Battle of the Serums

Battle of the Serums

By Safina Ali
20/07/2023 | Read time: 5m

Today I thought it would be fun to do a review comparing one of the most loved and repurchased Korean products in the West versus one of the most purchased Korean skincare products within Korea itself!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re bound to have heard about at least one of these products. These slimy, gooey serums are said to be some of the best on the market, so we’re going to put them to the test!

Since they’re very similar in texture, I thought it would be a fun comparison to do. And those products are none other than the COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence Serum and the Mixsoon Bean Essence.

Serum Ingredients

First things first, let’s have a quick look at the claims of each product. The Cosrx Snail mucin serum is said to fade dark spots, improve texture and provide hydration and anti aging benefits. A deeper look into the ingredients of the Cosrx reveals a very short list:

Snail Secretion Filtrate, Betaine, Butylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Panthenol, Arginine, Allantoin, Ethyl Hexanediol, Sodium Polyacrylate, Carbomer, Phenoxyethanol

It’s clear that the star ingredient on the list is snail secretion filtrate, which is supposed to boost skin repair and hydration. It’s supported by very soothing ingredients like allantoin and panthenol, and of course sodium hyaluronate to boost hydration.

The Mixsoon is said to help improve and refine texture for a smooth and bright finish. Like the Cosrx serum, it also boasts a short ingredient list, but despite the similar texture, the ingredients are completely different:

Water, Propanediol, Glycerin, Lactobacillus/Soybean Ferment Extract, Lactobacillus/Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Fruit Ferment Extract, Saccharomyces/Barley Seed Ferment Filtrate, Lactobacillus/Pear Juice Ferment Filtrate

Mixsoon relies heavily on ferments to recharge and strengthen skin – namely pomegranate extract – which is said to be a mild exfoliant and natural AHA that contributes to cell renewal.

First Impressions

Both these products are some of the most unusual but fun products you can find in K-skincare. Both come in plastic bottles that have a very easy dispensing mechanism to release product without having to unscrew anything.

When you first dispense the Cosrx, the stringy, slimy texture is apparent. After all, it does come from snails! But don’t let this description put you off. The gooeyness of the product doesn’t linger, and once its absorbed it leaves a nice plump non-sticky finish with a dewy glow!

The Mixsoon is almost identical in texture, but slightly more watery. This absorbs into skin to give a hydrated, but more matte finish.

If colour matters to anyone, the Cosrx snail mucin serum is a clear colourless liquid whereas the mixsoon is golden in colour, sort of like syrup or honey, but less viscous and without the stickiness!

If applied to dry skin, it can leave the skin feeling tacky for a bit. But I didn’t seem to have this problem when applying to wet skin.

After Regular Use

I’ve been trialing out both these products in my routine. The Cosrx is a staple in my routine to add an extra layer of hydration after cleansing. After months of use, I can definitely say it’s worth all the hype! It has brightened my skin and softened fine lines, while giving me a dewy glow.

It’s a great mild soothing product, so if you have sensitive skin or a damaged skin barrier, it might be a great product for you. As mentioned previously, the snail mucin is key in barrier repair which you can read about more here. The product is definitely something I will continue to purchase.

The mixsoon took me a while to really appreciate. My initial mistake was assuming it would be a comparable product to the Cosrx serum, so I was quite disappointed when I didn’t get that nice dewy finish. However…even though they may have similar textures, they’re two different products and I wasn’t really giving it a chance.

It’s really just its own product with its own separate benefits. I’ve definitely found it good at giving you a subtle exfoliation and shedding any dry skin, especially if you take the time to rub it in. It’s great for the step just after cleansing, however, it can be used as a serum too. With regular use, it definitely brightens and evens out skin tone.


I can honestly say I didn’t find any with either product. Some people may find the cosrx a little too sticky for their liking and the gooey texture of both certainly isn’t for everyone. It might be worth noting however, that those with dust or shellfish allergy may not get on well with the Cosrx snail mucin. Those with fungal acne would do better to avoid the Mixsoon bean essence.

That being said, I myself have a dust mite allergy but have no problems with the Cosrx. As with all skincare products, it’s probably a good idea to do a patch test before trying something new.

Serum Pricing

The Cosrx is currently priced at £23.95 for 100ml making it quite affordable in my opinion! With every day use, One bottle tends to last me around 3 months. The Mixsoon on the other hand is £28.00 for 50ml, so a little bit pricier than the former.

Serum Verdicts

Ah, decisions decisions. Which one would I say comes out top? Well, I think the reviews on both products speak for themselves but I honestly think that they aren’t entirely comparable because they serve different purposes!

If you are looking for something to leave you feeling smooth and hydrated with a glow that lasts all day, I’d definitely go for the Cosrx snail mucin (more on it here). It’s also proven to be beneficial for those that suffer from acne.

But if hydration isn’t your primary concern, and you mainly suffer with clogged pores and could do with a sensitive exfoliant, the Mixsoon may be right up your alley (you can read Kate’s review here).

I think it’s pretty clear though, that both of these products are great products and it’s no wonder that these are some of the best selling Korean skincare products right now!

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