that “provides hydration to the skin that might be stripped during the cleansing process,” says Diane Nakauchi, skincare expert and CEO of Japanese skincare brand Koh Gen Do. It also increases the effectiveness of all your serums and moisturizers that follow.

Today, Asian skincare companies are bringing these post-cleansing hydrators — whether called “lotion,” “water” or even “toner” — to American consumers, and American skincare companies are quickly jumping on board. Some of our favorites include the botanical-based gel-liquid of Koh Gen Do Oriental Plants Lotion and SK-II Facial Treatment Essence. Find more here.


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3. Hydrogel Masks

Sheet masks, typically made of paper or cloth, have been around in Korea for ages. Women use them daily as a part of their skin care regimen. And though sheet masks are fairly new in the U.S., there’s now an even better option for those in the know: the hydrogel mask. It’s also a sheet mask in that it’s not a cream or gel, but these new incarnations are made of a gel-like material. Dr. Jessica Wu, a renown dermatologist to the stars, raved about Dr. Jart Water-Full Hydrogel Mask recently. “Dr. Jart Water-Full Hydrogel Mask is made of a gel material similar to what I use on surgical wounds or burns. It forms a barrier so the moisture sinks in rather than evaporating.The hydrogel is made of polymers that are very absorbent and hold water against your skin. The mask traps water more effectively than a sheet mask because water evaporates more slowly from a hydrogel mask. It’s also more flexible and conforms to your face better than many cloth or paper sheet masks.”




Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 12.16.03 PM




4. Night Pack

We all know that nighttime is the best time for skin care repair. “Sleep is a time when the metabolic rate increases along with the production of skin cells, while the breakdown of proteins needed for cell growth and repair decreases,” says Diane Nakauchi of Koh Gen Do. “You can’t replace nighttime sleep with daytime hours as the energy required for tissue repair cannot be fully utilized due to other body organs’ energy needs in life support during the day.”

A night pack, or overnight mask as it’s usually called in the U.S., is the last thing you put on your face before sleeping. It has a higher concentration of “sealing” ingredients (which often are not suitable to wear under foundation as it may affect the wear of the foundation), says Nakauchi, which helps to seal in moisture, preventing moisture loss during the night as your nighttime skin care ingredients work overtime to repair skin.


Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 12.27.53 PM


Koh Gen Do’s Night Moisture Mask has a gel formulation, which sinks in fast. Despite its light feel, its skin-identical ceramide formulation gently wraps the skin to prevent moisture evaporation during the night. Encapsulated vitamins, A, C & E are released when applied to penetrate deeply into the skin cuticles. Three types of antioxidant-rich red and brown algae not only help to detoxify, condition, soften and aid collagen production, but the red algae is known for its anti-microbial effect that helps to fight blemishes.





5. Finishers

sulwhasoo finisher.jpg


Korean premium skincare brand, Sulwhasoo, is a frontrunner in Korean skincare. And their latest innovation is the Luminature Essential Finisher, brand new in the U.S. There’s a saying in Korean skincare — that your skin “eats” your makeup well. Basically, when your skin is at its best, foundation goes on smoothly and looks flawless. When your skin is less than perfect, foundation looks clumpy, settles into pores and just looks obvious. The Finisher, which contains the equivalent of five ginseng roots and 110 cups of green tea, is made to seal in the benefits of all your skincare treatments and provide a smooth base for your makeup. Get it here or at Neiman Marcus.



Estée Lauder in Competition With Korean Skincare Brands


Estée Lauder, an American company which manufactures prestige beauty products, has made its mark in skincare for over 60 years. Today, it has become a household name for many.

Although Estée Lauder’s success is undeniable, they are well aware that times have changed and trends continuously shift directions.  According to Fashionista, Estée Lauder recognizes they are no longer spearheading the skincare forefront, but now Korean brands are breaking into the international field and successfully doing so. CEO of Estéee Lauder, Fabrizio Freda, admits that they’ve “[seen] this coming for a long time.”

“The way to compete with Korea is to embrace [these trends] and to bring them around the world. Our brands — Clinique, namely — has been one of the first to bring BB creams and CC trends to the U.S., which was actually a Korean trend,” says Freda.


Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of




What makes Korean skincare the leaders of the market? This article from Fast Company looks inside the booming Korean skincare market and reveals a number of explanations for its success.

For instance, 2011 marked the release of BB creams (a hydrating, anti-aging foundation with SPF) in the United States. As you can imagine, this new product was (and still is) all the rage. However, BB creams were already lining the shelves of Korean stores five years prior.

In addition to Korean skincare simply being ahead of its time, the Korean approach to skincare takes on preventative measures instead of the American method of covering up the skin’s blemishes. Not to mention the all-natural appeal that Korean brands bring by implementing ingredients such as snail, placenta, chia seeds and volcanic clay into their products.


Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of


If you want to find out what the hype is all about, there is The Face Shop, Laneige, Etude House and Innisfree to name a few. Let us know if they work for you!


Feature photo courtesy of jp1958

The Newest Asian-Inspired Skin Care Products You Can’t Live Without


The good thing about all that competition out there for the latest and greatest in skin care and makeup is that companies are coming up with some pretty amazing advances to help us look our best. Here, the newest innovations in skin care that I can’t live without:






la mer day mask


Just out this month, the latest innovation in La Mer’s collection of covet-worthy products is an Asian-inspired day mask. Called the eight-minute miracle, the creamy formula contains the line’s signature algae-based Miracle Broth, as well as a plumping ferment featuring elastic kelp and a purifying ferment with glacial kelp. Just apply a generous amount on the face after your serum, and wipe off the excess after eight minutes. Follow with moisturizer and sunscreen. Call me crazy, but from day one, that niggling line by my mouth all but disappeared. Actually, just call me hooked. La Mer The Intensive Revitalizing Mask.




sulwhasoo finisher.jpg


The premier Korean brand Sulwhasoo is leading the way for skin care around the world. Their newest product fits in the soon-to-be mandatory “finisher” category, first introduced in Korea last year. Their Luminature Essential Finisher, launching in the U.S. this month, is the last skin care product you use before makeup to seal in the benefits and effectiveness of all previous treatments. Like a primer, it allows your skin to “eat” (as they say in Korea) your makeup well, so that foundation sinks in for a flawless finish (as opposed to sitting on top and settling into lines and pores). Unlike most primers, its unique green tea-ginseng complex (one bottle contains the equivalent of five ginseng roots and 110 cups of green tea) increases collagen, slows melanin production and enhances radiance, hydration and clarity with consistent use. Sulwhasoo Luminature Essential Finisher.




clarins v line


Clarins’ Shaping Facial Lift products, the French line’s top-selling collection in Asia, was created to accommodate the Asian preference for a V-line face shape (a narrow jawline, a pointed chin). Luckily for us in the States, Clarins now has a new V Contouring Serum that not only contours but also relieves the puffiness that comes with a diet rich in fat, salt and sugar. Incorporate the Asian-inspired massage technique (the insert shows you how) for proper lymphatic drainage essential in a tighter, firmer visage. Clarins Shaping Facial Lift Total V Contouring Serum.


This story was originally published in Audrey’s Fall 2014 issue. Get it here.




Jun Ji Hyun’s Skin Secret? The Air Cushion, Korea’s Latest Beauty Innovation


When Korean cosmetic brand Dr. Jart+ debuted its BB cream to the U.S. market in 2011, it caused a sensation. Every cosmetic company rushed to put out its own version of BB cream and every alphabetic permutation thereof (CC and DD, anyone?). Now there are BB creams at every price point and in a much wider range of shades. But women in Korea are so beyond BB cream at this point; they’re obsessed with something even better.

Enter the Air Cushion. The first one, Color Control Cushion Compact Broad Spectrum SPF 50+, was introduced by venerable Korean brand AmorePacific last year, but had a limited following. This summer, however, with all eyes on Iope (the Korean cosmetic line was featured prominently in the hit K-drama My Love From the Stars), their Air Cushion XP just exploded.




The Air Cushion solved the problem of having to reapply sunscreen every two to three hours for effectiveness — I mean, who wants to smear on a thick lotion over your foundation or powder in the middle of the day? According to Iope brand manager Song Jin-ah, parent company AmorePacific’s scientists had been researching for a solution to this reapplication problem for years. They were inspired by a “parking stamp” and created a compact with a sponge-like material. Press on the sponge with a special ruby cell puff, which holds 1.6 times more water than a synthetic latex puff, and simply “stamp” (don’t smear or rub) on the liquid sunscreen onto your face, on top of your makeup. Since it’s tinted, the product blends in even if you already have foundation or powder on. And a bonus: the Air Cushion imparts a perfectly mul gwang (“water sheen complexion” — that chok chok wet look Korean stars favor) look with one application.

And don’t think that just because the Air Cushion is a liquid that it’s less effective or protective than a heavy lotion. According to Song, existing sunscreens were either a “water-in-oil type,” which helped them last and resist sweat and water, but felt heavy and sticky, or “oil-in water type,” which are “much lighter, but have less durability.” What AmorePacific and Iope did was create a “freshwater-in-oil-type” sunscreen for both durability and a lighter feel. 



All I know is that when our Korean art director raved about it, I had to run out and get one to try it out for myself. It truly is a skin saver — no more worrying about midday or commute-home sun exposure! (It even works brilliantly on top of powder foundation — who wouldathunk?) And with dermatologists insisting that the one thing every single person must do for their skin is wear sunscreen every single day, 365 days a year, the Air Cushion could not have come at a better time.

