If companies were graded on their ingredient lists, Swanicoco would be class valedictorian. Every single one of their products is chock-full of amazing sounding ferments, peptides, extracts, and other droll-worthy ingredients. Unfortunately, their products are not the easiest to come by (yet! hopefully) in the States so when this emulsion popped up on Testerkorea, I jumped at the chance to give it a try!
AT A GLANCE
SWANICOCO SKIN EXPERT ONE STEP FERMENTATION SNAIL CARE EMULSION
Size: 120ML aka HUGE. This will last awhile.
Price: $14.26 on Testerkorea
Packaging: Plastic, cylindrical pump bottle
Fragrance: Fresh, fermented Rose / Jasmine scent. It is of medium intensity but very pleasant.
Fragrance: Thin, watery (Western) creamy lotion.
Acne Triggers & Irritants: Butylene Glycol (1) and stearic acid(2) are flagged as acne triggers; carbomer (1) is a potential irritant
Full Ingredients: Water, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Water, Aspergillus/Rice Ferment Filtrate, Snail Secretion Filtrate, Butylene Glycol, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Stearic Acid, Lactobacillus/Bambusa Vulgaris Shoot Extract/Glycyrrhiza Glabra Root Extract/Luffa Cylindrica Fruit Extract/Morus Alba Root Extract/Pueraria Lobata Root Extract Ferment Filtrate, Glycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate, 1,2-Hexanediol, Cultured Wild Ginseng Root Extract, rh-Oligopeptide-1, Saccharomyces/Viscum Album (Mistletoe) Ferment Extract, Lactobacillus/Soybean Ferment Extract, Saccharomyces/Imperata Cylindrica Root Ferment Extract, Saussurea Involucrata Extract, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Polysorbate 60, Tocopheryl Acetate, Allantoin, Ceramide 1, Carbomer, Arginine, Saccharomyces/Lycium Chinense Fruit/Rehmannia Glutinosa Root/Cuscuta Chinensis Fruit/Cistanche Deserticola/Zanthoxylum Piperitum Fruit/Chrysanthemum Morifolium Fruit/Poria Cocos/ Cinnamomum Cassia Ferment, Rosa Centifolia Flower Oil, Magnolia Kobus Bark Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Polygonum Cuspidatum Root Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Fruit Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Thujopsis Dolabrata Branch Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Leaf Extract
Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Water
This emulsion may have snail in the title, but licorice was the ingredient I was most interested in! Licorice is an ingredient common to traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic medicine and is known for its anti-inflammatory, lung-repairing, and general rejuvenating properties. I’ve also heard mumblings of its effective yet minimally irritating melanin-dispersing abilities, which I was definitely interested in. Fun fact, licorice also might reduce liver damage when drinking. Something to keep in mind!
Fermented Ingredients (in purple)
The emulsion definitely delivers on the fermentation part of its name. It’s got everything from fermented rice and bamboo to mistletoe. The theory behind fermentation is that the ingredients are broken down such that the nutrients they contain are made more easily available for the skin to absorb. In addition, some of the ingredients used to faciliate fermentation are beneficial to skin in their own right. For example, saccharomyces (a type of yeast), has skin brightening and anti-oxidant properties.
Snail Secretion Filtrate
I’ve used my fair share of snail products, and for good reason. It is full of bioactive materials, helps the skin take up and hold water better, and has skin healing properties.
Glycerin & Sodium Hyaluronate
By now, glycerin and sodium hyaluronate (the salt form of hyaluronic acid) may seem like ubiquitous, boring ingredients, but they are both powerful humectants and I’m glad to see them included.
Ceramides are a key structural component of your skin’s outer layer, and they aid with water retention and barrier repair. There’s probably not a ton of ceramides in this emulsion, but nevertheless I am glad to see it make an appearance!
There are a few things I really like about this emulsion. Out of the bottle, the emulsion looks firms enough to hold its shape, but it actually packs a good dose of hydration! As soon as I start rubbing the emulsion into my skin, it melts quickly and feels very wet. It glides very easily over my skin and has a lovely, silky texture that I am a huge fan of. The texture is one of my favorite things. It makes the emulsion super fast to apply without tugging at my skin at all! Also, it leaves no stickiness and has a scent that I quite like. It smells like rose to me with undertones of something fermented, but not in a bad way.
It took me awhile to figure out where this product goes in my routine. If you look at any Korean beauty how-to guide, emulsions go right before a moisturizing cream. Logically, this makes sense and follows the thin-to-thick rule, but I just don’t enjoy using it this way. This emulsion absorbs easily for something of its texture, but it does leave more residue than an essence or toner would do. I don’t really like applying cream over it because I feel like the creams do not absorb as well.
Instead, I find myself skipping cream when I use this emulsion and either follow up with a face oil, to make sure my skin is adequately moisturized, or I will mix some face oil into this emulsion itself. I imagine if you have oily skin and find traditional moisturizing creams to be too heavy, this emulsion might be a good alternative.
It’s a little difficult to explain why I like this emulsion so much. It doesn’t have any drastic brightening or plumping effects on my skin, nor is it hydrating enough for my skin on its own, but it’s become a skincare staple over the past two months I’ve been using it. It layers extremely well with essences, toners, ampoules, and oils, so it’s easy for me to use, and the fact that it is so easy to apply and has no tug when being spread not only makes it very pleasant to use, but also helps prevent potential irritation. During this winter season, my skin, which is usually not very sensitive, has required a lot of baby-ing. A lot of products that previously worked fine for my skin suddenly fell to the sidelines because they would cause some sort of redness or burning, uncomfortable tingling, burning, or itching sensation when applied. This emulsion didn’t do any of that and actually feels very soothing on my skin, and at the moment that matters more to me than finding products that can brighten my skintone or even out my post-acne hyperpigmentation.
Very soothing emulsion, containing a high concentration of licorice and fermented ingredients, with a pleasant silky texture and lovely, natural, rose-like scent. Not super moisturizing on its own, but easy to layer with most other products.
Disclaimer: I purchased this. There are no affiliate links.