Caroline Hirons and snail skincare
[I’m not kidding, this post is NSFW as in Not Safe for Work as in NC-17 as in I talk about girl and boy bits, now is your chance to back away.]
Dig back into your memories, if able, and recall the past. Namely, remember the time before you knew that some people stick their mouths on the junk of other people — and both parties like it. Or tolerate it until TMJ makes it really uncomfortable. Anyway.
Do you remember your first reaction to the idea that some people put their mouth anywhere near human pee-spouts? I was totally grossed out and basically wanted to sail off into the sun and never think about that sort of nastiness ever again.
The total-body revulsion to the concept of head was only matched for me by the first time I encountered snail skincare. I was in Flushing, shopping at Nature Republic. EXO had just been named spokespeople for the brand, but their promotional images weren’t up yet. At that point it was Jang Geun Suk and Shin Se Kyung. And everywhere were signs touting this wonder line with snail in it. Snail, snail, snail. I couldn’t escape the posters.
I looked at those signs and my world went sort of gray. I felt pretty ill as I imagined live snails fed into a meat grinder — live, of course, because why not add to the evil imagery — to make skincare. I literally wondered if the skincare was chunky due to the bodies of ground up snails. I didn’t even want to eat after visiting the store. I passed Tous Les Jours with their pastries and Kim Soo Hyun posters and said no. NO. I was that ill: I passed up delicious carbs.
At that point, I went home, hopped on Google, and figured out what the fuck was going on with snail skincare. In a sense, that moment of horror made me get into kbeauty and skincare; before then I was just a kpop fangirl with bad skin. Now I’m that except with a skincare blog/addiction.
What I didn’t do is hop on the blog I had at the time and condemn snail skincare.
I really like Caroline Hirons even if I don’t always agree with her, but I think her latest Snail madness post on how snail mucin gross and harvested in cruel ways really misses the mark and it makes me concerned.
First off, just because something squicks one person out doesn’t make it gross to everyone. Throat fucking isn’t really high on my to do list, but I’m not going to tell the internet that it’s gross because some people may be into it and that would be rude.
Second, where are the snail harm receipts?
Links, photos that aren’t screencaps of cooking videos, emails, anything. People who have been into Asian skincare for some time have done the work to find out where snail mucin comes from; we have been concerned, too. CosRx has provided info about how they get their snail mucin. My boo Chel from Holy Snails came across these photos while shopping for a new snail mucin supplier. If the community has been lied to or missed something, give us the evidence so we can demand better. Korean beauty companies tend to be pretty responsive — we know that because we’ve actually talked to them.
Instead, we get the equivalent of my diary entry the day I first heard about sucking dick.
If the conclusion is that farming snails is grim, lord, have I got some news to share about what late stage capitalism is doing to humans. Why the outrage about snail mucin but no similar horror at the news of sideline workers in Korea being paid fractions of a cent to fold sheet masks?
I want to be clear: aside from recording an Asian Beauty podcast called the Snailcast, snail does not play a big part in my beauty routine. I don’t love the texture — but not because it’s slimy, because it usually doesn’t sink in fast enough for me. To me, it’s more a symbol of Asian Beauty than an actual ingredient in my routine.
The history of how the West has viewed, reported, and used the relationship between animals and East Asians to denigrate Asian people makes this topic particularly sensitive. Cows in the U.S. are milked in ways that are sometimes incredibly cruel and, yes, grim, but somehow we’re talking about snails that appear to mostly live on nets that may or may not have electrical currents running through them. Purposely murdering the source of your mucin doesn’t sound like a great business practice and I’m skeptical about how commonly this is done. If people who like kbeauty got hot in the comments on the post it might be because they realize the big picture, real life implications of once again calling Asian stuff weird and cruel with shaky af evidence. In this case, zero evidence.
You don’t have to use snail if it grosses you out. I believe in a sort of modified Marie Kondo take on it: if the product doesn’t spark joy, I don’t need it in my routine. Horse oil just doesn’t spark joy for me. Neither do essences that are mostly hyaluronic acid with nothing else sexy in them. They don’t need to be in my routine. Snail doesn’t need to be in your routine. No big deal. No need for skywriting.
What bothers me here is that a person I really like and tend to trust put out info that’s just not very well thought through. In fact, it’s misleading. Moreover, insisting that net snail farming is unacceptable is a bit weird from a blogger that appeared to have no outrage at the ground up starfish in Mizon’s now discontinued Returning Starfish Cream.
One of the hardest parts of being a fangirl of YouTubers and bloggers is that if someone hits on a winning formulation and really starts to make it, there’s always this danger that they become a parody of themselves. Caroline Hirons has made her influencer career around dropping truth bombs and saying things that need sayin’. There’s plenty that needs to be brought to light in beauty, but the evidence people have actually supplied doesn’t suggest snail mucin collection as it’s actually done is our biggest problem. If I’m wrong, bring those #receipts and let’s talk.
The Lipstick League – week of 2.27.17
Question of the Week: Do you plan to incorporate the Pantone 2017 Color of the Year (Greenery) into your beauty looks this year? If so, how?
VDL, the Korean makeup company, makes Pantone-themed palettes and…I really don’t care about this color of the year business, especially when it’s some sort of unwearable-on-me green.
Phyrra – I’ve got my February Beauty Favorites ! See what I’ve been loving for the past month, plus what I’ve been hating.
Prime Beauty – Fortune Cookie Soap Box has released their Spring 2017 Subscription Box with a Beauty and the Beast Theme! Be My Guest and see what this fun and unique has to offer!
we heart this – Have you checked out the latest from Milani? We took a look at their setting sprays and primers (and fell in L-O-V-E with the Milani Make it Dewy Setting Spray!)
Beauty Junkies Unite – Spring nail polish collections are launching, and they are pale & pretty! Check out the swatches of latest from SpaRitual — their Inhale Collection.
Blushing Noir – What is Binge Masking? In this post Brooke is spilling what it’s all about, what products she uses for her oily, acne-prone skin and what order she uses them in.
Clumps of Mascara – Spring is coming, the weather is changing and this OPI Fiji collection has me wanting to book a flight like…yesterday.
EauMG – I didn’t realize that I wanted to smell like I was hosting a tea party in a forest with little baby bunnies until I tried this natural perfume.
fanserviced-b – I’ve found the perfect daily sunscreen that will protect your skin from aging rays — and it plays nice with makeup.
Gouldylox – Has your skin stopped reacting to topicals? You’ve got to try this new line from Osmosis Skincare, which helps with absorption and includes a gentle retinoid. It doesn’t get much better than this!
My Beauty Bunny – Brittany from Clumps of Mascara and I are swatching and reviewing all 24 shades of the new NYX Total Control Drop Foundation!
(Wondering what the Lipstick League is? Find out here.)
Phyrra is Currently Craving: I’m craving the new Cover FX Perfect Light Palette! It looks amazing.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Clicking those links before you shop means that fan-b receives a small commission, which helps to support the blog. Please see my full disclosure for more information.