My Sample Stash Quickie Reviews are pretty much just as they say on the tin – reviews where I try out sample(s) of a product and then give my basic, initial thoughts. They obviously won’t be as in-depth as reviews where I’ve been able to use a product for weeks or even months, which I usually prefer, but my hope is that they will still be helpful to people who are looking for any information and thoughts on the reviewed product.
It’s actually pretty funny that Memebox recently began to put craploads of Shara Shara products into their boxes, because a few months ago finding English-speaking bloggers with any experience of the brand was almost impossible. I remember posting on /r/AsianBeauty about it and the general consensus was that while a lot of their products looked appealing, nobody had tried them just by virtue of them not being on anybody’s radar.
So of course, I decided to use that as justification to buy a metric crapton of Shara Shara samples from Tester Korea & Rose Rose Shop, haha. Hey, I was trying the brand for everyone’s sake, right, so it was totally okay to buy tons of samples!
Anyhow, since then, Memebox clearly struck some sort of deal with Shara Shara because they’ve been popping up in almost every recent Memebox. Combining that with my pre-existing sample stash and I have months and months of Shara Shara products to try out now!
Today, I’ll give my Shara Shara Gold Label Repescargo Cream review. This was the first Shara Shara product that I tried out of my massive sample stash, and I have to say that it has set a good precedent – I’m even more excited to keep trying this brand after using this cream. But I’m getting ahead of myself, as always!
Prior to using this cream, I’d never used any snail mucin products before – sure, I’d seen the hype and glowing reviews that Mizon’s various flavors of snail goo were getting from my fellow AB addicts, but for some reason I’d just not yet taken the plunge. It was on my to-do list for sure, since I’d heard a lot about snail mucin being excellent for acne prone skins as it helps to repair and soothe inflamed skin, but somehow snail products just never made it into any of my various carts by the time I pulled the trigger on a purchase.
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While Shara Shara is a far more common sight on blogs and shops catering to the English AB fan community, it can still be a bit of a challenge to find detailed information on their products – particularly, translated ingredients lists are not always easy to come by.
The only ingredients list that I could find for this item is was Korea Depart has listed, but I’m not sure if it’s a full list or just advertising copy meant to highlight the “standout” parts of the formula. Nobody has uploaded this product to CosDNA yet, and the samples don’t have the ingredients list on them, so for now I’ll just have to take this list at face value.
70% of snail sap, gold, pearl powder, biosaccharide gum-1, adenosine, peptide, trehalose, aloe vera, betaine, niacinamide, tocopheryl acetate, green tea
Running this list through CosDNA comes up with zero flags, which is promising. I seriously have no idea what this current trend with gold in skincare is all about lately – as far as I can tell, gold doesn’t actually offer any benefit to skin, yet it’s been cropping up all over the place! I’ve seen face scrubs, creams, masks, etc, all with gold powder or flake involved in the formula. I guess it’s just the hyped-up trend ingredient of the moment, but it’s hard for me to get excited about something that doesn’t do anything!
Pearl powder is supposedly anti-inflammatory, and I see lots of claims that it’s good for healing acne scars, however this seems to be largely sourced to alternative medicine blogs – not saying that means it’s untrue, just that you should take any claims with a grain of salt.
Everything else listed in the formula are well-known ingredients for soothing, repairing, and healing troubled and irritated skin. Adenosine is an anti-inflammatory, peptides play a variety of roles, niacinamide is an anti-oxidant anti-irritant known for helping heal scars, protect the skin barrier, and is often recommended for both anti-aging and anti-acne concerns. Vitamin E, green tea, aloe vera, betaine, etc, are all known and well-loved skincare ingredients, and of course snail sap is praised for its ability to even skin tone, soothe irritation and redness, and heal acne and the scarring that can stick around even after a breakout ends.
So overall, this sounds really promising, and definitely like something that my skin – sensitive, acne-prone, clog-prone, and a definite sufferer of PIH and PIE pigmentation issues – could benefit from using.
I decided to replace my normal face cream with this, morning and night, and used it every single day for about eleven days. I got about 2-3 uses from each packet, though I expect that dryer skins would conceivably need more per application than I did. This was right before I started using tretinoin, so my skin wasn’t as dry as it is now. I did save a couple packets to use after my PocketDerm script had shown up, since I knew it would make my skin a bit more thirsty, and I’ll report on that as well!