Though Iope Air Cushion is only currently available at Korean cosmetic boutiques in Koreatown or through smaller sites on Amazon, you can get AmorePacific (they are Iope’s parent company, after all) Cushion Compact at Sephora ($60). For a less expensive alternative, Korean line Laneige, which just debuted in the States this spring, has their own BB Cushion ($34), available at Target.



Skin Care Products, Not Just for Women Anymore

Ladies, be prepared to move all your eyeshadow palettes, lipsticks, eyeliners, and your hoards of lotion and bb cream’s aside. Men’s skin care products are on the rise and you know what that means – we’ll have to share the bathroom sink every morning. Gasp.

You can thank those fair-skinned, pretty boys in K-dramas for this latest craze of men’s beauty products in Asia. Apparently we’re not the only ones these days who are swooning over them – men are too. Well, maybe not swooning exactly, but they are definitely taking notes on how to attain silky, smooth skin.

According to an article on Wall Street Journal, the largest market for men’s skin care is China at $974 billion, and is expected to increase up to 1 billion dollars by next year. Korea is closely behind at $635 million, and North America is at $286. With this craze, you would think these products come with Scarlett Johansson’s face plastered on them or something.


For now, we’re not complaining (too much) at least…unless all their products start taking up too much of our space. Then, we’ll definitely have a problem.

Get Ready to Party! Audrey Helps You Get Through the Holiday Season

’Tis the season to indulge, so go ahead — don’t let us be a wet blanket on the festivities. Just heed a bit of pre-party advice to minimize post-party fallout. And when you’ve binged to your heart’s content, we’ve got a few tips to help you recover.


* Two weeks before, make sure your teeth are party-ready with Glo Science’s latest G-Vial whitening gel — just apply with a brush twice a day for 30 seconds.


* Pregame like dermatologist extraordinaire Dr. Jessica Wu, who says in her book, Feed Your Face, that she like to have a snack (try almonds!) before a big dinner to avoid overeating.

* An hour out, before you slip on that special dress, maximize your hotness with a Wei Beauty Décolletage Treatment Pad, a mask with coconut water, kelp and free radical-fighting gingko, specifically made for the delicate skin on your chest.



* In her book, Dr. Wu recommends a dry red wine like cabernet sauvignon or pinot noir for maximum antioxidants (chardonnay, if you prefer white). If you’re more a cocktail kind of girl, she says go for vodka with club soda or diet tonic water.

* Don’t forget to hydrate with a glass of water after every drink. That’ll also help you moderate your drinking.

* After all that rich, scrumptious food, chew gum with xylitol, like Vitacare Whitening Gum, to freshen breath.


* Whatever you do, don’t forget to take off your makeup. Keep Koh Gen Do Cleansing Spa Water and Pure Cotton on your nightstand to remove even waterproof makeup with mineral-rich water from Japan’s Yumura Hot Springs — no tugging and no rinsing required.

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* In the morning, apply cotton balls soaked in soy milk (squeeze out the excess) for five minutes to reduce swelling, hydrate skin and constrict veins in bloodshot eyes, says Dr. Wu.

Read more tips to get you through the holiday season in Audrey‘s Winter 2013-14 issue, out now!


Michelle Phan Doesn’t Wash Her Face In The Morning?

Last month, we showed you the rather horrifying results of sleeping with makeup on. Even more stomach-churning, we showed you what happens when you don’t handle blackheads.. for twenty-five years.

Needless to say, skincare is (or should be) important to all of us. The task is to find the right methods to make sure you keep your skin as healthy as possible. All over the web, you can find people who swear by their methods of skincare and provide secret tips for a clear face. Should all of this advice be listened to?

Certainly not., for instance, noted that toilet seat covers can be used as blotting sheets. While we don’t doubt this, we’re go ahead and pass on this beauty tip.

So who do we turn to? How about someone who has over 5 million YouTube subscribers and nearly one billion video views?

For years, viewers have trusted Michelle Phan with makeup tutorials, skincare advice, and now fans have been going crazy over her new makeup line, EM Michelle Phan.

So when Michelle Phan advises us to not wash our face in the morning, people were a bit caught off guard. But don’t worry, the makeup guru has a perfectly fine explanation for this. Huffington Post reports:

I don’t wash my face in the morning. I know that might sound gross to some people but essentially when you’re sleeping and your pillows are clean, all you need to do in the morning is wipe down [your face] with a wet cloth. A lot of the times when you’re constantly washing your face over and over again, it dries the skin and your skin will produce more oil which causes breakouts. So it’s all about keeping balance on your skin and applying a light moisturizer in the day time.


Be sure to check out more of her advice here.