Skin & Tonics : A Skincare Blog

Skincare guides & product reviews for beauty enthusiasts & ingredient connoisseurs

Benton Snail Bee High Content Skin Review

EDIT 

(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 specific natural preservatives used.  

When I found out that Benton released two new additions to their Snail Bee skincare line (thanks for the heads up, Gloria!), I couldn’t order them fast enough. Apparently, everyone else was just as excited as I was – I’ve never had so many requests for specific product reviews as I have for the Benton Snail Bee High Content Skin and Snail Bee High Content Lotion. It was killing me to wait so long to review them, but I wanted to use them both for a few weeks before sharing any thoughts. Today, I’ll be kicking off the new product reviews with a look at the Benton Snail Bee High Content Skin.

Benton Snail Bee High Content Skin

What is it?

Benton Snail Bee High Content Skin is a Korean toner product. Korean toners (and Asian toners in general) are intended to hydrate the skin and prep it for better absorption of other skincare products to follow, as opposed to Western toners, which are made to be used as an additional cleansing or astringent step.  Benton Snail Bee High Content Skin should be the first product used immediately after cleansing the face. Snail Bee High Content Skin is formulated for all skin types, including sensitive skin. It promises to whiten (brighten) skin and remove wrinkles.

Ingredients:
Snail Secretion Filtrate, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Water, Glycerin, Niacinamide, Human Ogliopeptide-1, Bee Venom, Diospyros Kaki Leaf Extract, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Plantago Asiatica Extract, Laminaria Digitata Extract, Ulmus Campetris (Elm) Extract, Zanthoxylum Piperitum Fruit Extract, Pulsatilla Koreana Extract, Usnea Barbata (Lichen) Extract, Athaea Rosea Root Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Betaine, Bacillus Ferment, Panthenol, Beta-Glucan, Allantoin, Azelaic Acid, Adenosine

Benton Snail Bee High Content Skin

Much like the rest of Benton’s skincare products, the Snail Bee High Content Skin is packed full of beneficial skincare ingredients with no fillers. The plant extracts are anti-inflammatory and contain antioxidants. Some of them are also antibacterial.  This formula also contains several of my favorite skincare actives. Here are some of the highlights in this ingredient lineup:

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)

Camellia Sinensis Leaf Water – Better known as green tea extract, this ingredient has a multitude of studies showing its benefit in the skincare world. Green tea’s active, skin-friendly component is polyphenols, which possess powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

This study from June of 2013 showed green tea extract to have a prolonged moisturizing effect, reduce skin roughness, and improve skin microrelief (wrinkles):
The use of green tea extract in cosmetic formulations: not only an antioxidant active ingredient

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:

Niacinamide: A B Vitamin that Improves Aging Facial Skin Appearance

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)

EDIT (February 19, 2014)I saw some questions raised recently on Facebook concerning whether or not bees die as a result of harvesting bee venom. Here are the facts: methods of bee venom collection that kill bees are old-fashioned, and are no longer used these days. Bee venom harvesters now collect their venom through electric or sound stimulation, in conjunction with a method that is similar to the milking of snakes. Bees are not harmed or killed in the venom collection process.

Here are some interesting summaries that detail the modern collection methods and how they affect the bee colonies:

• Effect of Venom Collection Method Using Coupled Electrical and Sound Stimulation

• Does Harvesting Venom Bee Venom Exploit Bees?

• Collecting Bee Venom for Medicinal 

• Bee Venom (Honeymeisters)

No matter what the collection method is, it’s still not a vegan ingredient, so if that is a concern, it’s definitely best to avoid it.

Benton Snail Bee High Content Skin

Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract – 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. 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%. I’m not sure what the BHA percentage is for this product.

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 )

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. 

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. 

Benton Snail Bee High Content Skin

Allantoin – Allantoin is a chemical compound with a number of beneficial skincare properties. It’s an anti-irritant, and increases the water content of the structural support matrix of the skin (the areas between skin cells). It also possesses exfoliating properties.

