Empties Review: Missha Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Cream

I'm a little sad, doing this review.  This product was a lot of firsts for me.  For one, it's my first empty!  It's also my first night cream , ever, and my first snail product.  It did so much good for me, and really, is what started my obsession with AB.

The Description:
  • Intensive care cream treats and prevents skin damages by strengthening the skin barrier for firm and healthy skin. Multi-functional cream also provides wrinkle repairing and brightening benefits. 
  • Contains Snail Slime Extract to treat troubled skin, wrinkles, loss of elasticity, and uneven skin tone. Concentrated Baobab Tree Extract and Deep Sea Water activate the moisture storage capabilities of skin to relieve dryness.
  • Moisturize, nourish, and protect to keep skin healthy, firm, and strong.
  • Free of Parabens, Dyes, and Mineral oil [Clinically tested for skin safety]
  • Size: 47ml
  • How to use:  After applying Super Aqua Cell Renew Skin Treatment, apply an appropriate amount (about the size of a nickel) over the face following skin texture. Pat lightly with palms until fully absorbed.
  • TIP) For dry skin, follow Skin Treatment with the Super Aqua Cell Renew Essential Moisturizer and then apply Cell Renew Snail Cream.

    Price: ($$$)

    I bought this from k-beauty on Amazon for $32.98 with Prime shipping.  Missha lists it for $45 on their website.  It has 47 ml of snaily goodness, which doesn't sound too bad as the jar looks pretty hefty...until you look inside.  This lasted me nearly three months to the date, which is rather disappointing for a night cream, especially one in the higher price range.  Missha recommends using a nickel sized dollop, which is about twice the amount that I use (which is just shy of a dime size).  I would guess that if you used it like they suggest, you might get about 1.5 to 2 months use out of it.

    I use a little bit more than this.

    I don't mind paying $33 for a night cream, or even $45 (I won't be thrilled about it), but I expect to get roughly 6 months of use out of it, regardless of price.  I try to be really conservative with my skincare stuff, and I just burned right through this.  I paid $0.70 per ml, but if you pay full price, it'd be more like $0.96 per ml with average use for me being about 0.5 ml each night, and Missha recommending around 1 ml..  [3/5]


    Snail Secretion Filtrate, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Alcohol Denat, Adansonia Digitata Seed Extract, Arbutin, Bis-PEG-18 , Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, PEG-11 Methyl Ether Dimethicone, Sea Water, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Ethylhexyl Isononanoate, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Carbomer, Triethanolamine, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, PPG-26-Buteth-26, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Tocopheryl Acetate, Adenosine, Disodium EDTA, Centella Asiatica Meristem Cell Culture , Xanthan Gum, Fragrance(Parfum), Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Linalool, Limonene

    • Comedogenic ingredients are listed in red.
    • Irritation triggers are listed in orange.
    • Potentially hazardous ingredients are listed in purple.  (Note:  this is according to the rating system on CosDNA, which rates them according to reports from CIR, RTECS, and the FDA on if these ingredients could be harmful with long term usage to the skin, cells, or human body.)

    Dimethicone is pretty low at 1/5 for potential acne trigger, although denatured alcohol is rated a whopping 5/5 for potential irritant.  Triethanol amine is a 2/5 for comedogenicity, but is much higher on the scale for safety rating.  It is used as a pH adjuster, so I would assume there's not much in the product, but there are other, safer things that can be used to adjust pH.  This product is highly fragranced, so those sensitive to fragrances should probably skip.

    Obviously, the snail secretion filtrate is the star ingredient.  I love that it's first on the list.  The snail mucin makes up 70% of this product, and is suppose to soothe, brighten, firm, and help with wrinkles.  Pretty bold claims.

    Baobab extract is the fifth ingredient on the list, although they use the scientific name.  It'd be fun if companies started using the other names for the tree, as they're the best ever:  dead rat tree, monkey bread tree, and upside down tree.  It's a good antioxidant, is high in Vitamin A, and has anti-inflammatory properties.  Arbutin is used to brighten/lighten skin, as it contains hydroquinone.  I like how they just say "sea water."  Obviously, sea water can contain some minerals, but there's more than one sea, and I just think that's about as vague as you can get for an ingredients list.  Other notable ingredients, although further down the list, are Portulaca Oleracea extract and Centella Asiatica meristem cell culture.

