March 02, 2018

These 5 Affordable Korean Beauty Products Prove Inexpensive Can = Efficacious

Think the more problems your skin has, the more money you need to throw at it? Think again!

About the product

What Is It:

There’s a reason this moisturizer is one of Swanicoco’s best sellers — it’s hypoallergenic, it’s lightweight, and it’s loaded with serious active ingredients you wouldn’t expect from an emulsion this affordable. With licorice root water, aspergillus/rice ferment filtrate, and snail secretion filtrate high up on the ingredient list (number 2, 3, 4, to be exact), this emulsion is the perfect starter for anyone looking to up their skincare game with K-beauty favorite ingredients. Filtered snail mucin is renown for its ability to speed healing and soothe irritated skin, while licorice root helps brighten and even skin tone. Rice ferment filtrate helps to deeply hydrate and condition skin.
Swanicoco takes pride in its mostly-natural, minimal irritation formulations to get skin back on the right track. One application of this emulsion will instantly soothe and calm skin and help balance skin’s oil-water levels, all without stickiness. If you’re new to K-beauty or just starting out in skincare, the Swanicoco Fermentation Snail Care line may be just what you’ve been looking for.
Swanicoco recommends this emulsion for those with:

  • sensitive skin
  • dry and rough skin
  • a dislike for oily textures
  • a desire for mild products with natural ingredients
  • uneven skin tones
  • unbalanced oil and water levels

Our insight:

Ready for a more advanced skincare line? Try Swanicoco’s Fermentation Care line or Peptine Care line for similar textures and a light floral scent but with more advanced active ingredients.
Read why vanityrex is such a fan of the Fermentation Snail Care 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. — vanityrex

Read his full review here. And check out the texture of the Fermentation Snail Care Emulsion here:

How to use:

Apply in your moisturizer step, patting in to enhance absorption.


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, Panax Ginseng Callus Culture Extract, Human 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, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Leaf Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract

Brand info:

Beauty brands that claim to be nature-based are a dime a dozen in South Korea, but Swanicoco takes that claim seriously. With the commitment to ensuring that each Swanicoco product consists of 90% to 100% natural ingredients, Swanicoco has risen to the top of’s list of natural cosmetics in Korea. And it’s no wonder. Beloved for their standout products like the Bitamin C line, the Centella Asiatica Salve (an editor favorite), and PHA 10% Coco Soft Peeling Cream, Swanicoco is on a mission to disprove the notion that natural ingredients are less effective. Swanicoco harnesses Korea’s high-tech biotechnology to provide products with not just time-honored botanical ingredients but those that are science-based, ranging from epidermal growth factors to snail mucin to fermented ingredients. Originally founded in 2000 by Seong Chunseon as a way to treat her family’s sensitive skin, Swanicoco soon expanded to a business after Seong started getting rave reviews of her naturally fermented soaps from her neighbors. Today, Swanicoco boasts a collection of over 150 products, ranging from skincare and color cosmetics to hair and body care and, of course, Seong’s fermented soaps (now offered in nine varieties). There are 28 Swanicoco retail locations throughout Korea as well as a robust online presence. A favorite of insiders in the beauty community, Swanicoco continues to operate in the spirit of its founder, making each product as if it were for their own family.

Reviews & Comments 8


I use the toner and this emulsion from the same line in rotation with the Bitamin C toner + emulsion (same brand) and has fallen in love with the results - I use the Bitamin C products in the morning (under sun cream) and the Snail Care products in the evening to kind of calm and reset my skin during the night.

The texture is super light and comfortable to work with, it absorbs fast and has a slight cooling feel to it. It has the faintest of scents (reminds me of a generic flower garden smell) that is very pleasant... Read more


Thank you for these comparative reviews of the Fermentation Snail Care and Bitamin C products --- very helpful! I had a hard time choosing between them during the recent Swanicoco sale. I finally chose the FSC emulsion since I had just purchased a different toner, but will try the FSC toner & Bitamin C line in the future!


Discovered this brand and this product a month ago. And now this has quickly achieved HG status in my skincare stash. I have one bottle stashed away, so I never have to worry about running out & having to wait 2 weeks for it. This emulsion is so fluid and light - perfect for the summer & my combination skin seems to love it. This bottle will last a looong time, I predict at least 5 months for me.


Update after 1 month usage of this and the toner: I am very happy with the results I am getting. I wake up with soft, non-oily, non-dry skin. I use this every night and a sleeping mask over it. Daytime, i use the bitamin c toner and emulsion.
This snail line is perfect for the fluctuating summer days of humidity and cooler AC indoors. It is the right balance for my combination skin. I already repurchased 2 bottles. I also use it on my body as well. The price point is so reasonable for such awesome ingredients.


I have officially replaced my Cosrx Snail 96 with this and I am really happy!
The price is amazing, the bottle is massive, it's even more moisturizing, and, most importantly, I don't break out.
(I am one of those people who will break out if a product looks at me funny, so this is major)
The only reason I am removing one star, is due to the floral fragrance. It's a very natural fragrance, you can tell it's from the ingredients not really added, but has taken me a bit to get used to.
If you're not a fan of fragrance, or... Read more


This essence is really good, it doesn't only help with acne but it also makes skin moist, I feel like it helped with my skin barrier. The formula is lightweight, it was ideal during the winter and now during the spring (which feels like summer already) is also good, it worked well under my makeup.


This is serious HG for me and has been a staple in my lineup for over a year. I love everything about it - the texture, the smell, the way it sinks into my skin, the price (!). It has a very lush, wet, feel that immediately hydrates and absorbs, and is basically a Greatest Hits of all the yummy stuff I want on my skin. I've used it both as a layer and as a final moisturizing step (in the summer.) I've also discovered it's the ideal medium for mixing in other "boosters" - oils, gels, powders. It... Read more


Thank you for such a detailed review! I've ordered it and now can't wait to have it delivered. At such a low price point it seems too good to be true, but apparently, it's the real deal!


Gives the skin a perfect balanced of moisture and nourishing oils and makes a healthy, natural look. The emulsion feels super lightweight typically K-beauty "nothing on the skin". Highly recommended for all skin types. I use it in summer and winter as well. It softens my skin immediatly. Perfect in combination with the BIO FERMENT skintoner - works like a dream team ;-)


I may or may not have just ordered four of these....this is the moisturizer I use as my second to last step in my routine. It is very light and quickly sinks in without leaving any tackiness. I personally have very dry skin, so I cannot use it alone, but two pumps is enough to cover my face and neck and there is no pilling when I apply my cream and sunscreen.
This is the first moisturizer that I actually enjoy putting on, from the light floral scent, to how it just melts into your skin, everything about... Read more


I got this because of its stellar ingredient list (licorice root water, rice ferment, snail!) and it's so affordable. It has a light rose scent that's pleasant and the emulsion texture is really elegant (looks dense at first but turns watery when applied). It calms my skin and it feels cooling. Very hydrating and I always get that plump, dewy, glass/honey-skin look after applying this. It doesn't feel oily or sticky.

Overall, a great emulsion to use as one of the moisturizing steps in a winter skincare routine. This might be enough on its own too in an extremely humid weather. Read more


The ingredient list is definitely awesome. I don't really have a place for a product like this in my routine during the summer, but this winter I definitely will be looking to add this in