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:

Azelaic Acid: A Review of its Pharmacological Properties and Therapeutic Efficacy in Acne and Hyperpigmentary Skin Disorders

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:

Evaluation of anti-wrinkle efficacy of adenosine-containing products using the FOITS technique

According to COSDNA, this product contains no known irritants or acne triggers.

Performance

Appearance
Benton Snail Bee High Content Skin 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 toner.

Benton Snail Bee High Content Skin

The Benton Snail Bee High Content Skin itself is clear, and ever so slightly thicker than water.

Smell
Not much of a smell to speak of here.

Application
I apply Benton Snail Bee High Content Skin immediately after washing my face. I first pat my face dry with a paper towel, then dispense anywhere between 3-5 pumps of the toner in my hand. I then put my hands together to let approximately half of the toner spill into my other hands before pressing the toner gently into my face.

The Benton Snail Bee High Content Skin absorbs very quickly. I would say it’s on par with Missha First Essence Treatment or possibly even IOPE Bio-Essence in terms of how quickly it sinks in.  I think the fast absorption and lack of stickiness will really be appealing to oily skin types. My skin is dry, and though this product did not dry my out at all, it is minimally hydrating – less so than the Benton Aloe BHA Toner.

Benton Snail Bee High Content Skin

Results
I’ve been using Benton Snail Bee High Content Skin every morning and evening for 21 days. My skin is much brighter in general, and my hyperpigmentation marks continue to fade more rapidly than they would have even just a couple of months ago. Additionally, I am still maintaining my miraculous acne free status.  However, it’s hard to say how much of my skin’s current g condition is actually a result of using the Benton Snail Bee High Content Skin. I’m giving it at least partial credit, but I do 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. Those products included the Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence, Snail Bee High Content Lotion, Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant, and Paula’s Choice 8% AHA Gel for the duration of my usage of the Snail Bee High Content Skin. I was also using my Sulwhasoo Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Cream and Primera Tree Sap Prime Serum for a portion of this product’s use.

One thing I can definitively credit this toner with is an immediate reduction in facial redness. My skin might be clear of acne at the moment, but I have noticed more occurrences of general redness recently, especially at night. I find that the redness subsides significantly just after using the Benton Snail Bee High Content Skin.

Overall, I’m extremely happy with the Benton Snail Bee High Content Skin. Between the Snail Bee Skin and the Benton Aloe BHA Toner, I still think I prefer the Aloe BHA toner. I find the Aloe Toner a little more hydrating for my dry skin type. I imagine those with oily skin would probably prefer the Snail Bee Skin, and will rejoice at how light this toner is, how quickly it sinks in, and the absence of any trace of stickiness.  That’s not to say that those with dry skin wouldn’t benefit from this product as well – it’s not at all drying, and there is plenty of calming, brightening goodness to be had, no matter what your skin type is.

Pros:
–       Calming, reduces facial redness
–       Possibly contributed to current acne free status
–       Excellent ingredient list with no fillers
–       Brightening
–       Non-sticky
–       Absorbs quickly
–       Fragrance free
–       Gentle enough for sensitive skin

Cons:
– None

Skin & Tonics Rating:
Performance: 5/5 – Calming, brightening, absorbs quickly, relieves redness, and possibly contributes to lightening of hyperpigmentation.

Ingredients: 5/5  – Superb ingredient list. No fillers.

Packaging: 4/5 – It’s utilitarian and maybe even a little boring (I happen to like it though), but it does the job and the pump does a great job dispensing product without leaking

 Overall: 4.7/5

Is it worth the money?
Absolutely. I know everyone has a different sweet spot when it comes to price points. For me, $20 is that sweet spot when it comes to toners. I love that this contains so many of my favorite ingredients, is a pleasure to use, calms redness, doesn’t cause acne, and helps brighten my complexion. I’ve definitely paid a lot more for toners that do a lot less more often than I’d like.

Where to buy

I bought my Benton Snail Bee High Content Skin from W2Beauty, where it retails for $20 (and comes with lots of samples). First time customers can get a $5 W2Beauty voucher by entering my sponsor code at sign-up: 025605.

eBay seller RubyRuby76 offers the Snail Bee High Content Skin for $16 (sale price), and I am Love Shop on eBay offers it for $22.

