Benton Snail Bee High Content Skin 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 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.
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.
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
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:
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:
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.
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.
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:
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:
According to COSDNA, this product contains no known irritants or acne triggers.
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.
The Benton Snail Bee High Content Skin itself is clear, and ever so slightly thicker than water.
Not much of a smell to speak of here.
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.
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.
– Calming, reduces facial redness
– Possibly contributed to current acne free status
– Excellent ingredient list with no fillers
– Absorbs quickly
– Fragrance free
– Gentle enough for sensitive skin
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
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.
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