This is about 2/3 of the sample packet. Sorry that it looks so messy, these packets were seriously the bane of my existence – they didn’t tear open evenly and the somewhat thick cream got stuck on all the little rips and tears, so squeezing out a nice, clean dollop was totally out of the question.
As I mentioned above, I got about 2-3 uses from each packet before I started PocketDerm, and afterwards I’d get about 2 uses. I did go ahead and test how it went if I used one entire packet per application, and I was actually pleasantly surprised that it still managed to absorb pretty well and didn’t make me look greasy at all, so dryer skins should have no problem with heavier applications of this product.
The texture is a medium thick cream with a light, fresh scent. It’s hard for me to place exactly how to describe the scent… it’s very light, so it’s one of those that you’ll smell when you apply and then not at all once it’s absorbed. The best I can think to compare it to is an unsweetened fresh apple, maybe with a bit of aquatic notes? That sounds more complicated than it actually is, but it’s all that comes to mind when trying to describe the scent, I’m sorry!
Here’s the cream all rubbed in – you can see that all the ridges in my skin are plumped up and dewy-looking now. Like many Korean creams, this gives a definite ‘radiant’ look – it’s dewy, not matte. However, I will emphasize that it does NOT make you look or feel greasy. I was able to wear it under my normal makeup without any issues, so while it doesn’t offer any oil-control (nor does it claim to as far as I can tell), it won’t make oily skins go into overproduction and make your makeup slip off or smear or anything.
I tried to do the whole dab-on-oil-absorbing-paper-and-wait test that I’ve seen other people do, but it really did not translate well on camera (I think maybe it was the paper that I used – it made the colors so weird, like the paper looked rainbow and everything had a pink overtone. Or my camera is tripping, idk). The paper pretty much absorbed the cream after about 15 minutes, since I used a thin smear and not a thick dollop, but there was no oil pool or anything. So I really think that oily skins can use this cream without worrying too much about it making them greasier!
This cream does take a tad longer to absorb that my normal moisturizer, but it’s like… maybe a minute maximum if you’ve applied a lot. You don’t have to worry that it’s going to sit on your face and make you feel coated or gross. I usually applied this, patted it in as best I could, then went to go do some quick thing like brushing my hair or getting coffee started or letting the dog out, and by then it’d be fully absorbed and I could get started with my primer, makeup, and sunscreen.
As for overall results – I did not experience any issues with this cream! It made my face feel fully hydrated and gave me a nice, radiant, dewy complexion. I had no breakouts from this product, no clogged pores, no irritation… literally, I have nothing bad to say about this product. I think that if it wasn’t at a higher price point – and I wasn’t already equally as satisfied with the current, cheaper Shara Shara moisturizer that I’m using now – I would absolutely consider buying this product for long-term use. Particularly now that I need more moisture due to my PocketDerm prescription, I’m trying to use slightly thicker/more hydrating creams than before, and this one still managed to make me feel very well-moisturized even when I sampled it again after about a month of tretinoin use.
While eleven days isn’t enough for me to know if it was just the luck of the draw or actually the result of using this product, I did not have any new huge breakouts during use of this cream, and I did feel like my pre-existing blemishes healed up a bit faster than usual.
The full size does, unfortunately, come in jar packaging, but that still seems to be the norm for moisturizers so I can’t ding it too hard on that count. I’m just hoping that cosmetics companies at large will wake up and start packaging their creams in more hygienic fashions, but until we get some kind of mass awakening from the packaging engineers on that front… spatulas, anyone?
I was really happy with this cream! It’s a tad pricey and the jar packaging is meh, but otherwise this seems like a really solid choice for people who have sensitive, acne-prone skin that still need a good dose of moisture and like the dewy finish. If you’re interested (or are already a fan) of the snail goo trend, this might be right up your alley. Admittedly, after using this product and the Tosowoong emulsion from this Memebox, I am totally on board the snail mucin/sap hype trains!
WHERE TO BUY
- $42.11 at W2 Beauty
- $40.45 at Amazon
- $27.07 at Korea Depart
- Some cheap samples available via eBay sellers
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