One night a few months ago, a terrible thing happened. I went to put on my eye cream–at the time, I was using the Su:m37 Secret Repair Concentrated Eye Cream–and discovered that I’d scraped the entire jar empty.
I further discovered a distinct lack of other eye creams in my beauty product black hole of a “linen closet.” Nor did I want to use whatever face cream I had planned for the evening around my eyes, for reasons we’ll get into below. The only product on hand that seemed remotely suitable for my eyes was my COSRX Advanced Snail 92 All In One Cream, so in a fit of desperation, I went for it.
And then the next morning I was so pleased at what I woke up to that I went for it again. Then I went for it that night, and again the next morning. And so time passes and here we are today, with me still gleefully putting snail on my eyes morning and night.
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But why eye cream?
Is eye cream even necessary in the first place? Skincare enthusiasts have been debating this for years and will probably never stop.
I mean, if you think about it, no skincare is really necessary. We don’t really need retinoids or acids or vitamin C serums or hydrating toners or sheet masks or face creams to live. For those of us who enjoy taking care of our skin and enjoy seeing our skin condition and appearance improve to the best it can be, though, yeah, I think dedicated eye products can make a difference.
The skin around our eyes tends to be thinner, more delicate, and more prone to dryness than the skin on the rest of our faces. Thinness and fragility and dryness can quickly lead to rough texture, crepiness, sagging, fine lines, and wrinkles. If we want to avoid those outcomes, we need to keep our eye area moisturized and protected.
“Okay, so just use your regular face products and face cream around your eyes,” the argument against eye creams goes.
Yes, but here’s the thing. The skin around our eyes is also around our eyes. That means that in addition to worrying about the increased sensitivity of the skin itself, we need to worry about the sensitivity of our actual eyes when they come into contact or close proximity with beauty products. Things can go wrong pretty quickly. (Thanks for the unbearable itch, Sunday Riley Auto Correct!)
I’m fussy about eye products; I think my success rate with them is the lowest of any category of skincare I’ve tried over the past few years. Offhand, I can think of exactly one serum-type eye product I’ve loved (Amorepacific Intensive Vitalizing Eye Essence). The only two eye creams I’ve cared for enough to remember are both really, really pricey–the Su:m37 Secret Repair Concentrated Eye Cream is generally around $75, and Sulwhasoo Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Eye Cream is over double that price. Eye creams last almost forever since you only need a tiny smear at a time, but that’s still a lot to drop at one time when one has been willfully blind to the steadily decreasing amount left in the current jar.
So why did I end up reaching for the COSRX snail cream, out of all the creams I did have on hand?
I have a few criteria for eye creams. One is that they can’t be excessively perfumey. I don’t mind a bit of fragrance in my eye cream, but too much or the wrong kind, and my eyes will be itchy and red like it’s hay fever season. Two is that my eye cream can’t be too rich. I have lash extensions, and oils will weaken the glue and cause them to fall off faster. Three, my eye cream has to sink in quickly, without any residue that might make my eye makeup slide around or smear off. And four, my eye cream has to somehow be lightweight and non-oily, yet moisturizing enough for my now 39-year-old eye area.
It’s a lot to ask from one product. I had my doubts that the COSRX snail cream would provide enough moisture, but it was the only cream in my stash that seemed to hit my other requirements, particularly my need for a non-greasy and non-perfumey product, so on my eyes it went.
COSRX Advanced Snail 92 All In One Cream as Eye Cream
Before getting into what this cream did for my eyes, I need to be up front. If you’re looking for an eye product that can shrink puffiness, reduce undereye bags, or fade dark circles, the COSRX snail cream is probably not it. I don’t have significant puffinessnow that I’ve reduced my sodium intake, undereye bags, or dark circles (at least, I don’t think so?), so I can’t speak to whether any products help with those concerns.
My eye area concerns are pretty simple. I want to keep the skin smooth and firm and minimize those pesky undereye fine lines wherever possible. That’s what I look for in an eye cream, and that is, happily, exactly what COSRX Advanced Snail 92 All In One Cream delivered.
COSRX Advanced Snail 92 All In One Cream ingredients: Snail secretion filtrate, betaine, caprylic/capric triglyceride, cetearyl olivate, sorbitan olivate, sodium hyaluronate, cetearyl alcohol, stearic acid, arginine, dimethicone, carbomer, panthenol, allantoin, sodium polyacrylate, xanthan gum, ethyl hexanediol, adenosine, phenoxyethanol
With snail secretion filtrate making up 92% of the product, per a conversation I had with COSRX, it’s worth it to have a quick refresher on why snail mucin matters.
I wrote about the potential benefits of snail mucin back in my original review of the COSRX snail essence and cream. Here’s an excerpt:
Snail secretion is humectant, emollient, antimicrobial, antioxidant-rich, and contains collagen, elastin, and cell communication-facilitating glycoproteins, among other skin-friendly components. It may have wound healing abilities and shows promise for the repair of photoaged skin (snail is the star of my post-sun skincare routine) and atrophic acne scarring. At minimum, therefore, snail slime is a lovely natural moisturizer. It may also have long-term anti-aging and skin-smoothing benefits.
In fact, I did see benefits beyond moisture after using the COSRX Advanced Snail 92 All In One Cream around my eyes for a few weeks. I remember getting ready one morning, looking in the mirror in the fairly harsh and unflattering morning light in my bedroom, and pausing for a moment when I realized just how smooth my undereyes looked. I’m used to a few fine lines in that area, but the same light that showed me exactly what looking down at my phone has done to my neck was also showing an eerily crease-free eye area. I’m starting to see an increase in firmness in my upper eyelids as well–the crepiness that was starting to creep in seems to have receded. I’ve found a winner.
As far as user experience goes, the COSRX Advanced Snail 92 All In One Cream performs beautifully. While the slightly slimy consistency of the cream may take some getting used to, it applies smoothly and sinks in quickly. It hydrates and moisturizes just enough and leaves no greasy residue to interfere with my lash extensions or makeup. There’s no fragrance and nothing else in it that bothers my eyes. I dab a little bit on in the morning and a bit more at night and use no other eye treatments besides the occasional eye mask.
Considering my eye area’s tendency to favor really expensive products, I’m beyond happy that the COSRX snail cream has worked out so well. As an extra bonus, since the cream works well as a light face moisturizer too, it really is “all in one.” It took me an eye cream emergency to get here, but I’ve found a real winner.