Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence Review
(06/23/2015): The natural preservative system used for this product is not stable in extreme temperatures. I highly recommend against ordering and having this product shipped overseas in extreme temperatures, particularly during summer months. There have been consumer reports of spoilage of this and other products in this line due to the sole reliance on the natural preservatives used.
(06/18/2014): I’ve heard two separate reports this week about a contaminated batch of Benton Snail Bee Essence. The contaminated product has visible bits of mold in it. I’ve written to Benton to ask about it –promptly replied, and assured me that he is taking the matter very seriously. The contamination is confined to product manufactured on 3-5-2014 (March 5, 2014).
is currently investigating the matter in order to prevent it from happening again. If you have any product from this batch, he encourages you to contact him. He will ensure that your product is promptly replaced at no charge. If you have photos, please include them in the email. Please also let the seller you bought it from know that you received contaminated product.
UPDATE (06/21/2014): Mr.Lee, the owner of Benton Cosmetic, has written a personal message for all customers affected by the contaminated product. The company is offering a refund in addition to the replacement product, and is working with their manufacturer to ensure this never happens again. I’m really impressed with how promptly and professionally Benton has handled this incident. You can find the official message along with instructions for receiving your replacement and refund on my Facebook page here.
Snail Bee High Content Essence ($20) is one of the three Benton products I credit with healing a nasty acne rash I’d been struggling with. The acne scourge stubbornly camped out on my face for well over 2 months, but once I switched my skincare products out for the Benton lineup, my face healed almost completely in two weeks! Since then, my face continues to improve every day, and it is for this reason that I’m dedicating this week to Benton product reviews. I am so enamored with this product line that I am swapping out many of my baseline skincare products to make room for Benton. My baseline products don’t change very often, so this is a big deal for me!
Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence, despite being called an essence, is actually a gel. To complicate matters even further, I like to think of it as a serum because there are so many great actives packed into it. This product is marketed as being anti-acne, anti-wrinkle, whitening/brightening, and moisturizing.
Snail Secretion Filtrate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Glycerin, Arbutin, Human Ogliopeptide-1, Bee Venom, Plantago Asiatica Extract, Laminana Digita Extract, Dios Pyros Kaki Leaf Extract, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Ulmus Campestris (Elm) Extract, Bacilus Ferment, Azelaic Acid, Althaea Rosea Flower Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Butylene Glycol, Beta-Glucan, Betaine, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Cross Polymer, Adenosine, Panthenol, Allantoin, Zanthoxylum Piperitum Fruit Extract, Usnea Barbata (Lichen) Extract, Pulsatilla Koreana Extract, Arginine
That ingredient list took my breath away the first time I saw it. Much like the Benton Aloe BHA Skin Toner, the ingredient list is almost all actives and no fillers – not even water. Here’s a list of the ingredients I was most excited about, along with my personal commentary:
Snail Secretion Filtrate – It’s worth noting that this product is comprised of a whopping 90% snail mucin! Snail mucin might still be icky to some, but there is no denying the power of the exciting, skin-friendly antioxidants, proteins, elastin, and glycolic acids. 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)
Bee Venom – The claims surrounding bee venom as a skincare active state that Melittin, a peptide found in the venom, “tricks” your body into thinking you’ve been stung, causing it to increase collagen production to promote healing. Bee Venom also contains a couple of beneficial enzymes. Phospholipase A2 is an enzyme that is said to assist with the penetration of skincare actives. Phospholipase A2 actually thins the cell’s outer membrane which allows other ingredients to penetrate the cell. Hyaluronidase is an enzyme that works by increasing the synthesis of hyaluronic acid naturally produced by our skin. There is at least one study that has shown bee venom to significantly increase wound healing activity. (Study: Effects of Honeybee Venom Treatment on Animal Skin Wound)
Human Ogliopeptide-1 – Often called EGF (an acronym for Epidermal Growth Factor) in skincare 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.
Salicylic Acid – Listed as Willow Bark Extract in this particular ingredient list, Salicylic Acid is a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) that is often used as an acne treatment. It is a naturally occurring ingredient, usually derived from willow bark, but also occurs in other sources, such as Aloe. It’s antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and an exfoliant. Salicylic Acid has been shown in multiple studies to improve barrier function and collagen production. It’s best used in concentrations from 0.5% – 2%.
Aloe Barbadensis – Aloe is a classic skincare ingredient for very good reason. It contains antioxidant properties with Vitamins A, C, and E, fatty acids, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, as well as naturally occurring salicylic acid. It’s fantastic at treating acne, redness, and dryness, among other things. (Read more about Aloe in this great summary from the Indian Journal of Dermatology )
Beta-Glucan– Beta-Glucan is comprised of sugars derived from the cell walls of fungi, yeasts, lichens, or other plants. It’s used in medicine to boost the body’s immune system in cases where normal immune defenses are weakened by conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome, chemotherapy, or emotional stress. Topically, it’s used to treat dermatitis, eczema, wrinkles, wounds, and burns. It’s anti-inflammatory and promotes collagen production.
Betaine – Humectant and anti-irritant. In fact, some studies have shown it to be less irritating than pure water! Betaine protects against cellular dehydration that can sometimes occur when cells absorb substances though osmosis.
There are many more great actives in that list – I had a hard time culling my favorites down to 7!
When I ran this list through COSDNA, there were no red flags for acne triggers or irritants. In fact, nearly everything came back as a 0 in terms of risk, with the exception of Butylene Glycol, which scored a very unalarming 1 out of 5 as a potential acne trigger.
I use Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence immediately after my toner, before applying any moisturizer. I use 3-4 pumps every morning and night. The consistency is that of a light gel, and it absorbs into my skin very quickly with no residual stickiness.
Snail Bee High Content Essence comes packaged in a plastic pump bottle. The pump performs really well, and does a great job controlling the amount product being dispensed. The packaging for the Benton line overall isn’t glamorous, but it does have a very refined look to it that I enjoy seeing on my product shelf. The bottles all look very serious, as they should, since they contain such serious ingredients!
This product is unfragranced.
If you’re only going to try one product from the Benton skincare line, it should be the Snail Bee High Content Essence! It is a fantastic gel serum that actually delivers on the grand promises it makes. In two weeks, when used in conjunction with the Benton Aloe BHA Skin Toner and the Benton Aloe Soothing Gel, it has managed to heal my acne, begin lightening my post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, and brighten my overall skin tone. It also has some lovely tightening properties that have been nice for the few fine lines I have. I really appreciate the fact that this product tightens without making my face dry.
Even though I have been using the Snail Bee High Content Essence in conjunction with other products, I highly suspect that this product is doing a lot of the heavy lifting, due to the high concentration of actives in the formula.
I think oily skin types would love this product as well, as it is not at all greasy or sticky.
+ Lots of great actives, no fillers (not even water!)
+ Healed my acne
+ Lightened my post-acne hyperpigmentation
+ Adds moisture
+ Easy to dispense
Skin & Tonics Rating:
Performance: 5/5 – Performs as promised – healing, moisturizing, brightening, tightening, and moisturizing
Quality: 5/5 – High-quality ingredients, easy-to-use packaging
Value: 5/5 – It’s surprising to me that this product is only $20, as it performs better than almost any other serum I own, including the more expensive ones!
Where to Buy
This product is not sold in the US, so you’ll have to order it from South Korea. I purchased mine for $20 with free shipping at I Am Love Shop on eBay and was very happy with my experience. My order arrived at my door in North Carolina in about 10 days.
Benton Aloe BHA Toner is also available from the following Skin & Tonics approved sellers:
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