Naruko Snail Essence Intense Hydra Repair Mask Review: Welcome to Snail City

There are a lot of sheet masks out there, and most of the ones I consider great have a lot in common. And then there are masks like Naruko Snail Essence Intense Hydra Repair Mask, which I bought with the assumption that they’d be pretty similar to other Taiwanese snail masks I’ve tried and liked, but which turn out to be so different that they deserve an entire blog post of their own.


Affiliate links in this post are marked with an asterisk(*).


Naruko snail sheet mask review

Now Entering Snail City, Population: Snail.

Purpose: Naruko Snail Essence Intense Hydra Repair Mask is a hydrating and calming sheet mask.

Best suited for: All skin types.

Do not use if: You are sensitive to algin, snail mucin, or anything else in the ingredients list.

When and how to use: Use after cleansing, either in place of or in addition to the essence and serum steps of your normal skincare routine. I prefer to use sheet masks as my last stage before creams, as the occlusion and the penetration enhancers in the sheet masks seem to help push previous products more thoroughly into skin. Follow with moisturizer and/or sleeping pack.

Naruko Snail Essence Intense Hydra Repair Mask ingredients:  Purified water, algin, snow fungus (tremella fuciformis) extract, hydroxyethylcellulose, butylene glycol, carbomer, glycerin, cucumis sativus (cucumber) fruit extract, PEG-45M, phenoxyethanol, ethylhexylglycerin, sodium hyaluronate, snail secretion filtrate, allantoin, PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil, aloe barbadensis leaf juice, calendula officinalis flower extract, avena sativa (oat) kernel extract, triethanolamine, beta glucan, sodium polyglutamate, fragrance, dipotassium glycyrrhizate

Aka Naruko Long Name Snailmask.

CosDNA analysis

Notable ingredients: I started to get the feeling these masks might be something different from the usual when I typed up the ingredients list. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a sheet mask that listed algin, a seaweed-derived thickener, as its second ingredient. Actually, I can’t really think of many products that contain algin in the first place. Algin rates quite high on CosDNA as a potential acne trigger and irritant, getting a 4 in both columns, so if you have issues with seaweed ingredients, give this one a pass.

If you don’t think you have problems with algin or carrageenan, however, it may be worth giving this a shot–comedogenicity ratings are pretty flawed, as my friend Michelle from Lab Muffin pointed out. And there’s some good shit in this mask. Tremella fuciformis extract is hydrating and shows promising antioxidant and wound healing abilities, much like the snail secretion filtrate that this mask features. The aloe and oats are soothing and anti-inflammatory. Overall, this mask has potential to deliver on its hydrating and reparative promises.

Performance

Ooooooookay. These masks are WEIRD.

I’ve used a lot of Taiwanese sheet masks in my time and generally like them a lot. Brands like My Beauty Diary, My Scheming, and the more upmarket Maskingdom and L’Herboflore all tend to give lots and lots of mask juice on soft and pliable sheets that excel at holding the juice against your face, and the other two Naruko sheet masks I’ve tried have been that way, too. The Snail Essence Intense Hydra Repair Mask is something else.

The thin, translucent mask sheet itself is similar to other T-beauty masks, but the essence, with its subtle floral scent, is very unusual. The algin and various humectants in this formulation make the liquid thicker than any I’ve felt before; texturally, Naruko Long Name Snailmasks are more like hydrogels than regular sheet masks. And the thick, thick essence is incredibly slimy. Chilled, the mask likes to stick to itself and to pull apart in long strings, much like the super-snaily COSRX snail essence that I love. At room temperature, these masks are easier to unfold but retain that distinctive snaily sliminess.

This picture doesn’t really capture the thickness and sliminess of the mask essence, but take a look at how bubbly it is (and how translucent the material is, too). And do you like my shaky trackpad drawing skills? I know you do. I learn new skills for you guys all the time.

I can’t say I wasn’t warned about the weird texture. A couple of commenters mentioned it on my Instagram, and they were totally right.

You’ve probably guessed that the snaily-slimy feel of the mask essence isn’t a problem for me at all–actually, it’s pretty exciting and pleasurable in ways I don’t want you to think too much about–but if that kind of consistency bothers you, these masks definitely will.

Naruko Snail Essence Intense Hydro Repair Mask reviewWhich would be too bad, because these are really nice masks. Even after 35 minutes out of the refrigerator on my face, the essence feels cooling and soothing on my skin. It stayed good and moist for over 45 minutes, and when I took it off, I was wowed by how much it had calmed down and evened out my skin. Naruko Snail Essence Intense Hydra Repair Mask isn’t “brightening,” but all the anti-inflammatory goodness in it had a distinct brightening effect anyway. This is the kind of mask that I’d use on a morning when I don’t feel like messing with BB cream or cushion, since the redness reduction it delivers would have the same effect on my look. And actually, that calming effect persisted into the day after I used this mask, so I wouldn’t even have to use it the morning of! On top of that, the Naruko Long Name Snailmask is strongly hydrating and leaves a smooth matte finish on my skin.