 

This post contains affiliate links. Shopping these links helps support this site! Full disclosure

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46 comments onBenton Snail Bee High Content Skin Review

  1. YAY!!!! OMG your review is here!!! I haven’t even read it yet LOL!! Just so excited! Ok, I’ll calm down now and go read your review. So exciting, I’m dead serious hahaha!!

  2. Ok, done and done. Running off to order it immediately. Thanks again Kerry for another great review full of information. I can’t wait to add this to my routine. My skin is oily so I’m looking forward to the quick absorption. And I’m sure your Lotion review is right around the corner. Can’t wait 😀

  3. Yay, I was waiting for your review ever since I realized they got rid of the Aloe BHA toner (nooooo!!) The ingredients sound very promising though, so I’ll try it out before I make any judgements. I think I may prefer a more moisturizing toner though…

    • Kerry

      Hey Grace! Where did you hear they stopped making the Aloe BHA toner? As far as I know, they’re still making it and have plans to complete the aloe line once they’re finished with the Snail Bee line. The aloe toner is still available at many of my regular shops. But it’s certainly possible you have news that I haven’t heard yet! 🙂

    • Noooooooo this better not be true! o_O

      • Kerry

        I just wrote to Mr.Lee (Benton’s co-creator) to ask about the status of the Aloe BHA toner. I’ll let you guys know what he says as soon as I hear something!

      • Kerry

        I have excellent news! Mr.Lee says they are still making the Aloe BHA Toner. He also says we can expect to see some new aloe products in the next couple of months. I’m excited!

        • Oh thank god! I asssumed it was gone because when I went to check their site a couple weeks ago I couldn’t find the aloe BHA toner anywhere. Plus it was gone from their “order of use” diagram (the one that tells you what order you’re supposed to apply the Benton products). I can’t wait for the new products though!

  4. This product looks really nice! I have not found a toner that suits my combination skin :/ I want to try this product from Benton ^^

  5. Am patiently waiting for the 2 new Benton products to arrive. It was an impulse buy as soon as I saw it. I usually regret my impulse buys but this has proven me otherwise! Thanks for the review. Huge fan of Benton, still waiting on the sunscreen from them though. 🙁

    • Kerry

      Hey Anne! I feel exactly the same way about the sunscreen. I need them to release that product yesterday! I just ordered a big old sunscreen haul with both Korean and Japanese varieties. My goal is to test them all out so I can write a sunscreen guide with a range of suggestions for different skin types. Hopefully, I’ll find my holy grail in the process. I’m still reaching for my Biore Watery Essence most days. Have you found any sunscreens you like recently?

      I’m excited to hear what you think of the new Benton products when you get them. Let me know how they work out for you!

      • Still using my Skin79 sunscreen which makes my skin look really shinny, which you don’t want during the summer! I’m afraid to try anything new at the moment in case of breakouts. But once I’m done with the tube I’ll be trying something new for sure!
        So the new Benton products arrived for me yesterday and I am in love all over again! I allocated the Aloe range to my morning routine and the Snail Bee to my evening routine. I woke up with glowing skin!

  6. Hi, Kerry. 🙂 I’ve been reading your blog and taking notes for the past two months. I usually can’t put your product reviews to good use due to my budget (college student here), but tax returns should be coming in soon and I am planning to splurge on some Benton products. I was wondering if you have a recommendation about whether the Aloe or Snail Bee line would be better suited to my skin type. I am oily/combo with occasional flare-ups of sensitivity and have lots of acne and hyperpigmentation, unfortunately. I’ve been using Differin for almost three weeks now and will be starting a course of oral antibiotics soon.

    Because my skin can get so sensitive due to the Differin, I am drawn to the Aloe products. The Snail Bee line seems more in line with my skin type, though. Do you see any reason why I shouldn’t mix and match products – for instance, the Snail Bee toner and essence with the Aloe moisturizing gel or vice versa?

