Tony Moly Snail Essence Hydro-gel Mask Review


I was feeling a little iffy about posting this review because I didn't take as many before and after pictures as I should have. However, I still think my experience with the mask is relevant and I hope it will help anyone thinking about purchasing this mask.

TLDR: I enjoyed the new hydro-gel mask experience, but it didn't "stick" to my skin at all. I found myself having to readjust the mask every couple of minutes while standing. Eventually the continual readjustment became too tedious, so I gave up and lay down to wait out the 30 minutes. My skin had a slight reaction to this mask; I was having a hormonal cystic acne breakout already, but the morning after my skin texture was much rougher and mottled with small milia and white heads across my forehead and chin. 

Before we get into what I think, I transcribed the little summary that Tony Moly provided on the back of the mask for you to read here:

"Contains astonishing filtered liquid of snail mucin that is a source of boosting vitality. Fully replenishes skin with its ample moisture to solidify skin's hydration barrier. In addition, a plant extract called Ceramium kondol protects the exasperated skin against the external damage by supply the necessary nutrition to skin. This unique mask helps to brighten and moisturize skin with its hydrating gel formula."

Also, unfortunately, this is the best "before" picture I have for this mask.


I know, it doesn't really show anything, but it was also the only photo we took that day prior to heading over to Tony Moly!


As I mentioned previously in my Tony Moly Haul post, this mask retails for $9.00. I was told it was more expensive because of the higher percentage of snail essence and the fact that it was a hydro-gel mask.


This is my first experience with both a snail essence product and a hydro-gel mask. I was super excited about trying both! I've heard that snail essence works wonders for active acne, fading acne scars, and general anti-aging concerns, while hyrdo-gel masks are far superior to their cotton predecessors in getting the skin to soak up their nutrients. Hydro-gel also supposedly forms to your face better, allowing more skin-to-mask contact, which is generally what you want when wearing a sheet mask.

Let's crack this baby open! 
So first off, the general experience isn't too different from using a regular sheet mask. You crack it open, pull out the mask and spread it on your face.


The Tony Moly Snail Essence Hyro-Gel Mask comes in three parts. There is a clear film that the mask rests on, an opaque film that helps with the application and the mask itself.


The major differences between this mask and a traditional sheet mask are that 1.) it comes in two separate pieces and 2.) it has a two-part application.


I tried to stick to the instructions as much as possible, but the mask itself was so slimy (I'm sure due both to the snail slime and to it being made of hydrogel) it slid right off the opaque application layer.


I eventually slid the mask back onto it's application layer and applied the top half to my face. As you'll see in a moment, I should've taken a photo before applying the mask. At the time time I was undergoing a pretty severe hormonal breakout on my cheeks. I wanted to see how the mask would help that.


Please excuse the horrible look! You can see on my left cheek, I had a combination of cystic pimples that were in various stages of maturity. Some had already come to a head and popped and others were just lingering under the surface of my skin.


I applied the bottom half and looked a little bit like Jason. I also heard that Hydro-gel masks were supposed to "stick to your face" a bit better. I personally found this to be untrue. I'm not sure if it's just the gel with Tony Moly's products, but I found myself constantly having to readjust both halves of the mask because they were slipping off my face. Eventually, I just gave up and lay down and let gravity do the work for me.

There was no additional "sensation" to the mask, I didn't feel any tingling or burning. I just felt the cold hydro-gel resting on my face.

Close up! 
The instructions suggest you should wear this mask for 20-30 minutes, but my sister and I wanted to get the full effects of the mask so we waited the full thirty. Unlike traditional cotton sheet masks, I felt like the gel, even after a whole thirty minutes, had just been freshly applied. I could have probably waited longer, but I didn't want to overdo it.

After we peeled the masks off, we noticed our skin was more hydrated and plump, but I think that's almost negligible. When you use a sheet mask your face is getting soaked in essence for 30 straight minutes...I would hope there'd be a slight buildup of moisture! My angry red marks had faded a little, but I think that was because the mask was cool and soothed my inflamed skin. Other than that we didn't really notice much of a difference. My sister and I then applied both of our night creams and headed off to bed.

The next morning my sister and I both noticed we had broken out a little. My cystic acne very much stayed the same, but I did notice I had smaller almost milia-like bumps along my forehead, cheeks and chin. My sister, who has much less reactive skin than I, also had some milia and whiteheads appear on her forehead.

Oh god my eyebrows.
Unfortunately, this is also the only after picture I have. Much like the before picture, you can't really see the texture of our skin, but we had an in-depth conversation about our breakouts after trying on the Snail Hydro-Gel Mask.

Given the way my skin reacted to the mask, I'm not sure I would purchase it or try it again. However, this doesn't mean that snail essence products or hydro-gel masks are completely off the table for me. I think I would be open to trying a different one in the future.

Purchase Link:
Amazon (Non-Referral)

What do you think of snail gel in beauty products? Let me know!



2 comments :

  1. Thanks for the review! I really appreciate the picture showing the ingredients. The chondrus crispus (carrageenan) might have been the cause of the breakouts. Supposedly anything kelp, sea whip, chondrus crispus, etc is really pore clogging. Any masks you have had good luck with in the past?

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  2. @Malucent Mirror: Oh my gosh! Whenever I hear kelp or seaweed in things, I just think of amazing hydration and skin benefits. Now I know!!

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