Conclusion: I have used a lot of sheet masks in my day, and most of them don’t get a full review because most of them aren’t unique enough to justify so many words. These are. Naruko’s Snail Essence Intense Hydra Repair Masks are total Snail City, and Snail City is a beautiful place to visit. I bought a box of 10 and I like them so much that I’m regretting my decision to sacrifice one of them for a daylight shot of the slimy essence.

Rating: 4.5/5

Rating scale:

1 – This should be taken off the market, or this failed at its one primary job.
2 – Caused me some problems or doesn’t work very well; would not buy again.
3 – Meh. Neither great nor bad.
4 – Pretty good. Would buy again unless I find something better.
5 – I’ll never be in the market for a replacement unless this one is discontinued.

Where can I buy Naruko Snail Essence Intense Hydra Repair Masks?

Naruko isn’t at MBD levels of popularity yet, even though the brand has quite a solid reputation among T-beauty fans. But you can buy boxes of these masks from a couple of places:

Have you tried any masks lately that were just freaking weird and amazing?

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24 responses to “Naruko Snail Essence Intense Hydra Repair Mask Review: Welcome to Snail City

  1. The Naruko Narcissus DNA repairing masks are some of the best masks I’ve ever used. They left my skin incredibly even and bright for, I kid you not, 3 days after each time I used them.

    I’ve also used their night jelly’s and been satisfied with the outcome. Overall, I’m super impressed with the quality and ingredient lists of Naruko products!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Shhh. I literally just realized tonight that they have that US website to buy things from. This is very bad news for my budget, which I’ve already blown on Sulwhasoo…but….I’m going to need those DNA repairing masks now.

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  2. I saw they have various night jelly. Any particular ones to recommend? I am finishing up my Mizon Whitening sleeping pack and in market to get a replacement.

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  3. The Naruko US website says 2 for one on masks. I went ahead and ordered some of the snail masks. Yippee

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    • Thanks for the heads up, I just bought some! I just purchased the my scheming snail masks as well so I’m set for a while!

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    • Love it and Thanks for the detail, no wonder it calm my redness down! The US store has BOGO promote now, withe that and extra 20% off and 10% gift card end up like $8.28 a box 😄

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  4. I was able to purchase during Naruko’s buy one, get one, and received them quickly! I used my first one yesterday, and this is like the test to see if you should have your AB card. They are slimy (yes, you warned me) and you could see a mucus-like goo as the mask was pulled from the package. Unfolding and placing was challenging, as it was tricky to get a grip. Once on, the mask itself slipped a bit, so I felt the need to lay back with it on my face. But, it didn’t really dry out, even the area of my upper lip. I had it on for forty minutes and it was almost as moist as when first applied. HERE’s my bonus tip: I used the remaining bit to rub along my legs and arms. After a few minutes I felt the need to rinse off my arms, BUT, they were super baby soft from that exposure. I would use these at night, and since they are so thick, after I layer on most of my routine, maybe through emulsions. I agree my skin loved this mask, which is good because I own a ridiculous amount of snaily goodness now. Thanks for sharing this product with us!

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    • Haaaa! For some reason, it’s so reassuring to hear that others also found it…um….slippery. So worth it though, and I also notice the super baby softness even after rinsing the essence off quickly. It’s good stuff!

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  5. I got my hands on a few of these and I’m not sure if they’ve gone bad. Did yours smell weird? Mine’s got this ammonia-like smell to it.

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    • Uhm I just got the 30 pack for $21 on ebay and use 1 today ,it’s smell weird too ,I wonder it’s bad ? the expiration day is january 18 so still 4 month left.

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  6. Hey! Is there a stinging sensation when you first apply this? Cause there is for me and I’ve sensitive acne prone skin so I’m not sure if I should be worried 😦 saw your rave reviews and really wanted to like this!

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  7. oh, I know this is an older review, but it’s the one that inspired me to try these wonderfully stringy, sticky, slimy, gooey masks — they are now my go-to sheet mask for post-peel redness & irritation. no other masks cool and soothe my skin like these do. Naruko Boutique regularly has great deals on them, so I snatch up boxes of 10 at a time. one of my favorites (the Narcissus brightening masks, with their lightly creamy essence and cool neck flap/ear loops are up there, too).

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  8. Anyone over here from the UK? I want to try these DNA masks, but they don’t have them on ebay and the American Naruko boutique doesn’t ship to England.They do ship to Scotland,though.Sniff,sniff.Not fair. Although I managed to dig out on ebay one Naruko snail essence mask and I’m sooo buying it! Such a wonderful blog, I am fairly new to Korean cosmetics, so I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled!Thank you for sharing your wisdom, knowledgeable snail lady.I can tell you know your stuff. Glad I’ve found you! Happy new year everybody from muggy,rainy Albion 😉

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