  7. I love your reviews – they prompted me to purchase the Aloe Gel! I currently use the Etude House Wonder Pore toner and I’m not sure that it’s doing my skin any good… I have HUGE pores and combination/oily skin that is very acne prone with lots of hyperpigmentation! I’m also in my late teens. Do you have any good toner recommendations? Or any skincare recommendations at all? I’m excited to try products from the Benton line – I already ordered the steam cream and ten masks! Thank you for your wonderful reviews~
    Chloe recently posted…Current Skincare Routine + Mini-ReviewsMy Profile

    • I used the wonder pore toner for awhile too! I tried using up the whole thing but it was just like splashing expensive water on my face. I think the Benton range is the best way to go. I would say I have the same skin condition as yours and Benton has seriously helped me. Now all I’m suffering from is a shiny forehead on warm days (nothing blotting paper can’t fix) and blackheads! Arghh.

      • Which benton products do you use? I don’t know which toner I should get – the aloe or this one!

        • I actually use the whole range. There’s an ebay seller who sells the whole set for about $88 AUD (cheaper in USD). I allocated the aloe to my morning routine followed by sunscreen/makeup because I wanted something light and quick for my mornings. Then I use the Snail Bee for my evening. Toner -> Essence -> Lotion -> Cream. If you have to choose between the two I recommend the Snail Bee because it’s so much more beneficial for us girls with acne prone skin. I began my Benton experience with just the essence and cream and my skin improved dramatically.

      • The oil cleansing routine will help get rid of those blackheads. I used to have loads, but when I started doing the oil cleanse whenever I wore makeup, I now have no blackheads. 🙂 Make sure to really massage it into your nose or any other place you get blackheads. You will feel them dislodging. It’s gross but cool at the same time. 😉
        Chelcie Morris recently posted…University Interviews, Depression and Self-Esteem Part 1My Profile

  8. Thanks for the Benton reviews. I want to get some Benton products but I don’t know which I should get. I have normal skin with no serious problem. Which would you recommend for my skin type?

    • Kerry

      I like to use a mix of the Snail Bee line and the Aloe line, personally. What are you looking to get out of your skin care products? The Snail Bee line has some really nice brightening effects and it’s currently more complete than the aloe line (though new aloe products are coming in a couple of months). Snail Bee might be a good place to start.

  9. Hey there, new reader and new convert here. For about a year now, I’ve just been completely obsessed with making my skin better. Some would agree that it’s pretty good already, since I don’t have acne worries and hardly breakout. My problem is hyper pigmentation. Just wondering if I don’t have oily skin, can/should I still use BHA products? I use an AHA treatment (serum) right now, but it’s really just holding the spot at bay and not really lightening (hence me jumping ship to Asia skin care!). Your help would be greatly appreciated 🙂

    Going back to reading your posts now! Thanks in advance!

    • Kerry

      Hi Monica! I think BHA is especially great for oily skin! BHA is actually lipid soluble, which means it can travel through oil (including sebum) to get where it needs to go. AHA is not lipid soluble, so it’s only going to be able to penetrate your skin and areas that aren’t so oily. A lot of people like to use a BHA/AHA combo – apply the BHA product first, and it will clear the way for AHA to do it’s thing.

  10. Courtney

    Hi! Out curiosity: 1. What’s the shelf life for Benton’s products? 2. Does Benton’s have a facebook page/twitter?
    Courtney recently posted…Benton Snail Bee High Content Skin ReviewMy Profile

  11. Hi!

    I’m new to Korean beauty products but I sort of went crazy and bought a bunch to try after reading your blog entries! Your posts are so informative =)

    I have the Mizon Snail line and I’m not super happy with it (the cream stings my skin). I’d like to try 2 products from a different line with snail. Do you think I should go for the Missha Snail Aqua Renew cream & Mask or the Benton Essence & Steam Cream. I have very sensitive combo skin. My skin “burns” pretty easily on acidic stuff. I’ve smelled sample packs of the Missha snail and I’m not a big fan of the smell, but I like that it doesn’t have alcohol in it and will go for whichever you think is more effective. I’d like to use these 2 new snail products and incorporate the Sulwhasoo Ginseng cream into my routine somehow. Thanks!!

