Benton Snail Bee High Content Lotion 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 other products in this line due to the sole reliance on the natural preservatives used.
I was really intrigued when I saw that one of the brand new Benton product releases was a lotion for few reasons. I really love using a true emulsion type product in my skincare routine, and this lotion seemed like it might fit the bill. I was also curious about whether this would be a worthy substitute for the Benton steam cream, which I absolutely love, but have one friend for whom it causes breakouts. She loves the rest of the Benton range, so it would be nice it this lotion could be a worthy replacement. So how did the Benton Snail Bee High Content Lotion fare? Let’s find out!
What is it?
Benton Snail Bee High Content lotion is a moisturizing lotion. It promises to moisturize, improve skin tone, and combat wrinkles.
Snail Secretion Filtrate, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Cetyl Ethyl Hexanoate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Niacinamide, Zanthoxylum Piperitum Fruit Extract, Pulsatilla Koreana Extract, Usnea Barbata (Lichen) Extract, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Squalane, Urea, Human Ogliopeptide-1, Bee Venom, Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Pentylene Glycol, Glyceryl Stearate, Stearic Acid, Cetostearyl Alcohol, Xanthan Gum, Tocopheryl Acetate, Bacillus Ferment, Azealic Acid, Alcea Rosea Root Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Panthenol, Beta-Glucan, Diospyros Kaki Leaf Extract, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Plantago Asiatica Extract, Laminaria Digitata Extract, Ulmus Campestris (Elm) Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Adenosine
This ingredient list gave me pause. Admittedly, if it was a list from another brand’s product, I wouldn’t be so hard on it. But there are quite a few ingredient types that I find unusual for Benton – specifically the fatty acids and fatty alcohols. I’m less concerned with the fatty acids, which include Glyceryl Stearate and Stearic Acid. Stearic acids are vegetable derived, and in their raw form, they appear as white waxy solids. They’re classified as emulsifiers, and also have moisturizing properties. For the most part, they’re fine, but I haven’t really seen them in a Benton formula before. But the fatty alcohol that invoked the side eye from me is Cetostearyl Alcohol, which is another name for Cetearyl Alcohol. Cetearyl Alcohol can be an acne trigger for some people, and in some (but not all) formulas it has caused problems for me in the past. It also doesn’t have a good COSDNA rating, where it scores a 4 out of 5 as a potential acne trigger and a 3 out of as a potential irritant.
In addition to those few surprising ingredients, there are plenty of beneficial ingredients. In typical Benton fashion, this formula contains a generous number of antioxidant rich plant extracts, some of which also have moisturizing, anti-inflammatory, and/or antibacterial properties. Here are some of the highlights:
Snail Secretion Filtrate – There no mention of the percentage of snail mucin in this product, but it is worth noting that it’s the first ingredient listed. Snail mucin might still be icky to some, but there is no denying the power of the 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)
Niacinamide – Niacinamide is a form of Vitamin B3 that works well for overall brightening, lightening hyperpigmentation, and acne. This is a decently documented skincare ingredient. One study even showed it to be effective for reducing fine lines in addition to treating redness and hyperpigmentation:
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.
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. It works by thinning the cell’s outer membrane, allowing 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)
Argan Oil – Argan oil has enjoyed a lot of popularity in recent years. It’s a spectacular skincare ingredient, as it contains antioxidants such as Vitamins A, C, and E, as well as skin-healthy Oleic and Linoleic Omega fatty acids. It’s both nourishing and moisturizing, and does an excellent job plumping the skin to minimize the look of fine lines and wrinkles.
Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract – 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.
Azelaic Acid – This anti-inflammatory, antibacterial ingredient occurs naturally in the skin, but can also be harvested from wheat, barley, and rye. It’s also possible to synthesize Azelaic acid. I’m not sure what the source is in this particular product. Azelaic acid has been proven to be an effective treatment for acne, hyperpigmentation, and even rosacea.
