One Surprising Ingredient In This Sheet Mask Erased Years of Acne Scars From My Skin

After just a couple of months, my skin is brighter and clearer than ever.

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corsx snail mask with Shape Editors Pick emblem
Photo: Corsx

My not-so-secret secret is that I'm an anxious person. Whenever life became especially overwhelming, particularly during college, I would pick at my skin (a huge no-no for anyone prone to acne). To no one's surprise, this annoying habit would make my breakouts even worse, giving me yet another problem to stress about. Thankfully, I eventually found a dermatologist, went on medication, and stuck to a skin-care routine that finally put an end to my cystic acne. The only problem? My face was left covered in scars.

I tested out retinoids and exfoliants, but my sensitive skin became so inflamed that my mom even noticed — and started calling me "Big Red." After melodramatically uttering the phrase "this is ruining my life" for the hundredth time, a friend turned me onto the brand that helped Emily Ratajkowski deal with her skin freak-out: Cosrx. Specifically, my hero product became the Advanced Snail Mucin Power Essence Sheet Mask (Buy It, $20, was $25, amazon.com). Yes, it's made with actual snail mucin.

A common anti-aging powerhouse in the K-beauty world, snail mucin is naturally packed with hydrating additives like hyaluronic acid and glycolic acid, and it's long been believed to heal damaged skin. In fact, a 2021 study observed accelerated healing of facial scars on patients who topically applied the unusual ingredient.

corsx-mask

Buy It: Advanced Snail Mucin Power Essence Sheet Mask, $20 (was $25), amazon.com

Committed to finding a solution for the discoloration across my cheeks and chin, I started using a mask every night after cleansing my face (but before toning and moisturizing), and left it on for about 20 minutes while I scrolled through TikTok. Unlike products I'd tried before, Cosrx's sheet masks contain no harsh ingredients and always leavemy skin feeling super soft, brighter, and dewier. They're weightless, easy to apply, and surprisingly non-slip — and most importantly, the brand says it uses ethically sourced snail secretions (AKA, no snails are harmed in the process).

After a month of use, I noticed the brightest acne scars fade to a color closer to my skin tone; for the first time in years, I didn't have to cake on concealer to cover them up. After three months, I actually saw the majority of scars disappear, almost like they'd never been there at all. Even the texture of my skin smoothed out, giving me the confidence boost I needed to start going makeup-free.

Now over half a year later, I can wholeheartedly say that snail mucin helped heal my scars more than anything else, and these sheets were the most effective part of my routine. While I still have yet to master the whole "chilling out" thing, I have learned to embrace the few scars I have left. To check one skin-care issue off your list of worries, consider getting Cosrx's 10-pack of sheet masks on Amazon while they're on sale for just $20.

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