I consider myself a scientist, concerned with fact, not fiction, seeking the evidence-based truth, not anecdotes. And yet time and time again I fall hook, line and sinker for the Korean beauty trend of slapping all manner of grotesque animal products on my face in order to delay the ageing process…and I can’t stop! The problem is that Korean people all seem to have amazing skin and there is nothing more tantalizing to me than the prospect of clear, glowing, youthful skin.
It all started innocently enough with a serum containing snail filtrate which initially had me howling with laughter…I then wore this daily as I believed it would make me young! Next came a moisturizer with snail filtrate in, which of course I used daily to make my skin sing the sweet sweet song of youth and vitality, until it ran out! And then came the Baby Pig Collagen Jelly Pack face mask which, although it initially grossed me out I considered using every night just in case it’s the next big thing to keep ageing at bay.
People, I think I have a problem!
I am now officially over 40 (*yikes*) and my own collagen seems lacking so it’s only natural that I seek something that I can add to my skin to make it bouncy and young again, right? Pig collagen claims to plump the skin, boost hydration, get rid of fine lines and is apparently the closest thing to human collagen that we can get. But my question is, does rubbing it all over your face have any effect? It certainly smells and feels nice but surely products that stimulate the skin to produce more of its own collagen are far superior? The beauty industry doesn’t seem to be able to help me out much here and I can’t find any quality research to support its use.
And then there’s the extraction process, which at best is vague. Whilst it’s easy to find videos of the snail filtrate extraction process, information on pig collagen extraction is lacking. The pigs may or may not be alive at the point of extraction, the collagen may be scraped off the skin or another chemical extraction method may be used, the pigs may or may not remain alive after this process…no one can really tell me. And this is where me and this product part ways. Do I recommend applying pig collagen to your face? The answer is no. Do I believe it to be pseudo-science? Oh yes I do. On the few occasions I used it, I missed my normal skincare products which do a far better job of hydrating my ageing skin. I am also not happy about the lack of openness and honesty about how this product is extracted and farmed. As for those pesky snails…they live through their extraction process but how ethical is it really? I think the snail products too will have to go.
So now what? Well I do have a bottle of unopened Korean black pearl serum in my skincare drawer. Pearls are smooth, shiny and glowing…this one could be the next big thing…right?