    Sorry for the crappy quality and lighting.  Old picture.
    pH is around 5-ish, which is normal for moisturizers.

    I didn't look at ingredients lists when I first started AB, and looking at this one now, I'm just...not all that impressed.  I don't particularly hate alcohol, but denatured alcohol is a cheap solvent with a high potential for irritation, and in a product that costs nearly $50, I expect better ingredients than just "mostly snail slime, and some other stuff."  [3/5]


    Let me tell you briefly about my skincare regimen before I started AB:  I had none.  I splashed some water on my face in the morning, I splashed some water on my face at night, I showered somewhere in between.  My skin was ruddy and dull, and every now and then it'd have these flaky, dry patches on the sides of my nose and on my chin.  I also had really red areas on the sides of my nose, and for as long as I can remember, I always thought I had a natural blush.  And then I started the Korean 10-step routine, which sounds like how a tv commercial would start.

    I wished I had taken before pictures.  Within a week, the redness on the sides of my nose and my cheeks disappeared.  I didn't even really notice, until I realized that my face was looking really even, and something I had gotten used to seeing all my life (the blush) had suddenly went away.  It was amazing.  I attribute it all to the snail extract in this cream.  

    However, every time that I use this, my skin always feels slightly irritated - which is a really big deal for me, as my skin is tough as nails.  It feels tingly, and my face flushes - I am assuming this is from the alcohol.  As I got further and further through my jar, the stronger the alcohol smell became.

    This isn't a cream.  It's a clear gel.  It's very easy to spread, although it takes a while to absorb fully, so your face is rather shiny after you apply.  Fresh out of the tub, and on my fingers, it smells like cucumbers.  As I'm smearing it all over my face, the cucumber smell fades, and is replaced by a really heady jasmine.  It's interesting, and I actually really enjoy the smell, but I must note that it's quite strong.

    Still some shine once absorbed.

    The packaging is a big negative for me.  It's gorgeous and has a good weight to it, but then you realize as you open the lid, that the inner jar goes straight down.  It's a tiny little tub.  There's just over 1.5 oz of product, but the jar looks huge.  It's deceptive.  Beyond that though, my bigger problem is with the spatula.  It comes with one, but has nowhere to put it.  

    Nowhere for the spatula to go.

    I end up having to sit it on top of my tub every night, out in the open.  It's just inconvenient and annoying to use.  I much prefer a snazzy touch like how su:m37 does their cleansing balm, with the magnet, or like most other products I have, like the Banila Co cleansing balm, the Face Shop cleansing balm, or the Elizavecca bubble mask, where they have a place for their spatulas on the tray above the product.  It just makes more sense.  Or they could have just put it in a tube like they did with their sleeping pack   [3/5]

    Personal View:

    This review is sounding more and more negative, but honestly, this was my favorite product out of my whole lineup.  Sadly though, as I get more and more into AB products, the less alluring this looks.  I like Missha as a brand, and will definitely look at their other stuff, but I won't be rebuying this.  There are just so many other snail products out there (such as Benton or Mizon, for example) that are better priced, and have better ingredients.  I also wouldn't recommend this to others, because you get so little for what you pay, and the alcohol content irritates even my elephant hide.

    It is quite easy to get, as nearly every retailer I've found seems to carry it, and/or samples of it.  I'm keeping the jar, and decanting my other samples into it (Sulwhasoo Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Cream, fyi), as it is lovely, but I can find better snail elsewhere. [3/5]


    The Good:  Beautiful packaging, beautiful smell, snaily goodness, does wonders for redness, great texture.

    The Bad:  Very little product, denatured alcohol irritates my skin, spatula is a PITA to store.
    • Price:  3/5
    • Ingredients:  3/5
    • Performance:  3/5
    • Personal View:  3/5
    • Total:  3/5