    • Kerry

      Hi Annie! If you’re sensitive, I would definitely go for the Benton line. Those products are fragrance free, and formulated for sensitive skin types. 🙂

    • I have to agree with Kerry that Benton is better for sensitive skin cause I’ve tried the Missha Snail Aqua Renew cream and it broke me out after a couple of days 🙁

  12. Would you say that this toner is more effective than the Aloe BHA one in terms of acne and soothing the skin? As attached as I am to my Aloe toner I would definitely go for one with less moisture if it means my skin is more soothed/ calmed 😛

    • Kerry

      Hey Grace! It’s actually difficult for me to say because of my current, miraculous, acne-free status while using this toner. They both have a lot of calming, anti-inflammatory ingredients. I’ve personally had a lot of luck in general with aloe calming my acne down and decreasing redness, but I also like Niacinamide for that. The Snail Bee Skin has both ingredients (though it does have less aloe than the Aloe BHA Toner), while the Aloe BHA lacks Niacinamide. Still, I personally don’t think you can go wrong with either one!

  13. Which toner from benton would you recommend, this one or the BHA aloe version? 🙂

    • Kerry

      Hi Iliana! It really depends on your personal preference! I like them both very much, but personally enjoy the slightly more hydrating properties of the Aloe BHA Toner. But I also know plenty of people that prefer the Snail Bee Skin. I’d imagine that if you’re oily, the Snail Bee Skin would be more to your liking.

  14. 🙂 Reading about this product reminds me of when I ordered it. Your review finally came out, both the Toner and the Lotion were on sale on my fave Korean online store (like 5 USD/bottle!!!) and I had one day to put money in my bank account and order it before I set off for a week-long trip to Vicenza, Italy. (Which equaled no internet, no ordering online.)
    I finally managed to place the order, and by the time I came home, my package was waiting for me in my room. 🙂

    And I converted my roommate in Vicenza to Benton products too! 😀

  15. Nicky

    Hi Kerry ^_^ I’ve been on the fence about whether to try this line (the High Content + Steam Cream). I am acne prone and I have had days where I’m too tired after school and I literally slept without washing my face 🙁 and because of that I wake up with pimples and clogged pores that turn into persistent acne that will not go away unless I do something that targets getting rid of it and not just treating it. So far Bactroban helped me stay clear in the past before, but because it is an antibiotic I am kind of scared that if I use it too often my skin will build up a resistance to it, so for now I’m going to avoid using it for 2-3 months.

    Just wondering, will the combo of the steam cream and the snail bee high content essence (and maybe a BHA exfoliant 🙂 ) completely make your skin clear, like no clogged pores always popping up? And for your routine, are you to the point that you dont get clogged pores at all like everyday you wake up (so like if you were to say, stop using this for a night you wouldnt suddenly get clogged again)? I’m kind of desperate because there are days I just have so many clogged pores and not to mention redness and pigmentation from it healing 🙁 Right now I’m just using some topical stuff like tea tree oil, BHA masks as exfoliators (not overnight though), I might go back on Bactroban again but I’m not too sure because yeah if I just miss out one night of washing my face (even if its acne free) my skin is continually clogged for ages, so if this regime works it should heal and prevent acne right? 🙂

  16. Clarisa

    Hi Kerry! I just purchased the snail bee high content skin off a recommendation from a friend, but just read your review. You mention that it is a toner – I have been using missha first essence, would using both snail bee high content skin and the essence be redundant? Thank you!

  17. julia

    arrrrrggggh the Benton bee and snail line has such good reviews but I’m allergic to bees. Was about to hit checkout when I was reminded that this will kill me.

    Why does everything good in life have to be deadly LOL

  18. Chelsea

    Hi There!

    I am wondering where BHA’s and AHA’s fit into this routine? In your Asian skin care guide you have them listed as going on after the toner and the essence. I am worried that using an exfoliant after these products would reduce their effectiveness or is this not the case?

    Thanks!

  19. Laura

    Which do you prefer? This or the FTE?

  20. Tamara

    Thanks for an awesome review! I just read the edit about the natural preservatives in this product degrading in extreme temperatures – what qualifies as extreme? I’m asking because I just ordered the toner and the essence, and it looks like they’ll be arriving when the temperature in my area will be around 20°C/68°F. Is this a safe temperature for the products preservatives?