In addition to numerous scientific studies proving the efficacy of Azelaic acid for the treatment of acne, hyperpigmentation, and rosacea, there is also a detailed drug evaluation available for this ingredient, which can be found here:
Adenosine – This ingredient possesses anti-inflammatory properties, promotes the production of collagen and elastin, and has a respectable handful of studies showing it to be an effective anti-aging ingredient. Here’s an interesting abstract from one of those studies, which appeared in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science in 2006:
Benton Snail Bee High Content Lotion comes packaged in a no-frills, amber colored plastic bottle with white lettering. It looks very much like a larger version of the Snail Bee Essence bottle. The bottle has a pump for dispensing the product, which works efficiently for dispensing the lotion.
The Benton Snail Bee High Content Lotion itself is white. The lotion consistency is far thicker than that of the Snail Bee Essence or the Benton Aloe Propolis Soothing Gel, but it’s less thick than the Snail Bee Steam Cream.
Not much of a smell to speak of here.
I tried applying Benton Snail Bee High Content Lotion a few different ways. The first way was as an emulsion step before my moisturizing cream, in both the morning and evening. When using this lotion as an emulsion in addition to a cream, I applied 1 to 2 pumps on my face after applying my serum, but before applying my moisturizing cream. One of the first things I noticed about this lotion is that it took kind of a long time to rub in. There is a good 15 to 20 seconds of the Benton Snail Bee High Content Lotion just sliding around my face when I apply it. It does eventually sink in though, and at that point, I applied my moisturizer on after it.
The second way I applied the Benton Snail Bee High Content Lotion was as it’s own, moisturizing step, without applying a cream afterward. When using it this way, I applied it after my serum, as the last step in my routine.
On a few occasions, I tried applying the Benton Snail Bee High Content Lotion without any other skincare products before it. I wanted to see if the lotion still took a long time to rub in if I was applying it to clean, dry skin as opposed to skin that is a bit damp from the products that preceded it. I found that this did not make a noticeable difference in the time it took the lotion to absorb.
I used Benton Snail Bee High Content Lotion every morning and evening for 21 days. My skin is brighter in general, and I am still maintaining my acne free status, but it’s hard to say how much of my skin’s current condition is actually a result of using the Benton Snail Bee High Content Lotion. I think most of the credit belongs to my Paula’s Choice BHA liquid and AHA gel, as well and some of the other products I’ve been using.
The Benton Snail Bee High Content Lotion is very moisturizing. Despite its thinner consistency, I actually find it be slightly more moisturizing than the steam cream. Unfortunately, I also find it feels heavier than the steam cream, even when using it without any additional skincare products on my face.
I liked the brightening effects of the Benton Snail Bee High Content Lotion, and I was relieved that the Cetearyl Alcohol inclusion did not bring on any acne breakouts. However, I really did not enjoy using this lotion. I found myself sighing when I got to the emulsion step in my skincare routine. Because it takes so long to absorb, the application process felt onerous and cumbersome. I probably could have overlooked that aspect if it felt especially great afterward, but it didn’t. Although it did not make my face look greasy, it felt heavy on my skin.
As for my friend that broke out from the Benton Steam Cream who was hoping this lotion would be a good alternative – the Benton Snail Bee High Content Lotion broke her out worse than the steam cream did. I find this unsurprising, since it contains many of the same ingredients the steam cream does, but with the added potential acne trigger, Cetearyl Alcohol.
The Benton Snail Bee High Content Lotion just isn’t for me, unfortunately. I think someone with very dry skin who is looking for an additional moisturizing step in their routine would benefit from using this in addition to their moisturizing cream. Outside of that use case, I find this product to be the weakest in the Benton lineup.
– Fragrance free
– Gentle enough for sensitive skin
– Feels heavy
– Takes a long time to rub in
– Contains potential acne triggers
Skin & Tonics Rating:
Performance: 3/5 – Brightening and moisturizing, but feels heavy and the application is cumbersome.
Ingredients: 3/5 – Okay ingredient list with lots of skin healthy components, but also contains a couple of potential problem-causing ingredients, such as Cetearyl Alcohol.
Packaging: 4/5 – It’s utilitarian and maybe even a little boring (I happen to like it though), but it does a great job dispensing product without leaking.
Where to buy
I bought my Benton Snail Bee High Content Lotion from W2Beauty, where it retails for $19 (and comes with lots of samples). First time customers can get a $5 W2Beauty voucher by entering my sponsor code at sign-up: 025605.
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